Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur are slated to face each other for the first time when the two sides face each other at Dean Court on Sunday afternoon. Spurs currently boast the longest unbeaten run in the Premier League, while the Cherries head into the weekend sitting just two points above the relegation zone.
Bournemouth will still be reeling against the humiliating 5-1 defeat against Manchester City, who capitalised on almost every individual mistake to record an easy and comfortable win. It was certainly the poorest Eddie Howe’s side have performed this season, and although they have played well for long spells of the campaign, they head into the 10th round of fixtures sitting 17th in the table.
Mauricio Pochettino will look to produce a response from his players after another league draw was followed by defeat to Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday night. Despite lacking the solid edge needed to collect three points in the stalemate with Liverpool last weekend, Pochettino will surely have been pleased with how his defence coped once again as they extended their unbeaten run in the league to eight games on a day when Jurgen Klopp’s debut dominated the headlines. Losing just once in nine matches may indicate that Spurs would be challenging with the sides at the top of the table, but missed chances to turn draws into wins means they are currently seven points behind leaders Man City in seventh.
Bournemouth are set to be without Artur Boruc once again after he picked up a thigh injury in the warm-up prior to the game against Man City, which means Adam Federici is set to start in goal once again.Harry Arter is available to make his first appearance of the season following a groin injury, while Marc Pugh and Lee Tomlin are in contention to return.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup: Federici; Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels; Gosling, Surman; King, Tomlin, Ritchie; Murray
Spurs were dealt a blow this week with the news that Nacer Chadli is set to miss up to six weeks after injuring his ankle against Liverpool, and the setback puts pressure on a squad already depleted by injuries.Son Heung-min and Nabil Bentaleb remain on the sidelines, but Ryan Mason should return to the squad after recovering from a knee injury.Despite a thigh injury persuading Pochettino to only use Kane as a substitute against Anderlecht, the England striker is likely to be fit enough to start on Sunday.
Spurs possible starting lineup:Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Alli, Eriksen
– This will be only the second competitive meeting between AFC Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur, with the first coming in an FA Cup tie in 1957 that the south coast side won 3-1.
– Spurs have lost only one of the last seven Barclays Premier League matches that they have played on a Sunday (W4 D2 L1).
– Spurs are the only side to have remained unbeaten following the opening matchday; winning three and drawing five since their opening day defeat at Manchester United.
– In Harry Kane’s last 17 Barclays Premier League appearances he has scored three goals from 40 shots (7.5% conversion rate).
– Spurs have conceded only three goals in their last six Barclays Premier League matches, keeping four clean sheets in the process.
– AFC Bournemouth have scored in each of their last seven Barclays Premier League fixtures.
– Glenn Murray has scored nine Barclays Premier League goals in 22 appearances in 2015, compared to one goal in 16 PL appearances before this year.
Bournemouth – Glenn Murray:
Staying afloat after being promoted to a major European top flight is a big ask for every team that makes the jump – but losing your main striker and attacking talisman seven games into the new campaign makes the task all the harder.
He showed last term that given an opportunity he knows where the back of the net is, scoring seven Premier League goals despite receiving limited time on the pitch.
Not dissimilar to someone like Rickie Lambert, who also played all of his career in the Football League only to excel at the top level when finally given the chance, Murray will have a point to prove.
A handful for opposition centre-halves, the 32-year-old brings a physical presence, aerial threat and good movement inside the box.
Tottenham Hotspur – Jan Vertonghen:
In their first nine league games, where Vertonghen was a regular feature, they have conceded just seven times. At the same stage last season they had let 13 in.
Vertonghen was one of four central defenders being rotated regularly as head coach Mauricio Pochettino got to know his recently inherited squad. The process naturally did not aid consistency and several sloppy, disorganised showings were the result.
Spurs’ defence would enjoy better periods later in the campaign, particularly when the duo of Vertonghen and Federico Fazio was finally settled on. No-one was playing so well they would have felt entirely safe, though. What feels different now to any point in 2014-15 is that the Belgian feels indispensable to Pochettino’s team.
My prediction is a 2-1 victory for the Spurs. Bournemouth will be hoping to bounce back from such a disappointing display last weekend, but Spurs are targeting a response to a defeat on Thursday night and they have proved over and over again how difficult they can be to break down. The opening goal could be crucial, and Tottenham may have just enough to battle to all three points.