Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Cherries are ready - it's Premier billing from now on

I know that the club has had its problems over the summer. Yes, the points system is not universally popular. The new shirts have been late in arriving and the season ticket holders will be left feeling nostalgic in holding match tickets for the Aston Villa match instead of nice new credit card sized season tickets. It may not have all gone smoothly, but the cameras are here, the balloons are at the ready and AFCB fans are about to be welcomed to the biggest and best series of games that they have been privileged to witness - this is Premier League Time!

The excitement has now reached fever pitch. I don't know how to prepare for the first game of the season. Like many middle aged men, I'll be like a kid in a sweet shop again when I get to take my favoured seat in the Family stand to see my favourite team start on their most difficult campaign ever. We know the script. Our Cherries have climbed a mountain to get to this point and most will predict that we are set for a speedy descent. Well, what if we fancy staying at altitude for a good while longer? It might just be that AFCB enjoy the rarefied atmosphere and play with a freedom that even dedicated fans are surprised to see. The team settled quickly in the Championship when many doubted the style and hardiness of these players, but this bigger stage is going to be even more rewarding if the players can play their football and find that goals come just as sweetly as they did last season.

We are in unprecedented times. Call it the Vitality stadium, put a big sponsor on the shirts, give the press a prime seat and show the world what Dorset's best football side can do. We're still little Bournemouth in our 11,700 seat stadium, but this side has learnt from the best. It was in July 2013 when the Cherries played Real Madrid. Such a night seemed strange and unreal to many fans, but not now. This is a team that is ready for the challenge and come 3pm on Saturday 8 August, the Cherries can send a message out to all other 19 teams in the Premier League - we're not just hear to make up the numbers! Enjoy the game. UTCIAD!
Let's get behind the lads.
My best guess for the Cherries team and squad today.
Rested: Allsop, Ward, Cargill, Daniels, Atsu, MacDonald, O’Kane, Rantie

Bench: Federici (GK), Smith (RD), Distin (CD), Stanislas (LM/RM), Tomlin (CM/FW), Kermorgant (FW), Gradel (FW)

Probable Starting 11: (4-4-1-1) Boruc (GK), Francis (RB), Elphick (CB), Cook (CB), Mings (LB), Ritchie (RM), Gosling (CM), Surman (CM), Pugh (LM), King (FW), Wilson (FW)

The BBC's Football Focus TV programme is also being filmed at Dean Court (Vitality stadium) today.

The Birmingham Mail have had a go at listing the Aston Villa starting 11.
(4-4-2) Guzan (GK), Hutton (RB), Clark (CB), Richards (CB), Amavi (LB), Bacuna (RM), Gueye (CM), Westwood (CM), Sinclair (LM), Ayew (FW), Kozak (FW)

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