Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City would be desperately in search of a win when they travel to the Vitality Stadium to lock horns with Eddie Howe’s struggling AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
With the Swans currently 17th in the table, just three points clear of the drop and Southampton, a win would do them a world of good in going further clear of the Saints, who face Everton on Saturday evening at Goodison Park.
If they lose and results for Huddersfield Town and Everton go against them, Swansea could well see themselves in more of a trouble than ever.
As far as the Cherries go, they’d want to win the game on Saturday to all but avoid relegation for the third consecutive season, if it isn’t already avoided at 12th in the league with 36 points on board.
The last time both these teams met, it was a 1-1 draw, but both of them would want more than that at the Vitality Stadium.
Cherries look to climb back into the top ten
The position in which Bournemouth finished last season and the way they finished there would have left any Cherries fan overjoyed. With the side currently 12th in the league, Bournemouth would want to finish inside the top ten again.
With two games to go, a win against Swansea will go a long way in deciding that.
When the season started for Howe’s men, they seemed to be a side that was supposed to finish down in the bottom three but they have ended up proving critics wrong again.
Whilst safety is more or less confirmed, winning on Saturday will confirm it mathematically.
The Cherries though have won only one game in the last ten games. That win came against rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion at home.
Out of the other nine, they have lost only four, drawing five.
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Swansea approach their first cup final of three
While Carlos Carvalhal has brought in a breath of fresh air at the Liberty Stadium, the club still hasn’t managed to steer clear of the drop zone as much as Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace have.
Wins over Liverpool and Arsenal have been crucial, but the failure to pick up points against similar sides after the turn of the year has cost them.
The recent outing against Chelsea was a chance for Swansea to pick up at least a point, but Carvalhal’s men could not do enough to cancel out Cesc Fabregas opener and with Southampton winning against Bournemouth, they would fancy their chances against the Cherries to heal some of their wounds.
With a game against Southampton themselves coming up, not losing would go a long way in heading into the game against the Saints with some momentum.
Much like Bournemouth, they haven’t won too often in recent games and won picked up three points only twice in the last ten games. And they’d have to muster more to pull clear of the drop.
With Southampton showings signs of revival and Huddersfield having games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City coming up.
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Fernandez a big worry for Swansea
While the game will not have too many new injury concerns for either sides, but Swansea could be without their defender Federico Fernandez, who is suffering from a knee injury and is a big doubt for the trip to the Vitality Stadium.
Leroy Fer, Wilfried Bony and Luciano Narsingh remain sidelined.
As far as Bournemouth are concerned, Harry Arter is a big doubt as he is currently nursing an Achilles injury and Junior Stanislas will miss the game because of a knee injury.
AFC Bournemouth: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Daniels, Ibe, Cook, Surman, Fraser, King, Wilson
Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Mawson, Roberts, Ki, King, Olsson, J. Ayew, Clucas, A. Ayew