Friday, 4 December 2015

AFCB will have to be at their very best for Chelsea

At some point the Cherries were going to have to play the former Champions and while the timing might not be the best with the Blues starting to improve their form, it should not be underestimated how Eddie Howe's side are now in full battle mode as they look to start getting the wins to prolong their time in the Premier League.

For all the improvements that AFCB are now showing, they still only have two wins out of 14 games and that statistic will be difficult to improve on at Stamford Bridge. Don't be fooled by Chelsea's low league position they are capable of playing at Champions League standard at any time and this has to be one of the biggest tests of the season for Eddie Howe and his side. Should that frighten AFCB fans? No, but there has to be some reality about how huge the task is ahead of the Bournemouth players that have had moments when they have been shaky at the back even against Everton in their last game. Now they have a third choice keeper as well and Harry Arter might also be up against a late fitness test.

Cancelling out the nervous moments are something that the side just has to try and work at. It is simple to want to play at your best and yet it is another thing to do that when you have players running at you like Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. The aim though has to be to give Jose Mourinho another bad day at the office, and with Chelsea having already had three home defeats already at Stamford Bridge, there will be an edginess to the home crowd if things don't go according to plan for Mourinho's men.
The Cherries should enjoy the next challenge.
Chelsea play the power game and look to win set-pieces - a real weakness of AFCB to defend. They will try and dominate and force errors and so the Cherries will know what is coming. Finding an outlet will be crucial to relieve the pressure and the running abilities of Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas might be something that Eddie Howe employs from the start, as Chelsea's back four are no longer as quick as they once were. The pace of King will be a headache for Chelsea but the runs of Stanislas and Dan Gosling have to test Cahill and Terry if he plays.

At the back for Bournemouth, Distin has to have a big game. I would not be surprised if Simon Francis now comes in next to him at centre back again, as that would allow Smith to start with Ritchie on the right. Eddie must look to find as many problems for Jose as he can and by having a few more dynamic players who will run at defences on the pitch we just might see AFCB's A game prevail in a match that the pundits won't give the Cherries a hope of winning.

Probable AFCB team

Allsop (GK), Smith (RD), Francis (CD), Distin (CD), Daniels (LD), Ritchie (RM), Gosling (CM), O’Kane (CM), Surman (CM), Stanislas (LM), King (FW)

Cherries Subs
Holmes (GK), Bennett (LD), Cook (CD), MacDonald (CM), Tomlin (CM/FW), Kermorgant (FW), Murray (FW)

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