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AFC Bournemouth vs Watford: 02/01/2019 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

AFC Bournemouth vs Watford

Date: 02/01/2019 

K/O: 19.45

Venue: Vitality Stadium

Referee: David Coote

Bournemouth will be aiming to return to form at home, while Javi Gracia’s men are looking to impress again on their trip to Dorset.

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Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth go into the contest having lost eight of their last 10 PL matches while Watford have lost only one of their last five.

It could be entertainment-a-plenty when the two free flowing, albeit tired, mid-table sides meet on the South Coast. Bournemouth’s wretched form has continued over Christmas and Eddie Howe’s side could really do with a win. Watford meanwhile have been in good form over the festive period and will be looking to continue that here.

The Cherries have collected just six points from seven league matches in December and suffered a 4-1 defeat at Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Furthermore, Eddie Howe’s men have lost five of their last six matches in all competitions.

Watford were held at home by Newcastle United on Saturday and are looking to consolidate their place in the top half of the table as 2019 begins.

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AFC Bournemouth: Form and Stats

The Cherries began the season in a promising fashion, but their form has seen a massive slide in the last couple of weeks. They have now lost eight, drew one and won one of past ten games across competitions.

Eddie Howe’s men are still 12 points away from the danger area thanks to their bright start.

Bournemouth have suffered a serious dent to their confidence in recent heavy defeats away to Tottenham and Manchester United, losing 5-0 and 4-1 respectively, and they will be hoping that picking on someone their own size, in the Hornets, can yield a return to form.

Bournemouth haven’t drawn at home in the last six games. Five of these have seen over 2 goals scored and four times both sides managed to score. The Cherries lost three times in the last 5 home games, but all defeats came against top six sides in Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.

The Cherries can look forward to more optimistic fixtures on the calendar. Watford are first up, and they face Everton, West Ham, Chelsea, and Cardiff over the next month or so. This should give them the chance to push back up the table, and the fact that they are still only 3 points adrift of 7th place is impressive, given their recent form.

Watford: Form and Stats

Watford will come out of Saturday’s draw with Newcastle feeling as if they could have won the game, but won’t be too concerned given their decent run of form going into it.

Watford saved a point on Saturday as substitute Abdoulaye Doucoure bagged the equalizer with just eight minutes remaining on the clock. It was clearly not the best performance we’ve seen from Watford throughout the season as they just looked lame in the final third.

The Hornets slipped to 9th in the Premier League ladder after claiming just one point in past two matches.

The Hornets have picked up nine points from their last ten Premier League matches (P10 W2 D3 L5), which is ten points fewer than the previous ten games (P10 W6 D1 L3 – 19 points) They are on the back of two positive results away from home, having recorded a draw and a win in their recent visits.

Watford are hovering just above their opponents in 9th place with a 2-point cushion over them. They have also had a poor run throughout the winter months, winning 2, drawing 3, and losing 5 of their last 10 league games. Unlike Bournemouth, however, The Hornets haven’t had a particularly challenging run of fixtures to contend with.

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Key Men

David Brooks – AFC Bournemouth

After four goal involvements in his first 15 Premier League appearances, David Brooks has been involved in three in his past three games.

The former Sheffield United man has scored 5 and assisted once this season. He was outstanding against Gracia’s men last time out and could be given a free role in this 3-4-1-2 formation.

The Welsh international has come into his own and has a goal every 147 mins at the Vitality, making him a key cog of the Bournemouth machine

Gerard Deulofeu – Watford

Gerard Deulofeu has had a hand in four goals in his last four Premier League games (two goals, two assists), that’s as many goal involvements as in his previous 36 games combined.

He has scored a few “goal-of-the-season” contenders against Cardiff, Huddersfield and West Ham, but Watford could have done with him not scuffing at the very presentable chance he had after 15 minutes against Newcastle.

Being deployed as a supporting striker to Deeney or Success, the Spaniard has had a goal attempt every 30 mins in the last two matches touches and has looked Watford’s most likely outlet to get the score sheet going.

Bournemouth v Watford | Opta Stats

Five of the seven previous Premier League meetings between Bournemouth and Watford have been drawn, with both sides winning once each.

Bournemouth won the reverse league game against Watford 4-0 in October this season; the Cherries last did a league double over the Hornets in the 1962/63 third tier season.

Bournemouth haven’t started a calendar year with a league win since 2012, when they won 2-0 against Wycombe Wanderers in League One; they’ve drawn five and lost one since.

Watford have lost their first league match in each of the last seven calendar years, a run stretching back to 2012.

Since August 2013, Bournemouth have won seven penalties in 11 league meetings with Watford (scoring four), more than any side has against another in that time in the top four tiers.

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Watford are looking to win consecutive away league games for the first time since winning their opening three on the road in the 2017/18 season.

Bournemouth have lost eight of their last 10 Premier League games (W2), shipping at least two goals in each defeat.

Victory for Watford will mean they have secured 46 points in 35 Premier League games under Javier Gracia, more than any other Hornets manager in the competition, overtaking Quique Sanchez Flores (45 points in 38 games).

Team News

AFC Bournemouth have Simon Francis and Lewis Cook (both ACL) side-lined along with Adam Smith and Ryan Gosling (both knee).

Nathan Ake is a doubt after coming off with a hamstring injury against Manchester United.

Watford have striker Andre Gray (leg) out, while Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Christian Kabasele (shoulder) are doubtful.

Predicted Starting XIs

Bournemouth (3-4-2-1): Begovic; S. Cook, Mings, Daniels; Fraser, Surman, Lerma, Diego Rico; Brooks, King; Wilson

Watford (4-2-3-1): Foster; Kiko Femenia, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas; Capoue, Doucoure; Deulofeu, Pereyra, Sema; Deeney

Prediction: Bournemouth 2 Watford 2

The Game should ideally be evenly matched and a case of cancelling each other out, however the men from Dorset left Hornets reeling at Vicarage road last time out.

The Hornets will be determined to offer up much greater resistance and Gracia’s men have lost just one of their last five fixtures and will travel to Vitality Stadium in confident mood.

Bournemouth’s league form is woeful at the moment and it is only their superb start to the season that sees them holding their position in mid-table. They have lost eight of their last ten matches and with injuries in defence, that could see Watford win what could be a high-scoring match.

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