'Bournemouth v Boro - Opposition Preview'
Bournemouth blog "Tales From The South End" chat to oneBoro ahead of the Premier League clash.
What have you made of Boro this season?
I expected more of them. The few times I have seen them they have been very good defensively, but not so good going forward. You need a few wins in the Premier League and Boro have struggled to get them. I liked Karanka, I thought he did a pretty good job, but he needed his team to score goals and to me it always seemed that his first objective was not to let a goal in. His sacking was almost inevitable as the results weren't going the way they should have been.
Can you summarise how your season is going?
As expected. We have picked up a few unexpected results, let a few goals in and went through a sticky patch and came out the other side. We have a few key injuries currently but we should have enough to get the few points we need to reach the magic 40 (we reckon 38 will do it)
Where do you think Bournemouth and Boro will finish this season?
As things stand I don't think either team will be far from the position they are in now. I can't see Boro picking up enough points to stay up. They look like they will need five wins and with Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool to play they will need to do something very special.
I think we will finish anywhere between 12th and 16th. We have some very winnable games Boro, Stoke and Burnley at home, Sunderland and Leicester away. Don't think we will win them all, but one win and four draw are very possible.
How do you think Bournemouth will line up on Saturday?
With Surman and Wilshire out and Gosling a doubt, central midfield will be the barebones of Lewis Cook and Harry Arter, still pretty good though. It will be Boruc in goal, the usual back four, Smith, Francis, Cook and Daniels. On the wings probably Stanislas and Pugh and if Howe persists with a 4-4-2 (which he will) Afobe and Josh King up front.
What do you think are Bournemouth's strengths and weaknesses. Which key player should Boro watch out for?
Many would say our defence is a weakness and we have let in a few goals, but being beaten by Spurs 4-0 is a blessing. It will have given us a kick up the arse and the prize off three points and Premier League survival will only strengthen our resolve to win. Watch out for King he is scoring goals for fun.
What is your favourite memory from past Boro v Bournemouth fixtures?
If you're old like me then beating Boro 3-1 in the promotion season back in 1987. But my favourite game was the 3-0 win back in 2015. Two dubious penalties (that must have annoyed the hell out of Boro fans) sandwiched between on of my favourite ever AFC Bournemouth goals from Harry Arter
And finally, what is your prediction for the match please?
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We need the points, you need the points. We would he happier with a point, but it should be better than a 0-0. If we score first I reckon it will be 3-1 to us. If Boro score first I reckon it will 1-1