Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion

6 May

Charlie Daniels scores against West Brom


A late Charlie Daniels penalty gave Bournemouth victory at West Brom in December

TEAM NEWS

Full-back Adam Smith will miss Bournemouth’s final two games of the campaign because of a groin injury.

Sylvain Distin is unlikely to play again this season due to a back problem, but Max Gradel is in contention after returning to training.

Tony Pulis may make changes for West Brom’s penultimate match this season.

Youngsters Tyler Roberts and Sam Field are expected to be in the squad, while 17-year-old Jonathan Leko could start again after impressing last weekend.

James Morrison is hoping to feature after returning to training following a long-term hamstring injury.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

John Roder: “In the dim and distant past I used to regularly commentate on Bournemouth matches for regional television. The chances of Bournemouth ever playing in the Premier League seemed about as likely as Manchester United being in League Two.

“Fast forward to 2016 and this will be the final home match of the most successful season in the Cherries’ history. A swift return to the Championship – predicted by many – hasn’t materialised.

“It is perhaps fitting that West Bromwich Albion are the visitors for what is sure to be quite a celebration.

“As a former Bournemouth player and manager, Tony Pulis will be given a warm reception, but the Baggies boss will be desperate to end his team’s run of poor form while extending Bournemouth’s recent dip.”

Twitter: @johnrodercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “The fact that we are now mathematically safe [means] we can relax and play some really good football.

“I was anxious to get the job done ourselves, to win the games and get points – that would have been the ideal. As it happened we had to rely on other teams, which is never nice.

“We have had a really tough run of fixtures, the results have not been great, we would love to end this season on a high, we would love to end our home form on a high and try and get our supporters going into the summer feeling very good about next season.”

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis on his future: “I’ll speak to the chairman as soon as the season finishes. We’ve got two weeks to go, two important games, and then we’ll have dinner and sit down and we’ll talk about things. I should imagine we’ll be okay.

“I like the football club, it’s a good football club, there’s no problems for me in any way, shape or form. There’s lots of improvement that has to take place but it takes time.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I thought West Brom would end the season well after their draw at Tottenham but they got taken apart by West Ham last weekend.

Like the Baggies, Bournemouth are safe but are on a poor run of form – they have lost their last three matches – and both sides will probably be happy not to be beaten.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v darts star Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
WBA's Salomon Rondon<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Victory would give Bournemouth the league double over West Brom for the first time in their history.
  • The Cherries also beat West Brom in the League Cup this season so are chasing a third consecutive win against the Baggies.
  • West Brom won 1-0 on their last league visit to Bournemouth, in the third tier in January 1993. It is their only win away to the Cherries (D1, L3).

Bournemouth

  • The Cherries have lost five of their last six games, the only exception being a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
  • They have also lost their last three home games, conceding a total of 10 goals.
  • A league-high 10 of their goals this season have come from defenders – including two in December’s win at West Brom (from Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels).
  • Bournemouth have scored nine Premier League goals in the opening 15 minutes of games, a tally matched only by Manchester City.

West Bromwich Albion

  • The Baggies have claimed just two points from the last 21 available.
  • They have failed to score in five of their last seven top-flight matches, netting a total of two goals.
  • They have won just one of their last 13 Premier League away games (D6, L6).

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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