AFC Bournemouth host Watford at the Vitality Stadium tomorrow at 3pm. Watford can jump the Cherries if they take all 3 points, so let’s take an in-depth look at the two sides…
Last time out
The Cherries fell to a 3-1 defeat to Hull in their last fixture. Despite an early Stanislas penalty giving them the lead, they were pegged back by the Tigers with Abel Hernandez netting twice before Tyrone Mings, who was starting his first Premier League game for Bournemouth, put the ball into his own net to seal a 3-1 defeat.
Meanwhile, Watford played out a 0-0 draw at home to Middlesborough in a game that was overshadowed by the Hornet’s tributes to Graham Taylor, who died earlier that week. This was the first clean sheet Watford managed in the past ten outings, which will give them some confidence at the back ahead of a trip to Bournemouth.
History between the two sides
When the teams met in October at Vicarage Road, Bournemouth were pegged back twice by the Hornets in a 2-2. Callum Wilson gave Bournemouth the lead after 31 minutes, but after half time Troy Deeney levelled the scoreline. Joshua King then gave the Cherries an advantage just after the hour mark, but that only lasted three minutes when Isaac Success made it 2-2.
Junior Stanislas – Since his return from injury, the Englishman has scored once and assisted twice in three starts. Now given penalty duties ahead of Callum Wilson, the winger will be hoping to avoid injury after being plagued with calf problems this season.
Etienne Capoue – The central midfielder started the season in red hot form with four goals in his opening five outings. Since then his goalscoring has slowed, but he’s still a crucial part of the Hornet’s midfield.
The manager’s comments
Eddie Howe wants to improve the Cherries defensive record after shipping nine goals in the last three matches.
He said: “It is a strange one, the lads have produced some heroic defensive performances at times, but the goals (against us) have come from nothing, when we have been in control.
“None more so than last week when we dominated at Hull and the first time they get really near our box, we concede.”
Watford boss Walter Mazzarri spoke fondly of Bournemouth’s style.
He said: “In my opinion, they play some of the best football in the UK.
“They have a lot of experience and they are growing. We will play at their stadium this time and I am very curious to see how we will perform against one of the teams that plays the best football.”
AFC Bournemouth: Howe confirmed Lewis Cook is back in contention, whilst Marc Wilson is the only fresh injury concern for the Cherries.
Watford: Odion Ighalo will travel with the team despite transfer links and there will be a number of late tests for the likes of ‘keeper Heurelho Gomes and full-back Daryl Jaanmat.
AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, A Smith, Cook, Mings, Daniels, Arter, Surman, Wilshere, Stanislas, Fraser, Afobe.
Watford: Gomes, Kaboul, Prödl, Britos, Kabasele, Capoue, Cleverley, Holebas, Doucouré, Deeney, Okaka