Saturday 13 February 2016

Bournemouth could close to within two points of their opponents Stoke with a win on Saturday as the visitors seek to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.

The Cherries are currently five points above the drop zone after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, but will fancy their chances of picking up points against Mark Hughes’ out of form side.

Eddie Howe’s men do need to improve their results at their south coast home too, however; they have picked up just 13 points from a possible 36 at the Vitality Stadium, where they lost just three times in 23 home games last term.

Benik Afobe has reacted angrily to claims that his effort in a Wolves shirt was lacking towards the end of his spell at the Midlands club; with three goals in his first five games for Bournemouth, Cherries fans will be hoping his form in front of goal remains unaffected.

Stoke travel south for their first league match at Bournemouth since 2002, having not won at Dean Court since 1991 in the old Division Three.

They arrive in terrible form having lost their last three matches all by a 3-0 scoreline, most recently last weekend as a first-half horror show against Everton left them out of the game by the interval.

In brighter news for the Potters, Bojan has signed a new long-term deal with the club this week; the Spaniard now needs to start finding the net again to lift the Potters out of their barren run.

Team News

Only Bournemouth’s trio of long-term absentees – Max Gradel, Callum Wilson and Tyrone Mings – remain on the treatment table, with club captain Tommy Elphick back in contention after a lengthy lay-off.

Stoke will again be missing the influential Ryan Shawcross in the heart of their defence, whilst fellow defender Marc Wilson is also out along with Charlie Adam. Jon Walters is doubtful with an illness.

League Position: Bournemouth – 15th (28 pts); Stoke – 11th (33 pts)
Last Meeting:
Stoke 2-1 Bournemouth (September 26, 2015)
Form: Bournemouth – DLWDWL; Stoke – LWDLLL
Key Players: Bournemouth – Benik Afobe; Stoke – Bojan
Shoot Says: Bournemouth 1-1 Stoke

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