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    Bournemouth vs Watford: Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores says the weekend's clash at Bournemouth will be tough.
    Watford travel to fellow newly-promoted Bournemouth in the Premier League tomorrow (Saturday 3rd October) after a fairly impressive start to life in the top division that has left them in 13th place.

    The hosts meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back after suffering defeat at Stoke City last weekend and will be without star Callum Wilson for six months.

    Wilson ruptured his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), he joins long-term absentees Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings on the side lines.

    Eddie Howe’s side have only won two of their seven matches since promotion to the Premier League and will be reasonably happy with the way some of his players have adapted to the step up in quality before last weekend’s loss.

    Since victory against West Ham, Bournemouth have only managed one win and Howe will know that club will need to start winning on a consistent basis if they want to stay up come May.

    Bournemouth have a tough few fixtures coming up following the international break, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton all to come.

    This means tomorrow is vital in the bid to survive, even this early in the season, as they face a team they will see as rivals in the relegation dog fight.
    Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says nothing is final until they achieve their objective.
    Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "It is early days to be making big assessments. Whether we have acclimatised or the players are established as Premier League players is still to be proved and I think that will be an ongoing battle we're going to have for the remainder of the season.

    "Nothing is final until we achieve our objective."

    The Hornets however look as though they are enjoying life back in the Premier League despite defeat to Crystal Palace at home last Sunday.

    Before that 0-1 loss, Quique Sanchez Flores’ team were unbeaten in their first three fixtures, won back-to-back after three draws and then lost at Manchester City.

    A solid defence is vital when trying to avoid relegation, and the Hornets have only conceded one goal at Vicarage Road (a Yohan Cabaye penalty).

    While clean sheets are important, goals are just as important when turning tight draws into three massive points, not to mention the potential of goal difference being the reason a team can go down.

    Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has scored four of Watford’s five league goals this term, meaning they currently heavily rely on him to provide the goals.

    With league leaders Manchester United and Arsenal to visit Watford soon, Flores will be looking at games like this one to gain as many points as he possibly can.

    A win at Bournemouth tomorrow would serve as a huge confidence booster going into the latest international break.

    Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores: "They are a very tough team and they won the league last year. In the matches with Bournemouth last year we did not win, so we know how dangerous this team is.

    "It is a very tough team that we have to play. This team is part of our league and also our particular league, so it is a very important game for us."

    "We try to set up a good plan with the idea to reduce Bournemouth's threat, the idea to adapt to the dimension of the stadium and the idea to create something and create opportunities."

    TEAM NEWS

    The injury to Wilson will likely mean that debutant Glenn Murray will get his chance to impress Howe, but his introduction could see the team have to adjust to a different mode of attack.

    The club will still be without key playmaker Harry Arter, while Mings and Grade remain sidelined too.
    Striker Callum Wilson will be out for six months after rupturing his ACL during Bournemouth's defeat at Stoke City.
    As for the away side, Valon Behrami will be out as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension. 

    Joel Ekstrand is still no closer to making a return from a long-term injury, but the doubtful Lloyd Doyley might be able to make a late push in order to give Flores something to think about at the back.

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    These two sides met in the Championship last season. They drew 1-1 at Vicarage Road before Bournemouth won 2-0 at home.

    That win for the Cherries was only their second in 14 league matches against the Hornets, dating back to 1977.

    The last four league meetings between the two sides have produced a total of three penalties scored and two red cards.

    Bournemouth

    Bournemouth have kept just one clean sheet in seven league games this season.

    They have only lost one of their last 13 league matches at home.

    Eddie Howe's side have run 817km this season, further than any other team in the Premier League.

    Injured striker Callum Wilson has scored five of their nine league goals this season.

    Watford

    Watford's seven league matches this season have produced just 11 goals in total.

    They and Newcastle are the lowest scorers in the top flight, with five goals. Odion Ighalo has scored four of those.

    The Hornets have lost just one of their last 12 league games away from home and have scored two or 
    more goals in 11 of those matches.

    Quique Flores' side are the only Premier League team yet to concede a first-half goal in this season.

    Watford have used a top-flight low of just two English players in the league this season (Troy Deeney and Ben Watson). Bournemouth have used 13 English players, the highest number in the division.


    Saturday 3rd October K.O. 3PM (UK time)
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    Item Reviewed: Bournemouth vs Watford: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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