Both Bournemouth and Norwich City will be aiming for an immediate return to the Premier League after suffering relegation in July, but history shows that achieving such a feat can be difficult. In the last five years, only four clubs have managed to bounce straight back up.
It is fair to say that these two sides have managed to avoid any relegation hangovers, as they will each begin this match on four points after two Championship games.
The Cherries began the new campaign with a 3-2 home victory over Blackburn Rovers, before drawing 1-1 with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. They also produced a strong performance in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night against holders Manchester City, but a Phil Foden goal in the latter stages denied them a place in the next round.
Also unbeaten in the league are Norwich, who twice came from behind last Saturday to draw 2-2 with Preston North End at Carrow Road. City’s record on the road last term was pitiful as they collected just six points, but they eased any fears of that sort of form continuing with a 1-0 win away at Huddersfield Town on September 12.
Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly will be assessed ahead of the match after sustaining a tight hamstring against Manchester City. Goalkeeper Mark Travers also received treatment during Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash but he should be available to face Norwich.
Junior Stanislas could make his return from injury this weekend, while Charlie Daniels is back in training and is easing his way back into action after over a year on the sidelines.
As for the Canaries, attacking midfielder Kieran Dowell is set to be out for the next three months after suffering damage to his ankle ligaments against Preston. Denmark under-21 international Jacob Sorensen is also unavailable to face the Cherries, but he should only be out injured for a week.
Norwich do have some positive team news though, as both Emi Buendia and Marco Stiepermann are fit and ready to feature for the first time this season, should they be selected.
Bournemouth: Begovic; Mepham, Cook, Simpson; Stacey, Lerma, Gosling, Smith; Brooks, Solanke, Danjuma
Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Gibson, Quintilla; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Cantwell, Placheta; Pukki
Four of the 21 points Norwich earned in the Premier League last season were collected from their two games against Bournemouth. The two teams played out a fairly drab 0-0 draw on the south coast in October 2019, while a Teemu Pukki penalty secured a rare victory for the Canaries in the second fixture three months later at Carrow Road.
City have not beaten the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium since January 2015, when strikers Gary Hooper and Cameron Jerome each found the net to seal Alex Neil’s first win as Norwich manager. Both sides were promoted to the top-flight at the end of that campaign (2014/15).
Ones to watch
Bournemouth have lost a number of their key assets during this transfer window - including the likes of Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson - but David Brooks is yet to depart.
The Welsh winger has been heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer. However, with less than two weeks left until the window closes, it looks increasingly likely that he will remain with the Cherries.
Brooks missed the vast majority of last season due to injury, but if he can keep himself fit this term, he could play a vital role for Jason Tindall’s side as they aim for promotion.
Of the 11 signings Norwich have made so far this summer, the addition of midfielder Oliver Skipp on loan from Tottenham Hotspur is one which has impressed many in particular.
The 20-year-old made the decision to move to the Norfolk club for a year in order to get the opportunity to play regularly, and he has flourished in his first two outings for the Canaries.
Skipp’s presence in front of Norwich’s backline could be very important on Sunday afternoon, against a Bournemouth side who will look to commit a large number of bodies forward when they attack.
Cherries manager Jason Tindall believes that the match against the Canaries should be an entertaining watch, as both sides play with similar styles.
He said: “We are both sitting on four points currently and it should make for an exciting game.
“Norwich like to attack, like ourselves, they like to try to create chances and score goals. It should be a good game.
“It’s a game we are looking to take the confidence from our start so far into and, hopefully, go out there and deliver a really good, winning performance.”
Meanwhile, Norwich head coach Daniel Farke has said that he expects Bournemouth to be competing for promotion back to the top-flight this season.
Speaking ahead of the game, Farke stated: “Bournemouth have lost some top players, so I'm full of compliments to handle that situation. They had a proper performance yesterday against Man City.
“The players who are still involved in their line-up; they're one of the big favourites of winning the league. We're also confident and brave, but Bournemouth as a club are a bit ahead of us.
“They'll be unbelievably motivated to repair this, because they were an established Premier League side. We were just there for one year.
“I'm quite respectful for how they've handled it so far. Bournemouth away will be a tough task, but we're not scared. We want a good performance and a good result.”
This game kicks off at 4pm and is not on TV, but it is available to watch on either ‘afcbTV Live’ or ‘iFollow Norwich’, with a match pass costing £10.