By Dan Bennett (@DanDBennett97)
Eddie Howe’s Cherries are back at home this week as they take on a Sunderland side desperately in need of a win, as pressure grows on manager David Moyes.
Bournemouth come up against a black cats team who have failed to win any of their league games this season and sit rock bottom on just two points, ten behind the Cherries.
However, Howe believes his team could still be in for a tough match despite going in as strong favourites.
He said: “We’re coming up against a very experienced manager and a good set of players. There’s no underestimating from us, this will be a tough game.
“Our energy, enthusiasm and desire needs to be evident right from the early stages of the game and we need to let our quality show.”
Rumours have been flying around this week that should Moyes fail to win on Saturday then he could well face the sack for the third time in three years.
Discussing the pressure his opposition manager is under, Howe said: “You only have to look at the clubs he’s managed to know the quality of him and his work so I know given time he’ll do a very good job there.”
Last time out AFCB fell to their first defeat from five when they lost 2-0 away at Middlesbrough, meaning the Cherries are still yet to pick up a win away in the league this season.
Despite this, their home form has been somewhat different, picking up three Premier League victories at the Vitality so far this season including a 6-1 hammering of Hull City. Howe believes his side’s confidence, given to them in part by their supporters at home, will benefit them on Saturday.
He said: “At home we’ve really built on the good start we had and we’re full of confidence. Players naturally like playing in front of their own supporters and that’s a compliment to the fans and how they’ve made the players feel this season, it’s been a really good atmosphere at the stadium.
“I thought we were really good away from home last season. We went to some really tough places and excelled, played some outstanding football and picked up some great results. This year it hasn’t quite clicked away.”
Andrew Surman and Marc Wilson both miss the game with hamstring injuries whilst Junior Stanislas is suffering from a calf problem and may also miss out.
Sunderland’s John O’Shea will not be available for Moyes to select, however the away side do welcome back Lee Cattermole after his recovery from a hernia.