Ask the Opposition

Ask the Opposition 56: Bournemouth (with Steven J)

A last minute winner against Swansea saw Manchester City move up to third place in the league, due to other results since then, Manchester City have dropped down to fourth place but a win against Bournemouth will see them climb to second in the league.

We caught up with Steven J of Tales From The South End ahead of Monday’s game to ask his opinion on Bournemouth this season and the match ahead.

Hi Steve, thanks for speaking with us. I think it’s fair to say that Bournemouth haven’t had the greatest start to the New Year. What are your thoughts on the season so far?

It was never going to be easy and up until the end of 2016 we were getting entertained and picking up points. We are still getting entertained (just not as often) but we are struggling to pick up points.

Unfortunately Callum Wilson’s season appears to be over and Chelsea have recalled Nathan Ake. Who do you see to step up and fill these positions and how do you see the rest of the season going for you?

Nathan Ake is a big miss, we really could do with him right now – we haven’t really got anyone to replace him. His talent was obvious but he was still part of a leaky defence.
Callum Wilson won’t be missed so much, he’s been struggling with form and has been on the bench for much of 2017. Afobe and Josh King have been the strikers of choice and doing a better job, like scoring goals.

As for the rest of the season, who knows? With injuries to an already generous defence we could be in serious trouble and it’s going to be a fraught few months. However, I reckon we will stay up by the skin of our teeth.

Jack Wilshere was something of a surprise addition to the squad for the season and he has seemed to make a good impression. What have you made of him so far and do you see him joining permanently in the summer?

His quality is there for all to see, he has the vision and skill that no other Bournemouth player has. He needs to be played in his right position (for us just behind the main striker) in order to get the best out of him. I can’t see him joining in the summer, unless he is prepared to take a drop in wages and despite Arsenal only wanting £18m for him, it seems unlikely.

For the game on Monday which Bournemouth players would you highlight as ones to watch for City fans?

Ryan Fraser and Josh King and (hopefully) Jordon Ibe. Our defence may not be top notch (probably what the City fans want to watch) but we do have some good attacking players so watch out for Fraser and Ibe down the wings and Josh King getting his hat-trick.

Finally, what is your predicted Bournemouth eleven and prediction for the final score?

If Simon Francis, Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels are out as expected our defence will be a very different line up. Personally I would drop Andrew Surman into a back four with Cook, Mings and Brad Smith. Have two holding midfielders in Arter and Gosling and an attacking front four with Josh King playing up top by himself.

As for the score it could be anything from 4-0 (to Man City) to 7-4 (to Man City). We believe in ourselves so we are going for a 2-2 draw.

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