Mike Allott shares his thoughts about our upcoming match against our high-flying neighbous across the New Forest. Eddie Howe is doing a fine job wih his team, as Mike notes, before suggesting what team Saints should put out in order to pop a few past the Cherries…
Sitting here watching the Republic of Ireland playing Wales on the tele, my thoughts turn to Saturday when Saints travel along the coast Bournemouth this Saturday, some call it a local rivalry, others (mainly Bournemouth fans) call it a derby, but for me it’s just another game in the fixtures list, as I’ve never classed it as a rivalry or a derby. One thing it most definitely is, it’s a game that the Saints players must show up to.
The Cherries are flying high at the moment, and Saints are nowhere near to being at their best, the form book suggests nothing but a home win, but this is the Premier League where anything can happen and quite often does, after successive defeats and with just five point of the board, Saints really need to get something down there.
There are a few questions about the team Sparky will put out, with Alex McCarthy returning from the England squad early due to injury, will Saturday be too soon for him?, it’s been all quiet from the club on that front, so I expect Angus Gunn to make his Premier League debut, and I don’t think he’ll let anyone down if he does get brought in to the starting 11.
What team will Sparky select? Personally I would plump for two banks of four with Cedric, Ryan Bertrand, Jan Bednarek and Maya Yoshida at the back, In the middle I’d go for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Mario Lemina, Nathan Redmond, Mohamed Elyounoussi with Stuart Armstrong (if fit) playing the in the hole behind Danny Ings who’ll be on his own up front on, in a 4-4-1-1 formation, one thing is for sure, we need to be more positive, we need to get at them from the first whistle.
Bournemouth look quite a strong at home, Eddie Howe has got them playing well, they seem to able to do what Saints can’t at moment, which is hold a lead to win a game, they’re also adept at coming back at teams late on in games, either pushing for a win or scoring late to force a draw, again something Saints can’t do at present.
I expect a very hostile crowd at the Vitality with home fans trying their best to pretend to be Skates by calling anyone wearing Red & White or Yellow & Blue a Scummer, that has always made me chuckle on previous visit to the seaside.
I myself won’t be there on Saturday unless a miracle happens and someone doesn’t want their ticket and offers it to me, I wish all you travelling fans a safe trip, remember to stand proud and sing loud, and hopefully you’ll return hope with three points in the bag, however I predict we’ll have to settle for a point with a Saints scoring first in a 2-2 draw.
Enjoy the game everyone.