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Bournemouth (A) | Pre-match Review

by Nick Hamer

AFC Bournemouth vs Sheffield United

06/08/2019 - English Premier League

It’s here, it’s finally here and somehow it still hasn’t sunk in yet.

Last time out

AFC Bournemouth 0 - 1 Sheffield United (Murphy 20)

23/02/2013 - Npower League One

Jamie Murphy’s goal was enough to win the game, which featured a fair few Premier League stars.

For Bournemouth, mainly. Eddie Howe’s side featured Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Harry Arter, Marc Pugh, Matt Richie, Lewis Grabban and Ryan Fraser. All went on to feature for Bournemouth in the Premier League, some of them are still there. A testament of Howe’s loyalty to those who helped get them there in the first place. With Ryan Fraser being one of the standout players in England last season. Future Premier League ‘played-a-bits’ Jamie Murphy and Kevin McDonald started for Sheffield United that afternoon. As did a lad called Harry Maguire, who has just signed for a club in Salford Quays.

United went top of League One, sacked Danny Wilson 6 weeks later, went out in the Playoffs to eventual winners Yeovil Town and had to spend 4 more years in League One.

Bournemouth dropped to 6th, Finished 2nd and haven’t looked back since.

Summer at AFC Bournemouth

Notable Ins:

Lloyd Kelly (£13m, Bristol City), Jack Stacey (£4m, Luton Town), Philip Billing (£15m, Huddersfield Town), Arnaut Danjuma (£13m, Club Brugge), Harry Wilson (Loan, Liverpool)

Notable Outs:

Tyrone Mings (£26.5m, Aston Villa) and Lys Mousset (£10m, Sheffield United)

The Cherries looked to have improved their squad whilst also remaining in the black in terms of net-spend. And they have managed to hold on to their better players in Callum Wilson, David Brooks and Nathan Aké, who have all been linked with moves away.

Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey have come in at left and right back respectively, a position Bournemouth have had issues with previously. Although full-backs Diego Rico, Charlie Daniels and former Blade Simon Francis all had campaigns cut short through injury last season, you could suggest that these positions needed strengthening anyway. Francis (34) and Daniels (32) are getting on a bit, and Eddie Howe expects his full-backs to attack as well as defend.

Philip Billing arrived as one of the best of the worst from Huddersfield Town, I’m expecting him to play alongside fiery shithouse Jefferson Lerma.

The signing of Arnaut Danjuma (a two-time Netherlands international who plays on the left-wing) from Club Brugge aside, Bournemouth and the Blades appear to have similar recruitment models in terms of signing relatively young and hungry players from down the leagues. Harry Wilson also arrives on loan after an impressive 18/19 season at Derby County (where he bagged against us).


Not to look too much into pre-season results but with a 3-2 win against AFC Wimbledon, a 4-3 loss to Lazio and a 3-0 win over Lyon, it does feel like it could be another regular season for Bournemouth. Where they’re either blowing teams away or getting into a goal-scoring slug-fest. Now I’ve said that it will surely end up 0-0.

Manager's view

Eddie Howe:

  • "I've been hugely impressed by Chris Wilder and what he and his staff have done...they've gone up through the leagues with their philosophy and style and I have been impressed watching from afar."

  • "Once we get everyone fit, I think it will be the best squad I've ever had to manage here. We'll work to get everyone back and we're excited by that."

Chris Wilder:

  • "They [Bournemouth] are inspirations...we want to stay in there, get a platform and be competitive in every game. Huddersfield, little old Huddersfield, were a great example in their first season. They didn't score a goal in the play-offs, went up, and then stayed up with a result at Chelsea."

Opposition line up

(There’s not much point in me talking about how the Blades will line up. You can read about that here.)

Bournemouth look slightly depleted at the moment in terms of numbers in midfield with injuries to Dan Gosling and another former Blade in David Brooks. Lloyd Kelly, likewise, will have to wait to make his debut due to an ankle injury.

During Bournemouth’s time in the Premier League, they have played with 2 up front with the likes of Callum Wilson and Josh King as well as the inexperienced Dominic Solanke. Solanke will be hoping to get games in a 4-4-2 alongside Wilson, with Fraser and Wilson or Danjuma on the wings.

They do play with a back 3 occasionally, notably against the bigger sides as they are more likely to be on the back foot. Occasionally they play with a back 3 when the opposing team do the same, to match the team player-for-player on the pitch - so we could see this at the weekend. One thing stopping this could be an extensive injury list in midfield; the solution to that problem could be Ryan Fraser in the ‘Duffy Role’.


  • Betting Picks: A Penalty Taken 9/4 (SkyBet); Both Teams to Score in the 1st Half 7/2 (SkyBet)

  • Score prediction: goals, goals, goals...2-2

  • Expected XI:

Will the Cherries play 4-4-2 or look to match the Blades' 3-5-2?

It could be two of any strikers up top, but we're confident Wilder will stick with 3-5-2 (3-4-1-2).

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