Saturday, 22 February 2014

Can the Cherries keep it tight against the Rams?

The game at the iPro stadium is an opportunity for AFCB players to show that they can compete with a top Championship side. Derby will not be sitting back in this match and it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the ferocity of the attacks that the Cherries are likely to have to repel. I assume that Eddie Howe will look to match the Rams though for their passing display and possession of the ball. It will be fighting fire with fire, but who will he play?

As long as Eunan O'Kane is fit I am confident that he will play in front of the back four and Lee Camp that played in the last game. If Grabban plays alone up front then AFCB are likely to bring Andrew Surman back into the team, which is perhaps hard on Shaun MacDonald.

No doubt AFCB will try and soak up some pressure and play a little on the break, but can they do it as well as when they played Reading away? I do expect that the Cherries will have to try and frustrate and defend for large periods. Without Charlie Daniels AFCB might not have such pace on the left wing although Pugh is no slouch and Surman can move about behind Grabban and Surman's quick thinking gives the Cherries an unpredictability that can unlock defences when breaking swiftly. With Arter and O'Kane also able to produce final balls that cut through defences, I don't believe Derby will have it all their own way but there is one player I would like to see taking the game by the scruff of the neck. 

Matt Ritchie could break the deadlock.
That player is Matt Ritchie. I believe he has the talent to destroy teams on his day and I would like to see him more involved than he has been in the last few games. Some days Ritchie is unplayable and that is what I would like to see on Saturday. In a tight game it will simply come down to a match winner and if a chance falls to Ritchie anywhere around the box we all know he can finish.
A sweet Ritchie strike would be fabulous.
In the last two matches the Cherries have scored from corners, so what are the chances of them making it a trio today? Check out all the latest odds for this game and others at Free Bet Negotiator. When the teams last met on 23 November 2013, Eddie Howe just felt that AFCB did not work Derby's keeper hard enough. This is likely to be another game with few opportunities so it is important that AFCB take any chance that comes their way.

  When the teams last met in November, Derby were 0:1 winners at Dean Court.

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