AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City Preview: Can the Foxes end their four-game winless run against the Cherries?

Leicester City take the trip to the South Coast on Saturday as they face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, a side they haven't beat in the Premier League.

AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City Preview: Can the Foxes end their four-game winless run against the Cherries?
Can Leicester City end their four-game winless run in the top flight? (Photo: Tony Marshall / Getty Images)

Following Saturday's 3-2 home defeat to Liverpool at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, Leicester City head to Bournemouth this weekend in search of a much needed three points. 

Having trailed 2-0 in the 23rd minute, following goals from Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutinho, the Midlanders put in a spirited second half display and would have felt disappointed not to pick up something from the game.

In the 45th minute, Shinji Okazaki bundled home from a couple of yards, which brought encouragement amongst the Foxes faithful heading into the second half. As the Foxes piled on the pressure, a penalty miss from Jamie Vardy in the 73rd minute ultimately prooved vital, as the Foxes went 4 games without a victory in the Premier League.

The Cherries head into Saturday's game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, a result that leaves them in the bottom three, after a slow start to the new campaign. Having led in the 49th minute through Joshua King, it was a double from substitute Oumar Niasse that condemned the Cherries to a fouth defeat of the season.

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Slow starters

It's too early to call the game at the Vitality Stadium a six-pointer, but both teams have certainly struggled in the opening six games of the 2017/18 campaign. The hosts kicked off the campaign with a run of four straight defeats, including a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Watford on home soil.

Like the Midlanders, Eddie Howe's Cherries have faced tough opposition in the opening months of the campaign, losing 2-1 at home to Manchester City in August, before falling to a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. As a result, the Cherries head in to Saturday's crucial encounter in 19th position, having collected just  three points from a possible 18 in the opening six games which were gained in a hard-fought  2-1 victory at home to Brighton.

It's safe to say, the Foxes headed into the 2017/18 Premier League campaign with a tricky run of fixtures to start with. Facing four of last seasons top six in the opening six games, Craig Shakepeare's side have struggled to to build momentum, having collated just one victory so far.

Like Bournemouth, this came from a convincing 2-0 victory over Brighton. The other point came from a tricky away fixture to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town. As most City supporters would have expected at the start of the campaign, the Foxes have failed to claim any points from the games against top six opposition. 

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Foxes yet to beat Cherries in four encounters

Since Bournemouth gained promotion to the top flight of english football in 2014/15 campaign, the two sides have gone on to meet on four occasions, with the Foxes failing to register a victory over the Cherries. Despite a remarkable title winning campaign under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri in 2015/16, the two meetings between the sides ended draws.

In August 2015, a late Jamie Vardy penalty rescued a point for the Foxes, following a first half Callum Wilson strike. The return meeting betwen the sides, in January 2016, ended goaless at the King Power Stadium as Riyad Mahrez missed a second half penalty against the ten-man Cherries.

Last season, Bournemouth claimed a hard fought 1-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium following a Marc Pugh strike. The defeat increased the pressure on Ranieri's champions who were looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation zone.

On the final day of the 2016/17 campaign, the sides played out a 1-1 draw as the Foxes finished their title defence campaign in 12th position. It was Jamie Vardy who scored the final goal of the campaign, equalising in the second half following a Junior Stanislas opener in the first minute.

Team news

The hosts head into the game with a few injury doubts. Callum Wilson (knee) remains a long term absentee, whilst midfielder pair Harry Arter and Dan Gosling are doubtful. Leicester City are braced with the uncertainty over the fitness of Jamie Vardy who hasnt trained with the squad this week, Shakespeare confirmed.

Robert Huth will remain out with a foot injury, but midfielder Vicente Iborra is in contention to make a first Premier League start this weekend.

Predicted line-ups

AFC Bournemouth: Begovic; Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels; Ibe, Surman, L. Cook, Stanislas; King, Defoe

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Iborra, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Iheanacho