It’s FA Cup weekend, the perfect opportunity to give the AFC Bournemouth bench warmers a game.
The last time we played Burton Albion was back in the glorious promotion days of 2010. We beat them 2-0 at the Pirelli Stadium to spark wild celebrations as the Cherries won promotion back to the promised land of League One. The good folk of Burton graciously allowed us to set foot on their turf to join the players in our moment of triumph.
We cannot mention Burton Albion without paying our respects to the home game of 2009/2010. We would say that it was a game that will live long in the memory, but in truth it was a dull game lit up by one of the best goals every seen on the hallowed turf of Dean Court. We cannot resist showing the goal, its worth watching over and over and over.
Ptiman strike starts at 1m31s
Victory at the Pirelli was the catalyst for the Cherries push to the Championship, but Burton have remained stalwarts of League Two and Saturday’s FA Cup match will see the perfect opportunity for a ‘giant-killing’. Burton Albion have never beaten the Cherries, but they have only played us three times. Back in 2009/10 and the first ever meeting between the clubs, back in 1956/57 in the FA Cup. Burton lost 8-0 that day, while the Cherries went on their best ever FA Cup finally subccuming to the giants of Manchester United.
The arrival of League Two Burton Albion sets up a nearly perfect win-win scenario for both teams. If Bournemouth continue their 100% record its the fourth round and possibility of a Premier League big boy. If Burton win it will be a giant-killing act that will get them top of the bill on ITV highlights. If Burton lose they will have lost nothing, according to the form book it would be the obvious result. If Bournemouth lose, we would have given our bench warmers a game to prove their worth and given the more established players a well-earned rest.
So, who will be in Eddie Howe’s FA Cup starting XI? We don’t have the inside track, but Allsop will almost certainly get a game. Will Addison play? Could get him in the shop window. Ian Harte is good enough for take on League Two competition. Shaun MacDonald deserves a start, as does Pitman, Pugh and even Richard Hughes.
But, the one player who must play is £2.5m man Tokelo Rantie. Its the perfect scenario for him and the club. His pace and skill will surely too much for a resolute League Two defence. Perhaps, Eddie Howe will try a different approach to the game and play to Rantie strength. If he gets the right balls, he should score a hat-trick. And, lets be honest if he cannot score against Burton Albion , is he ever likely to score against the likes of Leicester, QPR, Derby and Notts Forest?
If Rantie doesn’t get a game against Burton then surely it must be time for him to go. If Eddie Howe cannot give the striker a game against League Two opposition his days must be numbered.