by Bulldog Drummond
Here’s the current top six in the league at 6pm Saturday.
|4||West Ham United||8||3||4||1||10||9||1||13|
In terms of away form Bournemouth are doing rather well this season, although of course it is early days…
|3||West Ham United||4||1||3||0||6||4||2||6|
However this is a major upturn on last season when in the away form they were down among the deadmen…
|18||Brighton and Hove||19||3||4||12||16||32||-16||13|
So they have already won away twice in three, while last season it was five in 19.
If we have a look at the away games they have played…
|17 Aug||Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth||W||1-2||Premier League|
|31 Aug||Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth||L||3-1||Premier League|
|20 Sep||Southampton v AFC Bournemouth||W||1-3||Premier League|
|25 Sep||Burton Albion v AFC Bournemouth||L||2-0||League Cup|
… we can see that they have beaten Villa, and south coast rivals Southampton. Now the fact is that between them Southampton and Aston Villa have played seven home games, and only one (yes only one) of them has been won – that by Aston Villa against Everton (who themselves are 15th in the league having lost four of their seven games so far.
(Actually I think Everton are trying to overcome the curse of the new stadium before they actually move, rather than doing what Tottenham, and so many teams before them have done, suffered the curse of a stadium move after moving. If you are a regular Untold reader, you’ll know we’ve dealt with the consequences of stadium moves many times. Our prediction about the effect of Tottenham’s new ground written long before the 2-7 defeat is here).
And speaking of stadia, Bournemouth are still playing in the ground that they inhabited in their 3rd and 4th division days, although it has had a major rebuild and of course been converted to all-seater. It was known as Dean Court for the first 91 years of its existence but since 2001 has gone through four different names, Fitness First Stadium, Seward Stadium, Goldsands Stadium and now the Vitality Stadium.
Anyway, back to Bournemouth’s form, my suspicion is that their results are showing them in a particularly favourable light at the moment and that there is no particular suprise in their arsenal, as it were.
Our record against them is very favourable, as of course it should be given their limited resources, and the fact that even surviving in the top league is little short of a miracle for a club with such a tiny ground.
|27 Oct 1987||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-0||League Cup|
|28 Dec 2015||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||2-0||Premier League|
|07 Feb 2016||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|27 Nov 2016||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-1||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2017||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||D||3-3||Premier League|
|09 Sep 2017||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||3-0||Premier League|
|14 Jan 2018||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|25 Nov 2018||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|27 Feb 2019||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||W||5-1||Premier League|
So it is a perfect record at home for us and just a defeat in 2017/18, the season in which we only won four away games all through the entire campaign.
Anyway, Bournemouth’s rise has been remarkable, having been in the Third Division South and then the Third Division, for what I think is a record breaking 39 seasons, they then got relegated to the 4th division in 1970, bounced around between the two until 1987 when they entered the second tier for the first time ever.
They continued to bounce between the second and third level of football until 2015 when resplendent with what we now call “new money” (a sort of mini-version of Chelsea and Man City) they won the league and got into the Premier League. In their four seasons thus far they have finished, 16th, 9th, 12th and 14th.
I’m trusting that it won’t be too tough for us. Given the way we have been playing at home wtih two wins and a draw we should be able to see the game through, not least because Bournemouth’s position in the league is aided by the fact that they have so far only played one of last season’s top six. In that game they lost of Manchester City.
So yes, a win I think.
Here’s TalkSport’s line up
Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney
Pepe Ceballos Saka
The Standard goes with
Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac;
Willock, Xhaka, Guendouzi;
Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka
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