Since AFC Bournemouth last played Derby County in the Championship back in 2015, the club has been rebranded to “Wayne Rooney’s Derby County” by many in the media.
The former England international joined Derby County in August 2019 as a player-coach, although didn’t make the move over from the United States of America, where he had been playing for DC United until January 2020.
He was instantly named club captain and has since made 30 appearances for the club in all competitions scoring 7 goals. Rooney has also been heavily tipped to become Derby County’s next manager. Media news that must be rather unsettling for current incumbent Phillip Cocu.
Rooney has recently been missing for Derby County as the 35-year-old has had to self isolate following a friend’s positive test result for Covid-19, but he is due to return to training today (Friday) and could be in contention for Saturday’s game.
AFC Bournemouth found their match in Derby County during the two seasons that they both last featured in the second tier of English football between 2013 and 2015. Derby won three of the four meetings, with the final game in February 2015 ending 2-2.
The Cherries would, of course, go on to win the title that season and with it promotion to the Premier League where they spent the following five seasons, Derby meanwhile remained in the Championship, reaching the play-offs on three occasions.
Head to Head
AFCB v Derby
AFC Bournemouth continue without Jefferson Lerma with a hamstring injury. David Brooks has missed out recently despite Jason Tindall claiming the player was eager to get involved. Will he stay sidelined or could he possibly come in as part of a squad rotation?
Asmir Begovic has made the goalkeeper shirt his own this season with a number of assured performances, the defensive three of Chris Mepham and Steve Cook looked solid against Bristol City with Lloyd Kelly on the left so expect that to continue despite the form of Diego Rico. The Spaniard could step in as left-wing back, but again, with Adam Smith arguably putting in a man of the match performance in that position on Wednesday night any changes seem unnecessary.
In attack and midfield is where any likely changes may come, Dominic Solanke, Joshua King and Sam Surridge are all competing for one or maybe two spots, with Junior Stanislas, Rodrigo Riquelme, Arnaut Danjuma and possibly David Brooks in supporting attacking roles fighting over again just one or two positions.
Meanwhile with Lerma out of contention, did Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook do enough in central midfield or could Philip Billing come in?
Derby, as previously mention could see Wayne Rooney return.
Against Cardiff City, on Wednesday night they were without Goalkeeper David Marshall through injury, whilst winger Kamil Jozwiak was stretched off during that game.
Former AFC Bournemouth loanee Nathan Byrne was substituted by head coach Phillip Cocu against Cardiff City on the hour mark with Cocu criticising his decision making.