Bournemouth have been handed a favourable looking fixture for the EFL 3rd round where they will be facing Preston North End at home. The Cherries are on the back of a 4-0 spanking by Manchester City but it is a scoreline which did not shock too many people in the end. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have been roundly beating all and sundry they are facing and have taken their unbeaten tally to 8 games. And what would have pleased the team and would have been a confidence booster for the Cherries was the lavish praise which came from the unexpected source of the Sky Blue’s manager.
Guardiola labelled them as the best team they had faced this season and stressed on the type of creative football Bournemouth strive to play. Eddie Howe has been earning glowing accolades from various quarters this season and this was another entrant into the long list of admirers.
The fixture against Preston NE will give Howe a chance to rotate his squad and keep his players fresh for next week’s exertions. Bournemouth will expect to get the job done with the team they put out and it is expected to resemble much of the squad from the last fixture they played in the League Cup. With added depth, this time, around, Eddie Howe might look at the EFL Cup as a stage to progress and a platform to utilise the players who will be eager to showcase their abilities. Jack Wilshere will be a risky bet for a start but it is imperative he gets minutes under the belt as he has looked off the pace in the Premier League thus far, as was illustrated vividly against Manchester City.
HERE IS T4O’s PREDICTED BOURNEMOUTH LINE-UP VS PRESTON NE (4-2-3-1)
Boruc is likely to get a rest with Federici coming in. Brad Smith will in all certainty get a game at left-back with a central defensive pairing of Ake and Wilson. Francis might be at right-back if Howe goes for some experience at the back.
The midfield pivot is likely to consist of Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling with a surprise selection of Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere in the No.10 role. The main midfield protagonists might get a day off with only Wilshere being the star face.
Max Gradel and Junior Stanislas are expected to take up the flank roles on either side of Wilshere with Benik Afobe being the lone striker up front.