Our picks

AFC Bournemouth vs Sheffield United: 10/08/2019 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

AFC Bournemouth vs Sheffield United  

Date: 10/08/2019 

K/O: 15:00

Venue: Vitality Stadium

Referee: Kevin Friend

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has emulated Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe in taking his boyhood club from League One to the Premier League in three seasons and the hope now is to replicate the Cherries by establishing the Blades as a top-flight side.

The Blades have been tipped to struggle this season yet they’ve signed 10 players and broken their transfer record four times over the summer in hope to be ready for the season ahead; having said this most of the squad lack top-level experience which could make for a long season.

Bournemouth have also been busy, most notably making the loan signing of Harry Wilson from Liverpool, but several senior players are out of the season opener with injury, which will give the Blades hope of a fairy-tale start to their first Premier League season since 2007.

The Cherries will be looking to improve on last season’s 14th-place finish in the top flight, while Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2007 after claiming second in the Championship last term.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are fast becoming a blueprint for all aspiring lower-level sides in England. The Cherries head into their fifth straight Premier League campaign, which is remarkable when considering the size of the club.

Bournemouth started last season in emphatic style as they won six of their opening 10 Premier League matches losing just twice, but eventually, their gung-ho approach to the game left them in a bit of bother.

The Cherries lost half of their 38 league games last season, but 13 wins and six draws saw them gather 45 points, leaving them 11 points clear of the relegation zone. It is promising to be a very competitive Premier League this term, making a strong start even more important.

Sheffield United were promoted as runners-up from the Championship after a titanic tussle with ‘Don Bielsa’s’ Leeds to finish second. The Blades were right in the promotion mix from pretty much the beginning of the season and eventually got the better of their Yorkshire rivals for the second automatic promotion spot. The success capped off an impressive few years for Wilder as he claimed a second promotion with the Blades inside three seasons.

They have been impressive in pre-season, meanwhile, winning four of their six games – hitting five against Chesterfield and four against Barnsley towards the end of last month. Now comes the start of competitive action though and it will be fascinating to see how the team perform on their return to this level.

Match stats

On the only previous occasion that Bournemouth and Sheffield United played one another on the opening matchday of a league season, Sheffield United were relegated from the second tier that campaign (1987-88).

Sheffield United have won each of their last eight competitive meetings with Bournemouth. They’ve also won each of their last five away games against the Cherries in all competitions.

Bournemouth won their opening Premier League fixture last season, which also came against a promoted side (2-0 vs Cardiff). They had lost each of their previous three opening day games in the competition.

Sheffield United have lost four of their last five opening league fixtures (W1). However, they’re unbeaten in all three of their Premier League openers (W2 D1), with only Leeds having a better unbeaten record in the competition (12 – W5 D7 L0).

Bournemouth have only lost one of their 11 Premier League home games against promoted sides (W7 D3), though this did come in their last such match against Fulham in April (0-1).

Sheffield United have lost nine of their last 10 Premier League away games (D1), with their last such victory coming in December 2006 at Wigan (1-0).

Since the start of the 2005-06 campaign, Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp has scored more league goals than any other player in the top four tiers of English football (218).

Team News

AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth have an extensive injury list heading into this match. Indeed, Lewis Cook and Simon Francis are both long-term absentees with knee injuries, while Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas and summer arrival Kelly are all on the side-lines.

David Brooks was outstanding for the Cherries last season but the Welshman will miss out on the chance to face his former club following ankle surgery. Charlie Daniels could feature after recovering from knee surgery however in what would be a big boost for Howe’s side.

Summer signings Jack Stacey, Philip Billing, Harry Wilson and Arnaut Danjuma could make their debuts at the Vitality.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United have a fully fit squad, with defender Jack O’Connell recovered from a recent injury. Lys Mousset, who has joined from Bournemouth, is one of several summer signings in line for their debut.

Dean Henderson will start in goal having returned on loan from Manchester United, but it remains to be seen whether Billy Sharp is given the nod from the onset.

Predicted Starting XIs

Bournemouth (4-4-2): Begovic; Stacey, Mepham, Ake, Daniels; Fraser, Billing, Lerma, H Wilson; King; C Wilson

Sheffield United (3-4-2-1): Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; Freeman, Robinson; McBurnie

Score Prediction: Bournemouth 2 – 1 Sheffield United 

Expect a fascinating, free-flowing game at the Vitality Stadium. Both teams will have several of their new signings on display, which only adds to the excitement.

With both teams opting for an attacking setup and desperate to kick the new campaign off with a win, we’re expecting a few goals. 11 of Bournemouth’s 19 Premier League home games last season saw at least three goals scored whilst they averaged 3.31 goals per game throughout last term. Sheffield United saw just over half their league away days last season end with three or more goals being scored, but we can expect more in the way of goals conceded now that they’re up against higher quality opposition.

There has been a winner in each of the last 11 games between these two teams in all competitions, with Bournemouth incredibly triumphing on just one occasion during that run of fixtures but expect them to give the newcomers a tough time on the South Coast.

90MAAT News Now

Premier League Table

90MAAT Social Media

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Search The Site