AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has said he is “hopeful” for the return of Nathan Ake and Jefferson Lerma ahead of tomorrow’s match against Chelsea.
Ake and Lerma were both absent in the Cherries 3-0 loss away to Burnley last weekend with respective concussion and upper body injuries.
Speaking at the Vitality Stadium this morning, Eddie Howe said: “Nathan has trained this week, we’re hoping he should be okay and has no ill-effects from the slight head injury.
“Jeff is similar, he had a back problem but he has come through a couple days training.”
However, David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham and Arnaut Danjuma are all set to sit out the tie against Frank Lampard’s side as they all recover from long-term injuries.
Howe added: “They’re all running on grass, I wouldn’t say they’re training. They’ve not joined us yet.”
“Meps is quite a bit behind the others in terms of time he’s got some way to go, but the others are improving quite quickly.
“We hope to get them involved back in training next week if not then maybe the week after.”
Despite Chelsea being 4th and Bournemouth 16th, the Cherries have picked up an extra point in their last five but Eddie Howe is unfazed by form.
He said: “Previous form is history. For me it’s always about looking to the next part and looking the other way because what’s happened is gone and tomorrow is the only thing that matters in my eyes.”
In the previous fixture away to Burnley, the Cherries’ were denied a controversial goal due to VAR which led to the Clarets scoring at the other end.
Howe said: “We’ve had dialogue with the authorities to get a better understanding of the thought processes behind decisions.”
Tomorrow’s clash will be a welcome return to the Vitality following two away defeats which the Bournemouth boss was enthusiastic about.
Howe said: “It’s massive to be back, we thoroughly enjoyed the last two games where the fans have been excellent.”
Live updates during the game are available on @buzz_bmth throughout the game to keep you up to date with the action.