Our successful trip to Sunderland ensured a third season in the Premier League unless there are some extraordinary results and it also saw the drop into the Championship for Sunderland after ten consecutive seasons in the top league. A point on Saturday against our visitors Stoke City (the Potters) will finally put any doubts to bed and GD will no longer matter as Swansea could no longer catch us. Stoke City haven`t scored in their last six away matches, this year the only time they have scored was away in January in a 3-1 win at now relegated Sunderland.
In the January transfer window Stoke City signed Saido Berahino from West Brom for £15 million. They also signed on a permanent deal from Derby, on loan goalkeeper Lee Grant for £1.3 million, he had been brought in for the injured Jack Butland. They sent four players out on loan.
At the end of this month, Mark Hughes will have been the manager of Stoke for five years. At the end of the first half of the season, after 19 games Stoke C were in 14th place on 21 points. The Cherries were in 10th spot on 24 points. Going into the game on Saturday, the Potters after 35 games are in 12th place with 40 points and the Cherries in 10th place with 41 points, the same position as they did at the end of 2016 (depending on West Ham`s game on Friday night and Palace at lunchtime on Saturday).
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
Benik Afobe is out with a hamstring injury which he picked up in our last game at Sunderland. The only other doubt is Dan Gosling who has been out with a calf injury.
Player to watch: Joshua King
Has to be Josh King again, finding the net 4 times in last 5 games and 11 in last 12. Been one of the most consistent Premier League scorers this year.
Stoke City Team News:
Jack Butland has been back in goal for two games now after just over a year out with a fractured ankle. Jonathan Walters has been out with a knee injury.
Player to watch: Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss midfield player, strong all round player and dangerous at set-pieces, 4 goals and 2 assists this season. Joint leading scorers Joe Allen and Austrian Marko Arnautovic (leading with 4 assists) are also players to keep an eye on.
Match Facts & Stats
This year away from home Stoke C have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 5. Their last away game was a 2-0 defeat to relegation threatened Swansea City. At home they have won 4, drawn 3 and lost 2. Their last game was the 0-0 draw at home against West Ham. This season Stoke C have won 10, drawn 10 and lost 15.
In our home games in the league against the Potters, the Cherries have won 4, drawn 4 and lost 3. In our first home against them in the Premier League last season, they won 3-1 and did the double, earlier in that season they beat us at their place 2-1. This season away we beat them 1-0, so the double could be on for us this time. In all competitions, the Cherries have won 6, drawn 6 and lost 13.
The referee for this match is Paul Tierney.
Assistants: I Hussin and D Bryan
Fourth Official: Lee Probert