Date: 3rd August 2019 at 5:54pm
Written by:

Written by kirsikka

On Friday evening AFC Bournemouth played out a seven-goal thriller with Italian Serie A giants Lazio, with the Cherries losing 4-3.

Positives:
1: Jordon Ibe. Faded in and out at times but look very dangerous. If he can carry that form into the season he could well have an excellent season.
2: It’s a preseason friendly with all the caveats that go with that. Minutes into legs and all that
3: Lazio are a long, long way from a bunch of cloggers and were playing a very strong team and yet we managed to open them up numerous times.
4: Another goal for Dominic Solanke. Hopefully, that breeds confidence in him.

Negatives:
1: The keeper situation didn’t look like it had a positive answer out there tonight with Mark Travers and Asmir Begovic playing 45 minutes each.
2: The defence looked beyond frail. Ok, it was missing it’s two best players in Nathan Ake and Adam Smith but nobody stepped up to make a case for their inclusion. Quite the opposite in fact.
3: It felt like we were overrun in the middle of the park a little. I would have liked to have seen more from Jefferson Lerma.
4: A possible niggle for Andrew Surman, but hopefully it was just a precautionary substitution.

Less than 24 hours later and AFC Bournemouth were back at Dean Court for another international friendly, this time against French Ligue 1 side Lyon.

First of all, for context, let’s remember that Lyon got through the group stages of the Champions League last season and only went out in the knockout stages to Barcelona. They also started with an almost first-choice team. Yet there was barely any point of that match that they were really in it. We aren’t in that bad a place at all!

— POSITIVES —
1: Philip Billing. Looked comfortable on the ball and appears like he will be a big upgrade on Dan Gosling. Must start next week!
2: The Callum Wilson-Joshua King combination is firing.
3: Steve Cook looks fit enough to start next week.
4: Gavin Kilkenny may just have bagged himself a squad place this season. Definitely, one to watch.
5: Danjuma looked lively at times. He’s only been here a couple of days so given time will hopefully be a big asset.

5: We looked good!

— NEGATIVES —
1: Aaron Ramsale blew his chance with hair raising distribution which is a huge shame. Another loan beckons.
2: Some of those defensive passes in the first half will be punished if we keep making the same mistakes.
3: Diego Rico, unfortunately, had a poor game when the Left Back spot was his for the taking. I think he may possibly have handed it back to Charlie Daniels for next weekend.

So with AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe splitting his squad across the two games, just how will AFC Bournemouth line-up on the opening day of the Premier League 2019/20 campaign against Sheffield United?

The preseason race is run and I would imagine, barring something monumental happening in the last week, Eddie Howe will now know his starting XI for next weekend. From what I’ve seen, this is who I think it will be:

GK: Artur Boruc – Almost by default after the other three blew it in the final friendlies

RB: Smith
CB: S Cook – Not challenged by Mepham’s preseason performances
CB: Ake
LB: Daniels (if fit enough) / Rico (if not) – Rico should be the man but a weak showing v Lyon may cost him

LW: Fraser
CM: Lerma
CM: Billing – Looked absolutely ready v Lyon and could dovetail nicely with Lerma
RW: Ibe – Did enough v Lazio to be given the chance to reclaim the spot

ST: King
ST: Wilson

SUBS
Solanke
Kilkenny/Surridge
Danjuma
Surman
Stacey (allows us to cover both fullbacks as Smith can switch sides)
Mepham
Travers

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