Date: 4th August 2018 at 7:08am
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AFC Bournemouth lost the first of their European doubleheader at Dean Court on Friday night to Spanish La Liga side Real Betis.

Once again, to give as many of his squad a full 90 minutes to get under their belt, Cherries manager Eddie Howe split his squad, involving half in this game and the other half for the game this (Saturday) afternoon against French UEFA Europa League finalists Marseille.

It’s always difficult to read what Eddie Howe might be thinking, but the starting XI for the game against Marseille could well not be too dissimilar to the one that starts the opening fixture of the upcoming 2018/19 Premier League campaign against Cardiff City.

With the exception of Lewis Cook and perhaps Simon Francis, depending on which formation he goes with, it’s a fair assumption to believe that the other players selected against Real Betis are on the fringes of the starting XI.

So could they impress and change Howe’s thinking?

The Cherries were 1-0 down after 17 minutes.

The battle for the goalkeeper’s shirt looks like it will be staying with Asmir Begovic.

The Cherries chased for a leveller, but could not find a breakthrough.

With Real Betis scoring a second in stoppage time at the end of the second half.

AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told the Daily Echo

“It was a really good game against very strong opposition.

“They were possession-based and we found it difficult to get our passing game going in the early stages.

“But I felt we grew into the first half and, ultimately, when you look at the game, we had the best opportunities to score but didn’t take them.

“I thought Betis were very good technically but we did cause them problems.”

Your say…

SlowDownDerek wrote…

Seriously, friendlies are not about the result at all. They are about preparing the team. League games are important; cup games are important; friendlies are not important and never will be.

The proof is in the pudding and if we beat Cardiff and generally start well then all this criticism of team changes and double-header friendlies looks a bit silly. – Join the conversation, click here.

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