Friday, 23 December 2016

AFCB to look for more energy and intensity against Chelsea

The defeat to Southampton opened up some unwelcome prospects for Eddie Howe. The regular starters generally did not perform and he now has to work out who is really needing a rest and who just had a bit of an off day.
Can Arter set the pace for AFCB against Chelsea?
Steve Cook said that Eddie could make lots of changes, but I don't expect him to be that ruthless. Energy is what the team most needs and finding the players who can spring a fast break on Chelsea is likely to be the way he will look to set up his team. While Nathan Aké we know is not available, we could also see some replacements on the wings and in the strike force to unnerve Chelsea's back three that have been doing so well.

So how best to freshen up the Cherries? While Marc Pugh has scored since his return I'd guess that Eddie may find Ryan Fraser's speed a bit more adventurous to use and on the right side we could also see a change with Jordan Ibe being given another chance to see if he can get his first goal for the side in the Premier League. But through the middle AFCB will also need to be quick and rather than playing Wilshere close up to Callum Wilson, I wonder if Eddie will play Josh King in the hole as when AFCB played Chelsea last season his runs were excellent at stretching their defence.

The defence is an easier matter to solve with Adam Smith dropping in at right back and Simon Francis moving across to centre back. I did see Adam Smith holding his leg a bit during the Southampton game though and if he does need a rest it may be that Francis would stay at right back. That would still leave a hole at centre-back and we could see Tyrone Mings partner Steve Cook if that were the case.

Whatever personal are used though, the fans will want to see more endeavour and a fight to try and add to the solitary one away win at Stoke City. 

Probable AFCB team
Boruc (GK), A Smith (RB), Francis (CD), S Cook (CD), Daniels (LB), Ibe (RW), Arter (CM), Wilshere (CM), Fraser (LM), King (FW), C Wilson (FW)

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