It’s been quite an adventure for Bournemouth since they were promoted to the English Premier League. Four previous seasons in the top flight have seen the Cherries finish a best placed ninth in 2016/17 but the current term isn’t going so well. Just what place will Bournemouth finish in the 2019/20 season?
The first half of the new season has been disappointing, and they ended 2019 in 16th place in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation zone. Bournemouth have managed to avoid relegation problems in the past, but it could be a different story this time around.
Bournemouth have earned 20 points from as many league games this season. Only five of their league fixtures have been won this season with ten defeats. It’s a disappointing total but not that much worse than last season. The 2018/19 season saw them finish in 14th place on 45 points, a comfortable 11 above the relegation zone. A similar result this season wouldn’t be too disappointing.
So why has the first half of this season seen Bournemouth struggle for form? Injuries have played a major role in the below par first twenty games of the season. The club have a good team, who can compete with most of the sides in the Premier League. However, the overall strength of their squad isn’t quite so high. The odd injury or two is bad news for them but Bournemouth’s injury problems are a lot worse than that.
Welsh international David Brooks was a great success last season. However, he is yet to play a minute for the club this season due to injury. August saw him suffer an ankle injury and this required surgery in October. It’s highly unlikely that Brooks, who scored seven league goals last season, will play for Bournemouth this season.
Defender Simon Francis has only played nine league games this season. He finally made his comeback after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee last December. Charlie Daniels has only played a couple of league matches and Dan Gosling has only made seven appearances after recovering from hip surgery.
The injury list goes on and on with Nathan Ake injuring his hamstring in the recent home loss to Bournemouth. He’s likely to be out until February and with Junior Stanislas, Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Lloyd Kelly, Josh King and Callum Wilson having injury problems, the treatment room is rather packed.
Their season didn’t get off to too bad a start considering their injury problems. Four points came from the first two league games, including an away win at Aston Villa. A tough fixture list saw two defeats by Manchester City and Leicester City follow, before a home win over Everton and an impressive win at Southampton.
The next four league fixtures produced three draws and a loss at Arsenal. Bournemouth fans are used to seeing their side score on a regular basis but also concede plenty of goals. It all came as a bit of a shock as they had two goalless draws against Norwich City and Watford. Disappointing though, considering the fact both those sides are in the relegation zone.
Bournemouth are always capable of beating top sides and November began with a 1-0 home win over Manchester United. Form wasn’t good after that though with five straight league defeats before another surprise win as they won 1-0 away at Chelsea. Three league games since then have produced just a home draw with Arsenal. That makes it just four points from nine league games.
Bournemouth need some wins in January, or they could end up in the bottom three. The four January league fixtures see them up against sides all in the bottom seven. Home games against Watford and Brighton need to produce points, as do away matches at West Ham and Norwich.
The run of important fixtures continues with a home game against relegation strugglers Aston Villa on February 1. It’s vital that Bournemouth earn as many points as possible from those matches. Three of their next four games are away from home with tricky visits to Sheffield United, Burnley and league leaders Liverpool. Throw in a home game against Chelsea and a tough time lies ahead for Bournemouth.
They need to be getting more goals out of Callum Wilson and Josh King and Ryan Fraser has only one league goal this season. Bournemouth’s run-in looks a bit of a nightmare. Four of their last six games see two visits to Manchester and home matches against Tottenham and Leicester City. Bournemouth’s current shirt sponsors Mansionbet, a subsidiary of, MansionBet Casino (M88), currently have them down at 5/2 to be relegated. They need their strikers to up their game if they are to avoid the drop.
Bournemouth have done well to survive four seasons in the Premier League. Their fifth could well be one too many unless they can get players back fit and get some vital wins over the next month or so.