As the international break comes to an end, the Premier League is set to resume this weekend as Bournemouth host struggling Southampton at the Dean Court. The Cherries are flying high, having picked up 16 points from eight games.
Southampton, on the other hand, have experienced yet another slow start to the season, having secured just five points in eight games. Thus, a win could be imperative this weekend as they aim to impress in the Derby and move out of the relegation scrap.
Bournemouth Team news
Ryan Fraser could be unavailable after pulling out of the Scotland squad due to an injury. Though his fitness will be assessed ahead of the game, he remains a doubt for the clash.
Charlie Daniels is also a doubt owing to his knee injury. The fullback hasn’t played for Bournemouth since August but there’s a chance he could appear as a substitute in this game if he manages to return to full fitness this weekend.
Predicted Bournemouth lineup vs Southampton
Asmir Begovic will be the man between the sticks for the Cherries. The former Chelsea ‘keeper will be looking for his third clean sheet of the season.
Not many changes are expected from the side that secured a convincing 4-0 win over Watford last time out. Simon Francis will retain his place as the right-back with Adam Smith playing on the opposite flank. Smith, however, needs to work on his tackling, having been dribbled past eight times this season.
Nathan Ake will retain his place in central defence alongside Steve Cook. Ake, in particular, has been a subject of some transfer speculation thanks to his excellent start to the campaign and it will be interesting to see how he performs against an in-form Danny Ings this weekend.
Lewis Cook will be starting at the base of Bournemouth’s midfield alongside new signing Jefferson Lerma.
Colombian international Lerma has emerged as an integral part of the Cherries midfield setup, averaging 2.6 tackles (3rd best in the team) while leading the rest of the squad in terms of interceptions made per game. His aerial prowess is impressive as well, having won 2.6 headed duels per game – also third best.
Elsewhere, David Brook will retain his place as the right-midfielder while Junior Stanislas is likely to replace the doubtful Ryan Fraser on the opposite flank.
The Bournemouth attack will be led by the attacking duo of Joshua King and Callum Wilson; the latter has averaged more shots than any other Bournemouth player this season. The duo has also scored a combined total of seven goals, making them one of the most productive attacking duos in the Premier League this campaign.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored