AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will be delighted to add Cherries captain Simon Francis back to his squad for the home game against Crystal Palace.
Francis has operated at both centre back and right back so far this season, but was forced to sit out the last three games due to suspension.
Francis was sent off against Arsenal and subsequently missed the FA Cup third round tie away to Millwall, the away trip to Hull City and the home game against Watford.
During those games the Cherries conceded 8 goals, with AFC Bournemouth down to the bare-bones defensively as it coincided with Chelsea recalling Nathan Ake early from his loan and a hamstring injury for summer signing Marc Wilson.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
‘Simon’s return will give us more options from a defensive perspective.
‘I think we have missed our captain. He has been in good form this season so we will be delighted to welcome him back to the team.’
Compared to this point last season . . .
After 22 games we currently sit 12th, with 26 points, having scored 32 goals (8th best in league) and conceded 39 (16th best). We are 15 points behind 6th position and 9 above relegation.
At this time last year, our first season in the PL, we were in 15th with 24 points, having scored 26 and conceded 37. We were 11 points behind 6th position and 3 above relegation.
What initially jumps out at you is that we are scoring more (which is good), but our defending is worse. And that we are only 2 points better than last year.
Also, that last season the top clubs really stunk it up (at this time last year, the leaders were Arsenal and Leicester both with 44, this year it’s Chelsea with 55).
Anything else we can figure from this? – Join the conversation here.
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