By Ben Whitlock – (@BenWhitlock34)
AFC Bournemouth face a tough away game at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, as they continue their search for their first win in 2017.
The Cherries haven’t picked up a win in six league games, resulting in them being only six points above the relegation zone.
West Brom, however, are having a stellar season. They currently sit in 8th place, with a five-point cushion between them and 9th placed Stoke. Despite Bournemouth winning the home fixture 1-0 over West Brom earlier in the season, manager Eddie Howe was full of praise for the Baggies and is aware of the task ahead of them:
“West Brom are a team with a lot more quality in their squad now compared to when we faced them before. Any team Tony Pulis manages are always tough to beat with the style of football they play.
“They’re very strong on the counter attack and we must be aware of that. They are a much better footballing team then they’re credited with and they have picked up a lot of points in tough games.”
Howe and his men are still looking for their first win since December 31st, and the manager is aware of the position of his club:
“We can’t hide from the spell that we have been on. We are in the relegation battle and we aren’t hiding from it. But we always pride ourselves on team spirit and we have maintained it to a high level, it’s now a race for us to get above 40 points.”
Bournemouth’s last game was 11 days ago, and in this break the team flew out to Madrid for a three-day training camp. During this trip away, the Cherries were able to escape from the pressures of the league and work very intensely on all aspects of their game. Howe said: “It was a really good trip and was very beneficial. The players were together for a few days and we had some really intense training.”
Bournemouth captain Simon Francis is out for the next two games due to a hamstring injury, but is highlighted to return by the next home game vs West Ham. Jack Wilshere will be a late decision due to an ankle problem.
West Brom’s centre back Jonny Evans could make his return to the starting eleven for the first time in almost two months following a calf injury.
The match at the Hawthorns will kick off at 3pm tomorrow afternoon.