Friday, 26 April 2019

AFCB need a big turnaround to beat the Saints

Although Bournemouth have been in and out of sorts in recent games, Southampton have been on the up and have closed the gap on the Cherries. Southampton have looked much stronger as they pulled away from Brighton and Cardiff, and although they are still relying on the two clubs behind them not to pick up points, everything is in their hands to escape any problems this weekend.
AFCB - how much do they want to keep ahead of Southampton?

Southampton might have been unlucky in facing Watford and Newcastle when they had both been in good form, but the Saints will be relishing a game against Bournemouth who they they traditionally got the better of more often than not. The match replicates the game in April 2017 when Harry Arter had a moment to forget in missing a penalty near the end of the match. Southampton are perhaps slightly safer than they were that season, but a defeat to Bournemouth now would not leave the Saints sitting uncomfortably unless Cardiff win their last three games.

Such a disappointing season for both teams might indicate that a nil-nil draw would not be out of place in this match. But Bournemouth have found it hard to get draws in games having just had five all season. Eddie Howe needs to solve Bournemouth's defensive frailties more than anything for this game, and he has to do that without any recognised full backs.
Despite this worry for AFCB fans, Southampton will know that time is running out for their side to hit the 40 points mark and the game will be very pressured for them as they know they are right on the brink of safety.

Bournemouth might have the points on the board, but Southampton have perhaps more incentive to win. Whether this helps AFCB's counter-attacking shape we'll soon find out, but if Bournemouth do land a heavy blow on the Saints, it might go some way to make AFCB fans feel like the season hasn't been completely frittered away.

Southampton Home Form


AFCB Away Form

In other news, the Daily Mail confirms AFCB are trying to bring in Jack Butland from Stoke City in the summer and are prepared to let Asmir Begovic go the other way as part payment.

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