Friday, 9 March 2018

Can Bournemouth defend well against Spurs?

With a match against Tottenham coming up, AFCB are going to need more do-or-die defending against a goal-machine like Spurs who have scored 55 goals in their 29 Premier League games. The defending against Leicester has been greeted with optimism that the Cherries will put bodies on the line when they have to defend deep, but to battle like that for 90 minutes against Spurs would be a long slog and Bournemouth will have to offer more than that.
Asmir Begovic has let in three goals in his last two games for AFCB.
The goal that Leicester scored was a set piece and while not all Premier League players would have had the skill to beat Begovic from that range, the goal was symptomatic of some poor organisation of the wall, Begovic's positioning and a failure to see out a game that was there for the taking. Bournemouth may be in a less powerful position against Spurs and hanging on to a lead with 20 minutes to go would be dream land.

Bournemouth will of course be at home and in recent games they have failed to keep clean sheets in front of their home fans. The last clean sheet at Dean Court was back on 18 November against Huddersfield and it's one of only three clean sheets at home all season with the others coming against Leicester and Brighton. So teams tend to score when they come to Dean Court and it's a problem that has not been resolved.

Eddie Howe has been unfortunate not to have the option of Tyrone Mings for most of the season and while Bournemouth have made some great comebacks in games, they could have won a lot more points if they had not been in that position of having to come from behind. Defending well seems to be something that is fading out of the Premier League, but it's one reason why a team like Burnley sit well above AFCB in the table.

It's not just the defenders that need to defend well against Spurs. AFCB will need players like King and Stanislas to do their part and watch their runners. The way in which the team defended at Leicester though does show that they can make themselves hard to beat and they'll need that resilience against a side that pick their way through teams and suffocate them with the pressure that they can build up with their fluent passing.

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