AFC Bournemouth vs Sheffield United Preview: United look to upset Eddie Howe's Cherries on their return
How will Chris Wilder's men cope back in the Premier League? Photo by Tim Goode (PA Images via Getty Images)

Sheffield United travel to A.F.C Bournemouth on Saturday for the first game of the new season and also the first Premier League game for the Blades in 12 years.

It will be the first time these sides have ever faced each other in the Premier League, with the last meeting between the teams was in League One in the 2012/13 season.

Mixed Pre-seasons

Bournemouth had a mixed pre-season winning three of their six games, including an impressive 3-0 win against a strong Lyon side but they failed to beat West Brom, Girona and SS Lazio.

Sheffield United will also have mixed feelings about their pre-season but mainly positive with winning four out of six games. After managing to beat Real Betis in their first game they were beaten by League One Burton Albion and French outfit Stade De Reims in games that followed.

New signings hopeful to make an impact for the Blades

Sheffield United have bolstered their squad significantly this summer, breaking their transfer record four times in the progress. New signings include Luke Freeman, Phil Jagielka, Callum Robinson, Ravel Morrison, Lys Mousset, Ben Osborn, Dean Henderson (loan) and Oliver McBurnie.

McBurnie who recently arrived from Swansea for a transfer record fee could feature along with a number of the new signings. Phil Jagielka, the central defender who came back to the South Yorkshire team after twelve years at Everton will be vital this season as he has vast amounts of Premier League experience, something this team lacks.

Key players missing for Bournemouth

Pre-season has not been kind to Bournemouth has some of their vital players picking up injuries, most notably David Brooks and Lewis Cook. However, they will have sufficient replacements in the figures of new signings Arnaut Danjuma, Philip Billing and Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson.

Key Battle: Callum Wilson vs Jack O'Connell

It is likely that Bournemouth will have the lion's share of possession, being the home team and having more experience in the league.

Eddie Howe will be hoping that their star player Callum Wilson sees as much of the ball as possible but Chris Wilder will be hoping that defender Jack O'Connell will be able to make the step and match up to the England international. 

Wilder praises opponents

The Sheffield United boss has been very open in his praise for some of the managers in the league, with Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe being showered in praise.

Wilder told the Guardian:  “I love the Bournemouth model."

"The heartbeat of their team that has gone on to establish themselves in the Premier League played for Eddie [Howe] all the way through.”

"There is no reason why the boys cannot do a Bournemouth. Five years ago they were in League One and there are some boys there who started their journey and we have players in the same position."

Predicted Line ups

Bournemouth: (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Smith, S. Cook, Ake, Rico, Fraser, Billing, Lerma, Danjuma, King, C.Wilson

Sheffield United Predicted line-up (5-2-1-2): Henderson; Baldock, , Jagielka, Egan, O'Connell, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck, L.Freeman Robinson, McBurnie.

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