Opposition View: AFC Bournemouth

Burnley travel to the South coast on Saturday to take on AFC Bournemouth, in a game which may look like there is little on the line, but knowing both managers, you can guarantee they will both be eager to claim the spoils.

The Cherries have been in very good form of late, losing just two of their last ten games, with those defeats coming against Tottenham and Chelsea, highlighting just how strong Eddie Howe’s men are.

Burnley will no doubt face a very difficult task on Saturday, but with safety basically assured, we can now play without pressure and who knows what that might bring.

Before Saturday’s clash, I will take a closer look at Bournemouth, as we also caught up with a Bournemouth fan to get his views on what might be in store at the weekend!

AFC Bournemouth:

Manager – Eddie Howe

Captain – Simon Francis

Top Scorer – Josh King (15 goals)

League Position – 11th

Points – 42

Recent Form – Last Six

05.04.2017 PL Liverpool A D2-2
08.04.2017 PL Chelsea H L1-3
15.04.2017 PL Tottenham Hotspur A L0-4
22.04.2017 PL Middlesbrough H W4-0
29.04.2017 PL Sunderland A W1-0
06.05.2017 PL Stoke City H D2-2

Recent Results v Burnley – Last Six:

03 Sep 1999 Burnley v AFC Bournemouth W 2-1 Division 2
12 Feb 2000 AFC Bournemouth v Burnley W 0-1 Division 2
29 Jan 2005 Burnley v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0 FA Cup
09 Nov 2013 Burnley v AFC Bournemouth D 1-1 Championship
15 Feb 2014 AFC Bournemouth v Burnley D 1-1 Championship
10 Dec 2016 Burnley v AFC Bournemouth W 3-2 Premier League

Danger Men:

Josh King – The ex Blackburn man has been on fire lately, scoring freely as Bournemouth continue to climb up the table. King has spearheaded the Bournemouth attack well since Callum Wilson was cruelly struck down with injury. To sign him on a free transfer was a masterstroke from Eddie Howe, with King now being touted by pundits for a move to some of the countries biggest sides. The Norwegian is blessed with blistering pace, but he is also more than capable of holding up the ball, making him a defenders nightmare. Burnley’s inexperienced centre half pairing of Kevin Long and James Tarkowski look set to have a tough afternoon ahead of them.

Marc Pugh – Pugh has been a revelation since he regained his place in the Cherries starting line up. The former Burnley winger has grasped his chance with both hands, and on Saturday, he will be out to show the Clarets exactly what they let go. The tricky winger is likely to be a handful for Matt Lowton, and he will have to be on top of his game to keep Pugh quiet. The 30-year-old has the ability to turn full backs inside out and deliver the ball on a sixpence, something the Clarets will have to be wary of.

Bournemouth Fans View – Back Of The Net (@afcbpodcast) Be sure to check out their website for a series of Podcast’s on Bournemouth! Click HERE to access the website!

How would you assess Bournemouth’s season so far? 
Our season has been good.  We did have a torrid run of results at the start of 2017, however the Man Utd match away which saw us grab a draw, seemed to have a galvanising effect. Since then, we have continued to improve, and the fact that we’re teetering with a top half finish is nothing short of brilliant considering the size of our club.  Eddie’s philosophy of staying with the old guard that saw us promoted from the Championship seems to be paying off, and if Josh King keeps banging in the goals too, then we have a great chance of being top half.

Bournemouth currently sit on 42 points. What is the incentive for the the Cherries for the rest of the season? 

The ferocity of the Harry Arter challenge on Joe Allen in our last match against Stoke was completely out of context – as, despite the 2-2 draw, it seemed like Cherries were on the beach already – however, Eddie will have been disappointed with the manner of the performance whilst obviously being elated with securing a third successive Premier League season.  His passion for improvement will ensure his aim continues to be to simply get as many points in the bag as possible, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has placed an incentive for the team to reach X position, whatever X may be!
What can Bournemouth take from the two sides previous meeting in December, when Burnley ran out 3-2 winners
The encounter earlier in the season was an odd one.  We struggled away against you, against Middlesbrough, and at Hull – all matches which were identified as being ideal for collecting some much needed points.  Sadly, Cherries always have a poor performance in their locker, however, despite the fact that we weren’t the best  – credit should go to Sean Dyche for the way he organised his team – we simply weren’t allowed to play.  There will be a minimum of 4 changes to the side that started that game, and I expect it to be a high intensity start from us, however, if Dyche has anything to do with it, it could well be a close affair.
What should Burnley fans expect from Bournemouth?
High intensity, high pressure, a lot of football in your own half, a lot of sideways passing, spreading it from side the side, with the odd searching ball forward to mix it up a bit.  Daniels and Pugh on the left dove-tail fantastically, and if they are on form, the team is on form – so the amount of early possession those two get will be a gauge of how the game is going to go.
Finally, how do you see the game panning out and what is your score prediction?
I see you scoring, but I also do see us scoring (more than one).  The form of King is important to us, more so considering his partner in crime Benik Afobe is out. This leaves Howe playing either the relatively unknown entity Lys Mousset up front, or placing pacy wing-man Ryan Fraser in a more central attacking role. I do think Bournemouth will clinch this though, and hopefully it’ll be a match which puts us up the running order on Match of the Day, because, last week, even having it as the last match was exceedingly generous.  Bournemouth 3 – 1 Burnley.

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