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Match Preview: Cherries host West Brom

Tommy Churchyard

The Game

Cherries play host to West Bromwich Albion tomorrow afternoon in what will be their final home game of the season.

Eddie Howe will be looking to send the Bournemouth fans home with a smile on their faces, by ending a poor run of form which has seen Cherries lose five out of their last six Premier League matches.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis will also be looking to end the Baggies’ winless run, which has only seen them pick up two points in the last two months.

Both sides find themselves level on points going in to the penultimate game of the season, with West Brom higher in the table on goal-difference.

At 14th and 15th in the league, the two sides are now safe from relegation and it wouldn’t be surprising to see both managers rotate their starting XI’s to experiment for next season.

The History

A win would secure Cherries the league double over West Brom this season, after a late Charlie Daniels penalty saw them win 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

Bournemouth also beat the Baggies 2-1 in the League Cup in October, so they will be looking for their third victory of the season against Tony Pulis’ men.

On their last visit to Bournemouth in 1993, West Brom won 1-0, with the two sides competing in third tier of English football. That is their only ever win away to their Cherries.

They have faced off 15 times in their history, with both sides winning six of these games, with three of them ending in draws.

Team News

Cherries will be without first-choice right-back Adam Smith for tomorrow’s clash, who is set to miss the last two games of the season with a groin injury.

But Max Gradel has returned to training and will be pushing for some game time tomorrow, after a short spell out on the sidelines.

Tony Pulis has no fresh injury concerns to worry about, but Chris Brunt (knee) and James Morrison (hamstring) are still out.

17-year-old forward Jonathan Leko is set to retain his spot in the starting line-up after impressing on his full debut in Albion’s 3-0 defeat to West Ham last week.


Bournemouth 2-0 West Brom

Despite losing their last three games at the Vitality Stadium, I predict Bournemouth will finish their final home game of the season victorious, against a Baggies team that is likely to be rotated.

Despite picking up a big point away at Tottenham two games ago, West Brom have been on a really poor run over the last couple of months and I don’t anticipate that will change tomorrow.

The Baggies have also only scored two goals in their last eight games, so they are unlikely to cause many problems for Bournemouth’s back four tomorrow.

With nothing left to play for in the league for either team, I predict an open game with Bournemouth’s attack proving to be too much for West Brom.