Monday, 27 January 2020

How important is the FA Cup this season for Bournemouth?

The FA Cup is something that Bournemouth can look at differently this season. They haven't done well in the competition for a long time and the prospect of facing Arsenal might have put fear into the players in past seasons, but not now. Bournemouth are searching to find consistent form and playing a top team might just be the test that Edie Howe's team need to really find their stride.
Will Eddie Howe rest a few big players for AFCB?
Bournemouth can look on this tie positively as it is not going to cost them any league points if they lose. The game is likely to be open and could just be about which team takes their chances. The league match at Dean Court was close with Bournemouth giving Arsenal as good as they got, and if Bournemouth could land a punch on Arteta's team to get through to the next round, what a big shot of confidence that would bring going into the match with Aston Villa next weekend.

The first factor that will have a bearing on the match is what team Eddie will pick. He has not gone strong in the FA Cup for many years, and there are players that are struggling for fitness. Others perhaps need a rest and yet Eddie doesn't have a big squad to make it easy for him. I suppose it is about time that we saw Sam Surridge get 90 minutes, while Lloyd Kelly and Alex Dobre are not going to get a better chance to start. The chance could come too late for Jack Simpson, who is said to be being tracked by Stoke City and Middlesbrough for a loan move.

But it's which players that will also have to play against Aston Villa that Howe will be most worried about playing. Perhaps Adam Smith will have to play and it is suggested Steve Cook will make a return, but Howe could rest the likes of Callum Wilson, Dominic Solanke, Harry Wilson, Phillip Billing, Ryan Fraser and Jefferson Lerma. How many of the latter players make a start is perhaps how we will get an indication of the importance of the cup to AFCB.


The position I'll be keen to see is the goal keeper. It is another chance for Mark Travers to show how close he is to Ramsdale in terms of performance, and he needs games to catch up with the experience that Aaron is quickly gaining. So the game is important for several reasons. Bournemouth would like to progress, they don't want injuries and there are players that need the game. But the biggest positive would be to keep the momentum of winning at home going, Bournemouth haven't done that enough in the last 12 months and a win over Arsenal would be a big shift in the outlook of Bournemouth's season.

Possible AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Lerma, Billing, H Wilson, Fraser, C Wilson

Previous post on Cherry Chimes: Can Bournemouth find their way out of trouble?

1 comment:

  1. Premier league squad might be limited, but wants point of Premier league Cup.

    If Arteta plays his kids and we don't then that's an error. Promote Corey Jordan from U21, once rated as highly as Trent Alexander A before his injury. Has to start Dobre, Surridge, and why not Taylor.

    Bringing in youngsters used to winning and scoring could find us an extra player for free and an even bigger boost. We've been preparing the kids for days like this.