Friday, 7 December 2018

Will AFCB be more compact against Liverpool?

AFCB showed they can dig in and defend under pressure against Huddersfield. But playing at home on the counter-attack was probably not the initial plan for Bournemouth. Whether AFCB simply lost their way or were physically shattered in the second half is something that will have to be checked, but Eddie Howe was certain that the distance between the units of midfield and defence, and midfield and attack were simply too stretched against Huddersfield.
AFCB have to close the gaps on the pitch against Liverpool.
Against Liverpool Howe will know that the team has to be more compact if it is to quell the threat of the reds attacking force. Playing three at the back and five in midfield is how Eddie ha gone against the top six sides, and I see every reason to pick that formation again with Tyrone Mings playing a major role in the centre of a back three. However, Gosling has been ruled out which depletes the central midfield options.

Being pulled around and moved out of position is something that Huddersfield did well against Bournemouth. They found gaps and exposed the back line. Packing the midfield with Surman as well as Lerma may make Bournemouth a bit more solid, but the players that will really be tested will be in the wing-back positions. It is a real pity that Adam Smith will not be available, as I think he gets up and down the best, best Charlie Daniels and Simon Francis are experienced at playing the role and should know what is required.

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Disciplined is what AFCB will need to be. They will have to stick to their jobs and watch runners rather than becoming statues as Liverpool's movement will be first class. But having had four clean sheets in this campaign, Bournemouth can play with that defensive quality. Doing it against Liverpool though will be a significant test.

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