AFC Bournemouth vs Watford Match Preview.
A visit to the Vitality Stadium beckons for Watford on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League and Quique Sanchez Flores' men will be looking to bounce back from last week's first home defeat of the season against
Eddie Howe's AFC Bournemouth are the opposition on Saturday and they head into this weekend's fixture off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City. To add insult to injury, the Cherries talisman Callum Wilson was stretchered off in that game and it has been announced this week that the former Coventry man will be ruled out for at least six months.
Last Sunday's defeat meant that the Hornets dropped to 13th place in the Premier League, whilst Eddie Howe's men lie in 16th position in the table, with seven points to their name.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides since January and the Cherries came out on top that night, but in truth it was always going to be an uphill task for the Golden Boys. Watford had Gabriele Angella sent off after just 30 seconds, meaning that they had to play virtually the whole match with ten men. Bournemouth's numerical advantage paid off as they recorded a 2-0 victory and the Cherries then went onto pip the Hornets at the final hurdle for the Championship title, as Sheffield Wednesday's late equaliser at Vicarage Road crowned Bournemouth champions.
Eddie Howe is the manager of the Cherries and he has done a fantastic job down at the Vitality Stadium. Under Howe's guidance, Bournemouth have rose up the divisions and have gone from playing in League 2 to the Premier League in the space of five years. Along the way the Cherries have played some fantastic football and Howe has understandably earned many plaudits.
With Callum Wilson on the side lines, the key player for the Cherries tomorrow will be winger Matt Ritchie. The former Portsmouth and Swindon Town man was in superb form for the Cherries last season and he proved himself to be one of the best attacking talents outside of the Premier League.
Ritchie scored 15 goals in 51 appearances for Bournemouth last season as the Cherries earned promotion to the top flight and he has continued to perform well in the Cherries opening seven Premier League games.
The 26-year-old has showcased that he can be a real menace for defenders, so the Hornets back line will have their hands full tomorrow against Eddie Howe's men.
Despite Bournemouth's injury woes, the Cherries will provide a stern test for the Golden Boys. Eddie Howe's men like to play good attacking football and they have already recorded wins over West Ham and Sunderland so far this season. Watford will have to improve on their performance against Crystal Palace last week, if they wish to return to winning ways this weekend, as the Hornets weren't at their best and failed to create many clear cut chances.
It should be a fascinating game down at the Vitality Stadium and one Watford need to look at getting three points from.
Team News -
For Bournemouth, Eddie Howe has been dealt a huge blow this week, with the news that he will be without the services of Callum Wilson for at least six months. The Cherries have suffered some cruel luck with injuries this season, with Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings also set to spend long spells on the side lines.
For Watford, Valon Behrami serves the third and final game of his three match ban. Alessandro Diamanti is not fit to start, so he will have to contend with a place on the bench.
AFC Bournemouth - Boruc (GK), Francis ©, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Pugh, King, Murray.
Watford - Gomes (GK), Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Anya, Capoue, Watson, Jurado, Deeney ©, Abdi, Ighalo.
Referee - Michael Oliver.