Saturday, 23 May 2020

Where will AFCB pick up enough points to survive?

Viewing AFC Bournemouth's nine fixtures to go doesn't inspire me with great confidence that they can escape the bottom three. However, what does give me hope if that other teams are within a couple of points of being where AFCB are, and a win can give any team a massive step up towards safety.
Players will want to celebrate if they do stay up, but any celebrations will be muted.
Undoubtedly, now that there will be home games as well as away matches, AFCB's home games might offer the best chance of the team getting more points on the board. The games to come against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United probably give the Cherries their best chance of a reward, while Southampton match will be a big test as the Saints will want revenge for the defeat earlier in the season with the added bonus that they could help send AFCB down. If Bournemouth were to get nine points from those games they would be looking good for safety.

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However, the away fixtures look very difficult with the two Manchester clubs as well as Wolves and Everton. Bournemouth also have Leicester City and Spurs at home, but in all these fixtures AFCB would be doing well to get a point in any of them. It will be all about whether AFCB can put pressure on the teams above them - Watford, West Ham and Brighton. If AFCB can't put pressure on one of these teams then they are likely to go down. Aston Villa are far from being down yet as well.
I don't know if the time lag before finishing the table will make things even more difficult. It is going to be very apparent very quickly after the first couple of games that Premier League status is very much in the balance and every game will be like a cup final. It is the immediacy and finality of these nine games which will probably capture fans memories for the next couple of seasons, as I think this season will be defined by these games. There hasn't been a season like it and let's hope we never have to go through this again. But if AFCB are successful and come out of this with their Premier League status in tact, what will the celebrations be like? It will be celebration at home for the fans, but social distancing will be almost impossible for the players when that final whistle goes. 


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