AFC Bournemouth prepare to take on Hull City this weekend on match-day eight in the Premier League. The action gets underway at The Vitality Stadium at 3pm on Saturday in this crucial bottom half of the table clash. The Cherries currently sit in 13th position on eight points, while opponents Hull sit in 15th place just one point behind.
Mixed run of recent results for the two sides
Before the international break, the home side twice squandered the lead at Vicarage Road as they had to settle for a point against Watford in a 2-2 draw. Eddie Howe reflected on the game at Friday’s press conference with mixed emotions, “I was pleased with our attacking play, we looked like we were going to score goals and hit the woodwork a number of times." He added, "We didn’t hold on for the three points, but in a sense it gave us future optimism that if we’re going to play like that then we’re going to win games.”
Meanwhile, the Tigers slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea, capping off what has been a difficult run for Hull after losing their last three games. That being said they were playing three of the top seven sides: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool.
Recent results would suggest that there will not be much to separate the two sides as they both boast two wins this season. Goals have also been hard to come by on their first seven games, Hull have been scoring one goal per game on average while the Cherries are averaging just 0.86 goals scored per match.
Speaking to the media, Howe ramped up just how big it is: “We know the importance of this game, it’s very difficult when people say you play the big teams that it’s a different type of game, but we feel the pressure with each match we play to try and perform and to try and pick up points."
He continued, "Every home game we play at the moment, especially with the form we’re in we view as being very, very important.”
The last time these two sides met was back in the 2004/05 season in League One. Hull won both fixtures, 1-0 at home and 4-0 away. The Cherries have not defeated the Yorkshire side this century, and trail the all-time head to head 18-12, with 11 other games ending in draws.
Mike Phelan appointed as the Tigers' permanent manager
Stability has finally been brought to Hull City as a club after the Tigers confirmed the appointment of manager Mike Phelan on a permanent basis.
Phelan was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month award for August and Howe was full of praise for the former Manchester United assistant manager, “We had quite a few dealings when I was at Burnley with United, I always found him very approachable and a decent football man who knew the game inside out." He explained, "I’m very pleased to see that he’s doing so well and has been given the job permanently.”
The Cherries injury woes
One surprising revelation from Friday’s press conference was the Cherries manager's reveal that three players had suffered injuries while on international duty. Howe was very evasive and brief with his answers and would not name names but had this to say: “We’re worried about one being long term, but the others shouldn’t be out for too long."
Howe concluded, "But still, when players go away in peak physical condition and don’t come back in the same way it’s disappointing from our perspective when we have such a competitive squad.” We will have to wait and see after the match tomorrow to find out who will be out on the side-lines and the extent of their injuries.