Date: 8th August 2019 at 6:53am
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Written by billythekid

The Cherries start their fifth season in the Premier League with everybody from the manager to the players and fans hoping to improve on last season. Our fans must look forward with optimism as so far before the transfer window closes on Thursday Eddie has held onto his key players. As we know there have been rumours about certain players of ours, so there is always a chance of a late deal. Also the new signings Eddie has made look to improve the team squad in-depth and there could be more before the deadline.

The first game which is at home again as last season, also against a team just come up from the Championship. The visitors are Sheffield United (The Blades), they were automatically promoted after finishing second behind the Champions Norwich City. The last time our clubs met was seven years ago. This was also the season our club was promoted into the Championship after finishing second behind Champions Doncaster Rovers, Yeovil Town were the other promoted club. How the fortunes of those other clubs who were promoted with us have changed. Doncaster Rovers are in League 1 and Yeovil Town are in the National League.

Sheffield United manager is Chris Wilder, he has been manager since the 2016-17 season. He was born in Yorkshire, his first club though was down in the South at Southampton, where he was a trainee. He never made it into the first team and was released by Saints. His next club and the start of his senior career was at Sheffield United, where he was a player from 1986-92. He moved into management in 2001-2002 at Alfreton Town. He was also the manager at Halifax Town, Oxford United and Northampton Town before joining his present club.

During the Summer United have been busy in the transfer market and they have broken the club transfer record four times this Summer. The players involved are, Luke Freeman from Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £5 million. Striker Callum Robinson from Preston North End, again undisclosed but reported to be £7 million. Our former striker Lys Mousset for an undisclosed fee reported being £10 million. Striker Oli McBurnie from Swansea for a club record of £17 million which could rise to £20 million, also the most expensive footballer in Scottish football history. Ben Osborn from Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee. Centre back Phil Jagielka after he was released from Everton. Ravel Morrison who was a free agent. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United.

Our own club have been busy as well bringing in some promising young players as Eddie Howe likes to do. Lloyd Kelly a left-back who can also play in the centre of defence for a reported £13 million from Bristol City. Jack Stacey a defender from Luton Town for £4 million. Midfield player Philip Billing from Huddersfield Town for £15 million, the tall Dane at around 6’ 6”, hopefully, he could turn out to be an all-round good player for our side. From Club Brugge, Netherlands international Arnaut Danjuma for a fee reported being £13.7 million. Leaving our club and joining our opening game opponents Sheffield United is Lys Mousset, the figure reported being around £10 million. Also, Harry Arter will be joining his brother-in-law Scott Parker on a season-long loan, with a view to it becoming permanent if Fulham are promoted back into the Premier League.

Our last game against Sheffield United at home ended in a 0-1 defeat. We have a poor home record against Sheffield United, having lost our previous 5 home fixtures.
In our league games against the Blades at home, the Cherries have Won 0, Drawn 2, Lost 5. In all competitions, AFCB have Won 1, Drawn 4, Lost 10.

AFCB Team News
Not good news losing two players through pre-season to injuries in David Brooks who is expected to be out for three months with an ankle injury. The other injury is to Lloyd Kelly with ankle ligament damage. Dan Gosling also out for around three months after a hip operation. Andrew Surman and Steve Cook had game time in the recent friendlies, so that’s a big bonus going into the season. Then we have the players who are still recovering from injuries from last season.

AFCB Player To Watch
Any of our new additions who may feature. Also one or two of our younger players have shown good form in pre-season friendlies if given the chance in this opening fixture, will be interesting how they perform. Otherwise, Wilson and Fraser, see if they can carry on the understanding of last season. With Callum having signed a new contract, hopefully, that puts to bed any transfer rumours and he can just get on with playing football and scoring goals.

Sheffield United Team News
With the number of new signings, it will be interesting to see how many start in this opening fixture.
They are still hoping to add more signings before the transfer deadline.

Sheffield United Player To Watch
Their two new strikers, Lys Mousset, see how he performs against us with his new club if he plays. Oli McBurnie their record signing from Swansea who scored 22 league goals last season. Then you have the prolific goal scorer 33-years-old Billy Sharp who’s 23 goals helped United to promotion last season.

Our referee is Kevin Friend.

Same as last season’s opening home game against Cardiff City.

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