Saturday, 1 April 2017

Finishing above the Saints would be special for the Cherries

There are not too many targets that the Cherries will have left to do if they manage to secure their place in the Premier League before the end of April. That would be tremendous, but it would be really pleasing if AFCB could finish above those Saints down the road who have not been topped by another south coast team in recent memory.
Can AFCB get a win at St Mary's?
For Bournemouth to do that they can take a giant step by beating them on Saturday and overtaking the Saints by three points. There is going to be a lot of desire from both sets of players not to lose the game, but it really would push one of them towards a strong chance of a top 10 finish. AFCB have not won at St Marys and its a record that really might now be able to change. Southampton will still be favourites at home and with their squad of players, but for nine goals to be the only thing separating the two sides at this late stage in the season, there may not be many better moments to play the Saints and get one over on them.

Southampton will hope that the memory of their last home game back in early February against West Ham is a very distant memory when they step out for this game. Southampton have been a bit hit and miss at home with the 3-0 win over Leicester probably their best game at St Marys in 2017. But they have not had any rhythm in the fixtures or results to be totally settled at the moment, and AFCB could find that an away win at Southampton would give them the momentum to finish stronger in the run-in.


The team news will be much watched, and with Manolo Gabbiadini already announced as out, this is a huge boost for the Cherries. AFCB will be aware though of the form of James Ward-Prowse who won an England call up, and Nathan Redmond who will also be back from the England squad, and the way Steven Davis always drives the Saint's midfield has been something that few AFCB sides have dealt well with. Southampton are a strong side even when they have a couple of players out and they will have got over the League Cup defeat, so catching Southampton on a bad day now seems unlikely.

What AFCB have to concentrate on is not having a bad first half and competing all over the pitch to make it a game where Southampton begin to worry more about what AFCB can do, rather than dominating the game themselves. Both teams will want to control the game though and I expect a real battle for the points, and would not think that a 1-1 draw would be too far away as a prediction. A win for the Cherries though would start to signal that they would be on their way to achieving their highest finish in the Premier League - now that would be something to celebrate! UTCIAD!

Southampton Home Form

AFCB Away Form


Possible AFCB line up
Boruc (GK), A Smith (RB), Francis (CD), S Cook (CD), Daniels (LB), Ibe (RW), Gosling (CD), 
Surman (CM), Pugh (LW), Afobe (FW), King (FW)

Bench: Allsop, B Smith, Cargill, Arter, Gradel, Stanislas, Wilshere 

In other News - Eddie Howe wins his first Premier League manager of the month! Congratulations Eddie!! while Artur Boruc was voted player of the month.

The Cherry Chimes' Newsletter is out today.

Cherry Chimes' April Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month, plus there is a special Newsletter article entitled: Josh King's on fire - your defence is terrified!

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