Stoke City vs Bournemouth: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Stoke City and Bournemouth clash at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a proverbial mid-table melee.
Just one point separates these two sides and both teams are looking relatively comfortable having made a solid start to the new football season. As with so many mid-table Premier League clubs, both The Potters and The Cherries will be spending the campaign stuck between looking anxiously over their shoulders at the relegation zone whilst dreaming that a good run of form will see them climb towards the Europa League places.
There should be enough attacking talent on show at the Bet 365 Stadium to ensure that this fixture does not go down as a serving of mid-table mediocrity.
Stoke City are currently on an impressive six game unbeaten run which has seen them pick up twelve points from the last eighteen available, easing fears of a relegation battle and raising interest in a potential Europa League push. Mark Hughes’ side have won both of their previous two home fixtures with relative ease, having seen off Swansea (3-1) and Sunderland (2-0), and did the double over Bournemouth in the Premier League last season.
Bournemouth are consistently inconsistent. The Cherries lost their previous match against 10-man Sunderland in front of their own supporters and were unimpressive in their last away fixture against Middlesbrough (a 2-0 loss). However, in recent weeks they have beaten Hull City (6-1) and Everton (1-0) as well as securing an impressive point against Tottenham (0-0). Crucially, Bournemouth have yet to win on the road in the Premier League and have picked up just two points from five away games so far this season.
Marko Arnautovic is available for selection after sitting out Stoke City’s 1-1 draw away to West Ham prior to the international break. The charismatic Austrian had been suspended for the trip to the Olympic Stadium having collected five yellow cards but is expected to resume his place in the starting eleven despite the impressive performance of stand-in Ramadam Sobhi. Glenn Whelan is an injury doubt for The Potters having limped out of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier over the weekend with a hamstring issue but full-back Glen Johnson could return.
Eddie Howe will have to re-shuffle his defensive unit with regular right-back Adam Smith suspended having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in The Cherries’ defeat to Sunderland. Brad Smith and Lewis Cook are both unavailable due to injury whilst Calum Wilson and Andrew Surman face late fitness tests.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
Stoke City Predicted Starting XI
Bournemouth Predicted Starting XI
The Potters are full of confidence after putting together an impressive run of performances that has seen them go six games unbeaten whilst Bournemouth have struggled away from home this season. A comfortable victory for Stoke on home turf.
Predicted Score: Stoke City 2, Bournemouth 1
Featured Imaged: All Rights Reserved Dan Westwell (Dan Westwell)
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