Sunday, 31 March 2013

Can AFCB achieve back-to-back wins this Easter?

Monday's match against Scunthorpe Utd could not be bigger. Having won on Friday at Colchester Utd, AFCB will look to prove their promotion credentials against the Irons at home. It will not have escaped the League One table watchers that a win for the Cherries could well take them top again, with Doncaster Rovers only two pints ahead and playing promotion rivals Swindon Town in the day's early kick-off.

Bournemouth's pre-match concerns will largely be focused on the fitness of those who had a hard game against Colchester. Eunan O'Kane who had a foot injury during the first half of that match tweeted on Saturday that he was on crutches, so Shuan MacDonald is likely to come in to the team again. T
he match fitness of Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels will also be on the manager's mind having seen them only recently return to the side. It is possible that some fresh legs might be needed as well and I would not be surprised if Wes Fogden or Josh McQuid see some action if Pugh needs a rest.

Eddie Howe has stuck with the running power of Lewis Grabban up front despite his current goal drought. Lewis just needs to put one of his chances away to get his confidence up again, everything else he does is good as he is stretching defences and linking up extremely well with Pitman. This is crucial for team as it enables them to create space and goal scoring opportunities. Pitman, himself, has found another gear and just can't stop scoring which is fabulous for the team.

With the back four notching up another clean sheet against Colchester, AFCB's defence too is looking in fine form and the Irons really have a difficult test ahead of them.

The Irons come to Bournemouth on the back of a 2:1 home victory against Leyton Orient. They still lie 20th in the league though, one point above the relegation zone with Oldham having two games in hand on them. The pressure on them is massive as they look to beat the drop.

Karl Hawley is Scunthorpe's main striking threat. He has 8 goals this season. He may well be partnered by the much travelled Nigerian born Akpo Sodge with Mark Duffy in support. Both of them have six goals this season.

The writing has been on the wall for the Irons having not surpassed the dizzy heights of 18th position all season. Manager Brian Laws knows that his side face an up hill struggle to stay in League One, but he has had a reaction from the players in their last game. 

hen Laws returned to manage the team for a third time, at the end of last October, I expect he thought Scunthorpe would not be fighting for survival at this stage of the season. However, the former Championship side is still finding life in League One hard.

Much of this match will be about recovery from Friday's game and whether the Cherries can burst the back of the net with the kind of finishing they showed in their last home game against Bury. I think for Scunthorpe it could be an exercise in damage limitation. Bournemouth are in confident mood and are looking see if they can take one of the automatic promotion positions. They seem very focused and determined now.

When the teams last met on 8 December 2012, the Cherries had a 2:1 away win in the middle of their long unbeaten run. Goal scorers for the Cherries that day were Grabban and Fogden.

Well done to Andy Burton for predicting an away win for the Cherries last match can any one get the score right for this one?

Scunthorpe Away form:

AFCB Home form:

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