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Cherries travel to Villa Park in Premier League clash

By Ben Bonsey

The Game

Cherries take on a struggling and possibly doomed Aston Villa at Villa Park this Saturday afternoon. Bournemouth are sitting happy in 13th, and three more points this weekend could see them pass the 40 mark and more or less seal safety.

However, it is a different story for the midlands club. Villa Park has been a bleak ground for home fans, having only recorded four wins at home all season. The claret and blues seem to be on the doomed trail to the Championship.

Bournemouth have not won in their last two league games, failing to push for Premier League security on both occasions and conceding seven goals without reply in the process.

However, their struggles seem like distant dreams for the home side, who are in real trouble. Villa have lost seven games on the bounce, having conceded 20 goals and only scoring two. They have conceded 15 goals in the last four matches at Villa Park.

The History

Bournemouth started of their maiden season in the Premier League with a loss to Villa at Dean Court, with Rudy Gestede coming up trumps for the Villains.

The match before this between the two was a fourth round FA Cup victory to Villa, who came out on top 2-1 the season before.

Bournemouth last won against Aston Villa way back in October of 1971, in which Cherries won 3-0 in a Division Three game.

Team News

Gabriel Agbonlahor has a virus and has been left out of this weekend’s team for Villa. Villa will also be without Hutton who is serving a ban, however Ciaran Clark is returning from his calf injury.

Afobe, Arter and Smith are all out for Bournemouth this weekend. Afobe has picked up a hamstring injury, ruling him out for up to four weeks. Arter misses out with an Achilles injury and Smith is out with a Hernia problem.

Long term injury Callum Wilson returns to training for the Cherries, meaning he could make a shock return to the line-up.

Deputy Sports Editor Ben Bonsey’s verdict

Aston Villa 0-2 AFC Bournemouth

This won’t be a stroll in the park for Bournemouth, but I do think they have the edge.

Aston Villa have looked really poor all season. I have to agree with the fans, there is no passion in that club at the moment. The departure of Remi Garde was expected, and I think it confirms the troubles throughout the club. Something is wrong not just on the pitch, but from top to bottom of the club. To me it is time to rebuild and concentrate on life in the Championship for Villa. Their fate will be sealed if they lose today coupled with Norwich avoiding defeat at Crystal Palace, or if Villa draw and Norwich win.

Bournemouth on the other hand have exceeded expectations this season. They have played some fantastic free flowing football, looking like a real outfit in the top flight of English football. To me, Bournemouth will take home three points this weekend, to all but seal their place in the Premier League for next season.