Saturday, 10 August 2019

Will any of the new boys start for the Cherries?

The summer signings are supposed to strengthen the team, and Howe wanted to bring in players that are at least as good, if not better than what he had to work with last season. But are any of the new recruits good enough to oust some regulars and claim a place in the first 11?
Which players will start off AFCB's campaign?

I fear we may have been robbed wholesale changes for a couple of reasons. Lloyd Kelly may well have got the nod against Sheffield United, if he hadn't become injured. Daniels is now being fast-tracked and will probably pip Diego Rico to the left-back position, as long as Adam Smith is kept on the right. Meanwhile, Adam Smith is the problem for Jack Stacey. Are we really saying the ex-Luton man is better than Adam Smith already? I want to see a right-back defend well as well as get forward, and it may take Stacey a little while to get the balance right in the Premier League, whereas Smith has plenty of experience now at the top level.

The central midfield position that Philip Billing will be after is going to be a close call. Does Eddie Howe trust the new player to be a step up on Andrew Surman or does he play it safe and give time for Billing to bed in? This one Howe might have to sleep on, and it could go either way I think, although it won't surprised if Surman is given the first match, as experienced heads are a good thing to have on a first day when some matches can get a bit overheated. Kris Temple also pointed out that Biling might not be as fit as he'd like having not done as much training as some of the other players while at Huddersfield. Billing could always be used as a sub to push the game in the second half.

The most difficult task for a new player to take on is trying to move Ryan Fraser from his role in the starting line up. Arnaut Danjuma is unlikely to walk straight into that position, but what a substitute he'll be for Eddie Howe to have when games are getting stretched. Arnaut will offer something different and it could be quite explosive if he gets off to a good start with a goal or two. He is one of the surprise players for AFCB in the Premier League this season - can he make as big an impact as David Brooks did last season?

The other player who will also challenge Fraser is Harry Wilson. He could well make a start in the first game instead of Fraser on the left or he could replace Ibe with Fraser switching wings. Gavin Kilkenny also played amazingly well last week, but could he replicate it in the first game? I think he might have to wait a bit longer for his chance.

My prediction for the starting line-up is going to be playing the Howe loyalty card with most of the regulars getting the first game with perhaps one new debut - Harry Wilson. Whatever team Howe goes for the bench is going to be packed with more quality this season.

Finally, between the sticks. I suggest Eddie will go for the safest pair of hands and that has to be Artur Boruc. But we could see that change as the season progresses.

Cherry Chimes answers some questions on AFCB for Sheffield Utd web site

Possible AFCB line up
Ramsdale, Mepham, Stacey, Billing, Danjuma, Ibe, Solanke

AFCB Preview show

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