A low-scoring home win looks on the cards for the Cherries this Saturday.
Bournemouth v Sunderland - Saturday 15:00
Eddie Howe will have been disappointed to see his Bournemouth side lose to Middlesbrough last weekend, especially after seeing his team play with real verve in their previous few games. They were hardly a shambles at the Riverside against a much improved Boro, but were guilty of some slack defending and won’t be happy with the two goals they conceded. Of bigger concern to Eddie Howe will be the hamstring injury that forced Andrew Surman off during the second half, as he will need to find a solution in midfield without the balance of key trio Surman, Wilshere and Arter.
Sunderland weren’t fancied to get anything from their match against Arsenal last weekend, and despite unexpectedly getting an equalizer during the second half they were then blown away by three goals in a seven minute spell. It leaves Sunderland with a dismal two points from 10 games, and the sight of John O’Shea clutching his hamstring before half-time will give little encouragement to the hapless David Moyes, particularly after the performance of Lamine Kone against the Gunners.
Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last four home matches, winning three of these games and conceding just one goal during this sequence. Meanwhile, Sunderland have failed to score in four of their last five away matches across all competitions but they’ve not been getting thrashed as they conceded exactly one goal in five of their last six. There have been fewer than three goals in each of Sunderland’s last four away matches, so a Cherries win/under 2.5 goals seems generous at 4.5. Considering Bournemouth have scored exactly one goal in six of their last eight at home, a 1-0 correct score also represents excellent value.