Thursday, 20 February 2014

Top teams are a real challenge for the Cherries

You could not have asked much more from the AFCB players against Burnley last weekend. After all Burnley are chasing promotion and were looking to do a job on Bournemouth. As Burnley didn't win that gives me confidence that the Cherries have what it takes to stay up this season.
AFCB are still getting better.
But beating the top eight teams is something that has not come easy to AFCB. Apart from the away win at Reading they have not managed to get the better of the best teams in the Championship. It is something that is becoming frustrating because AFCB are right there in these games and pushing for the win. The match against Burnley is typical in that AFCB came out with a draw, but in this game AFCB were more dominant than in most of the other games against top opposition. They managed six strikes on target compared to Burnley's one and eight corners compared to four. Possession also slightly favoured AFCB, just as in the Leicester game.

The number of goal scoring opportunities though were not high and that is a sign that both teams to a large extent cancelled each other out. While the task against Burnley was hard I feel the match against Derby will be a very different kind of test when fighting for possession will be key if AFCB are to stop Derby building up any momentum in their attacks. I suspect Derby will look to pull and stretch AFCB out of position rather than the lightening quick attacks that Burnley tried to use. Therefore, it will be important that the Cherries keep their shape against the Rams and stop them getting in between the defence and midfield where they like to play their football.

Don't forget to see what Derby Co Blog said ahead of the Cherries visit to the iPro stadium this weekend. See Rival Lines.

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