Bournemouth ended their slump of five consecutive Premier League defeats with an impressive 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Dan Gosling’s improvised finish shocked the Londoners and put a stop the rut that the Cherries had fallen into.
Similarly, Burnley will hope that their win against Newcastle United acts as a catalyst for a revival in form. The Clarets had lost three matches in a row by a combined score of 11-1 but a header for from Chris Wood was enough to overturn Steve Bruce’s in-form Magpies.
The Clarets recorded a winning double over Eddie Howe’s men last season, including a resounding 4-0 win at Turf Moor; that result was a rare highlight for Burnley in what was an otherwise quite dismal start to the 2018-19 season.
Burnley sit in 12th with 21 points from 17 matches while Bournemouth are slightly below in 14th with 19 points. Both teams are within touching distance of an unusually inconsistent Arsenal team who have managed only 22 points from the same number of games.
Callum Wilson will still be out with the hamstring injury that he suffered against Liverpool two weeks ago. Harry Wilson has returned to his parent club Liverpool after suffering a mysterious injury. Howe will also have to cope without Nathan Ake, Charlie Daniels, David Brooks and Junior Stanislas.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson has been training this week but this game again comes too soon for the Icelander. Danny Drinkwater will once again be in contention for a starting birth but he hasn’t been given an opportunity since starting in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City. Charlie Taylor is still injured which will allow Erik Pieters to continue in his absence.
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Barnes.
Ramsdale; Stacey, Francis, Mepham, Rico; Cook, Billing, Lerma, Gosling, Fraser; King.
Simon Francis vs Chris Wood
Francis has been at Bournemouth for many years and at 34 years old, he represents a real figure of authority at the Vitality Stadium. He will have to be on his game to deal with the two-pronged attack of Wood and Ashley Barnes. Wood has scored in every game he’s played against the Cherries in claret and blue. His winner last weekend will have boosted his confidence.
Jefferson Lerma vs Ashley Westwood
Two integral midfield men. Lerma was excellent against Chelsea, mixing the gritty elements of his game with the technical ones. He held his own against the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho. Westwood is similarly important. He covers more ground than team-mate Jack Cork and passes the ball better than his midfield partner too. The Clarets are severely hampered when he is unavailable for selection.
Josh King vs James Tarkowski
Callum Wilson will still be out for Bournemouth which gives King the opportunity to take on the mantle of being the main striker in the team. Howe often likes to start with two strikers but Wilson’s absence may prompt a slight shift in tactics. The ex-Blackburn Rovers striker would love to get himself a goal and Tarkowski will have to be alert to King’s mobility. He must have a focused mindset and make sure his positioning is solid.
What the managers have said
Dyche on Gudmundsson:
“Fortunately, we’ve got an Under-23 game on Saturday.
“He’ll get more minutes in that and hopefully 90 if that goes well, so he can at least get around the group.
“It’s a real shame because he came back fit in pre-season and started the season so well. He then got a pretty awkward one for a hamstring.
“But he seems in good spirits and he’s training well.
“He’s had 10 days back with us now. He’s looking decent so hopefully it’s not too long until he’s fully fit.”
Howe on youth:
“You are looking for people to go ‘I’m good enough, take a chance on me’. We are crying out for that.
“This is the moment, if you are going to do it. This is the moment to go ‘right, this is my chance and I’m going to make sure I catch the manager’s eye’.
“It is a huge step for these guys, I can’t underestimate that. But it’s been done before and it can be done again.
“I’ve never looked at age as a limiting factor.
“I think I’ve shown that with previous decisions I have made regarding players. It’s all about the ability of the players.”