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AFC Bournemouth’s start to the 2017/18 Premier League wasn’t quite as electric as we might have hoped.
But, we have never won an opening day fixture in the Premier League, so let’s not worry too much. We lost to Aston Villa, stayed up. We lost to Man Utd, stayed up. 2017/18 – lost to West Brom, staying up? Of course we are.
Football fans can be a fickle bunch. If we lose relegation is beckoning, if we draw it’s bottom half, if we win its Europe here we come. Or is this just us 🙂 We at TFTSE Towers are a little more circumspect than that – honest. There’s another 37 games to go starting with our friends from inside the M25 – Watford.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE BEAT WATFORD?
We are two evenly matched sides, even if our league positions at the end of the last season may suggest something else. In the league it is 35 wins to Bournemouth, 35 wins to Watford and 32 draws. We have yet to beat Watford in the Premier League. It’s been four games and four draws. The last time we beat them it was a Friday night, Angella got sent off after one minute, we got a penalty in the 35th min and we won 2-0. The Watford fans were not a happy bunch and the fallout from that game seems to have continued for a few.
The saying is third time lucky and that didn’t happen, so how about fifth time happy? That’s not going to happen in our opinion. This is what is going it happen. We really hope we beat them, but a draw seems the most likely outcome to us. What do you reckon?
WHAT’S PAUL MERSON PREDICTION?
The eternal fountain of football prediction knowledge Mr Paul Merson is back in action. We are big fans of Mr Merson and while we may poo-poo many of his predictions we still love to hear what he has to say. According to Sky Sports (who he works for) ‘Merse’s predictions in 2016/17 were more fruitful than any high street cash ISA, and comfortably beat the FTSE 100 over the same period’. Listen to Paul and get a decent 14% return apparently. So what does he have to say for this weeks game?
THE TFTSE STARTING XI
There is only one person’s opinion that really counts and that’s ours :-). Obviously this is not true, it’s Eddie Howe’s (wonder if Jason Tindall has a say?) of course. But, we are all football manager’s at heart (all without a say at AFCB) and we are no different. We reckon if Mr Howe picks the team we chose, he’s on to a winning side.
It may only be one game into the new season, but with new additions we think Eddie Howe made the wrong decision v West Brom. We think he was right to not start with Adam Smith and Defoe, both had had injury issues, but it seems some of the old reliables were not on their game. And, where was Lewis Cook? Not even on the bench.
Everyone will play better at home. The loss at West Brom was a stern reminder of what the Premier League can be like. We think Howe should think outside the box and give a few players who didn’t get a start, a start. Adam Smith at left back is easy with Francis nursing an injury, Steve Cook as captain. Elsewhere, we think Surman should drop to the bench and Lewis Cook should partner Arter in a defensive midfield two. On the right Ibe should start, after his bright showing against West Brom. If Defoe is fit he should start ahead of Afobe.
Lewis Cook is a more forward-thinking midfielder and would be the perfect foil to supply King, Fraser and Defoe with a killer pass and the opportunity to score.
WHAT THE MEDIA HAVE BEEN SAYING
Marco Silva knows Watford must be at their best at Bournemouth if they wish to pick up points
Watford’s players must be at their very best if they want to take anything from Bournemouth tomorrow, head coach Marco Silva has warned.
Howe predicts another close encounter
Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe admits he is relishing the chance to take on Watford again when the two teams meet on Saturday.
Defoe pushing for start against Watford
Bournemouth are set to face Watford in the Premier League, with Jermain Defoe battling for a starting spot.