Vital Reading season preview
Club: AFC Bournemouth
Nickname: The Cherries
Ground: Dean Court (Capacity: 12,000)
When we face off: Tues 21st October (A), Tues 14th April (H)
Last season finish: 10th – Championship
Manager: Eddie Howe – Without a doubt, Howe is one of the best, young, English coaches in the game at the moment, backed up with a very impressive record in charge of the Cherries, winning over 50% of his games. His short tenure at Burnley didn’t really work out, but seems much more settled back home on the south-coast. As much as Bournemouth will want to keep their key players, they will want to keep the Premier League vultures away from their manager.
Key player: Matt Ritchie – The former Swindon man was a thorn in our side in both of the fixtures last season and will continue to be a player to be reckoned with this time around. Ritchie can comfortably play anywhere across the midfield, but proves most effective through the middle in the number ten role, having the vision and passing range to find his team mates, or ability to shoot from long-range.
Season Preview: To come up from League One and finish tenth is a fantastic achievement for Bournemouth and Eddie Howe, but it is now how they continue to build on that good finish. They have not lost any of their key players and have added in the correct areas, bringing in Junior Stanislas and Calum Wilson, two very effective attacking players. If the Cherries bulk up at the defensive end of the field, they could certainly be in contention for the play-off spots.