AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City preview: Crucial six-pointer on the South Coast
Jamie Vardy of Leicester scores his second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and AFC Bournemouth at The King Power Stadium | Photo: Getty/ Ross Kinnaird

Leicester City continue their hunt for a UEFA Champions League place on Sunday as they face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday where the home side will be desperate for three points to boost their Premier League survival chances.

After a shaky return to action, Brendan Rodgers' Foxes are unbeaten in their last two games after a convincing win over Crystal Palace as well as a hard-fought draw against Arsenal and know that a win could be a massive boost in their hope of playing in Europe's elite competition next season.

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth side meanwhile are in real danger of their five-year stay in the Premier League coming to an end after going on a horrible run which has seen them lose 17 of their last 23 games. A goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday leaves the Cherries six points adrift of safety and in need of a morale boosting win to help in their fight for survival.

Key Battle

Nathan Ake has been one of the few players who has impressed on the South Coast this season and was even linked with a move to Leicester last summer after the departure of Harry Maguire to Manchester United.

The 25-year-old has made more blocks than any other Bournemouth player and could be crucial in nullifying Leicester's ever reliant Jamie Vardy.

The league's top scorer has three goals from his last two games and is keen to add to his impressive total of 22 goals as he goes in search of his first golden boot.

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Previous Meeting

The previous encounter between the two sides took place at the King Power Stadium back in August where the Foxes ran out as comfortable 3-1 winners.

It was top scorer Vardy who opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a superb lob over the helpless goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before England international Callum Wilson equalised just three minutes later after beating the offside trap to fire home.

The home side were in control throughout though and Vardy turned from scorer to provider as he rolled the ball along the six yard box for Youri Tielemans to slot into the back of the net before Vardy once again got himself off the scoresheet - combining with the impressive Belgian Tielemans to wrap up the points for the East Midlanders.

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Team News

Adam Smith will not feature for Bournemouth on Sunday after he was stretchered off against Tottenham following a collision with Spurs full-back Ben Davies, meaning Jack Stacey is likely to deputise at right-back for the Cherries.

Lively Welsh winger David Brooks is expected to be available despite being substituted with cramp whilst Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham and Simon Francis are all still ruled out.

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that James Maddison and Ben Chilwell will be unavailable for the Foxes.

Maddison has missed the last three games for Leicester whilst Chilwell was substituted against Crystal Palace and sat out the draw with Arsenal on Tuesday.

Daniel Amartey and Ricardo Pereira remain the only long term absentees for Rodgers' side.

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Predicted Line-Ups

Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Stacey, Ake, Kelly, Rico; Brooks, Lerma, Gosling, Stanislas; C. Wilson, King.

Leicester: Schmeichel; Bennett, Evans, Soyuncu; Justin, Ndidi, Tielemans, Fuchs; Perez; Iheanacho, Vardy.

Managers' Thoughts

Under-pressure Bournemouth boss Howe believes his side have found some momentum following their credible draw with Spurs on Thursday as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.

He said: "We have to feed off every positive fibre of that performance.

"The physical effort, the heart and endeavour showed, and the quality we showed at times as well. That will give the players a huge lift, no doubt.

"We know that good performances in itself, even if it is an upturn on recent weeks, is not going to be enough. We need results.

Leicester manager Rodgers meanwhile has called for his players not to be distracted by their pursuit for at top four finish as his side fight with the likes of Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers for a coveted place in Europe.

Rodgers said: "If we think about the Champions League and everything that's at stake, then we've lost our focus.

"We have to concentrate on our performance. The team is very excited about the period that we're in. When we were losing it wasn't so good but we had a really good win against Crystal Palace and a good point away at Arsenal.

"Now we have our next game and that's our only focus. I think we were unlucky not to have won before the Crystal Palace game but offensively we fell below the standard a couple of times."

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