Bournemouth welcome Watford to the Vitaly Stadium in a crunch relegation showdown in the opening Super Sunday match.
Bournemouth can move out of the relegation zone with victory whilst Watford know that a win would lift them out of the bottom three for at least a few hours.
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Nathan Ake could return for Bournemouth after missing the last month with a hamstring injury.
Adam Smith (ankle) and Lloyd Kelly (thigh) could also return if they and Ake all pass late fitness tests.
Chris Mepham, Charlie Daniels (both knee), David Brooks (ankle), Arnaut Danjuma (foot), Jack Stacey and Joshua King (both hamstring) are ruled out.
Watford will welcome Craig Cathcart back from a knee injury whilst Domingos Quina (cramp) and Nathaniel Chalobah (groin) are also expected to be fit.
Christian Kabasele is serving the last of a two match suspension whilst Will Hughes is sidelined with a hip injury.
Daryl Janmaat (knee), Sebastian Prodl (shin), Tom Cleverley (heel), Danny Welbeck (thigh) and Kiko Femenia (hamstring) are ruled out.
Bournemouth enter this match with just four points from their last ten league games (W1, D1, L8), whilst failing to keep a clean sheet in their last four home games since beating Newcastle 1-0 in early November.
Watford are unbeaten in five of their last six in all competitions (W3, D2, L1), but haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last four away trips since beating Norwich in early November.
- Bournemouth have lost just one of their nine previous Premier League meetings against Watford (W1, D7, L1).
- Under their current guise as AFC Bournemouth, the Cherries have held Watford to just one goalless draw, which came March 1990 in the Old Second Division.
- Watford have scored in all four previous Premier League trips to Bournemouth without suffering defeat (W1, D3).
- Both teams have kept just three clean sheets in nine top flight meetings.
- Watford are yet to earn a penalty in this Premier League fixture, whereas Bournemouth have scored two out of their three penalties.
Nigel Pearson will certainly have one eye on Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at Tranmere as Watford face a 50 hour gap between these two games, so I expect him to rotate his Hornets here although survival is more important.
Bournemouth meanwhile were clinical against Luton last weekend so need to bring that confidence over into their league games, because they have a decent batch of winnable matches over the next two months.
I therefore am expecting a good scruffy encounter which often seems to be the case between these two teams, but Bournemouth don’t have a replay in midweek to worry about so I fancy them to nick this although a score draw is a good bet too.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Watford
Result: Bournemouth 0-3 Watford