Ahead of Saturday’s tricky trip to the South Coast to face AFC Bournemouth, we caught up with Read Bournemouth editor, Max Burke, to get his thoughts going into the game.
How’s Bournemouth’s season been so far?
I think overall, a successful one giving the hurdles they’ve come across along the way. Everyone in the club would’ve taken the current position at the start of the season and with just a few more points and Premier League football, next season will be secure. Also, with three key players, Max Gradel, Tommy Elphick and Callum Wilson (Wilson is still missing) out for most of the season, they can take great pride with where they are.
Is Eddie Howe the right man to take the cub further?
I definitely think that he is. He has grown the club so much over the past few years, both as a football club and a global brand which is massive in many ways. Eddie is young and hungry for success, and at the moment, he is the man to lead and progress the club forward even more. For starters, getting a club like AFC Bournemouth to the Premier League is a difficult task and keeping them in it is even harder with the small budget compared to other Premier League teams. Ironically, I think the target for Bournemouth in the coming years will be to emulate what Swansea have done.
How do you view Swansea?
I view Swansea as a threat to anyone on their day and with the players they’ve got, shouldn’t be anywhere near the bottom. Players like Sigurdsson and Ayew would get into quite a few of the Premier League’s top ten. Swansea proved last week at Arsenal that they are capable of beating the top sides. I am confident that they will stay up.
What Swansea players will worry the Cherries?
Like I Just mentioned, Sigurdsson and Ayew. They are top class in my opinion and are capable of unlocking any defense. However, I really rate Jack Cork and although he doesn’t chip in with too many goals he is a sublime passer and his work ethic is second-to-none. In defence, Ashley Williams. In my opinion, one of Swansea’s standout performers this term, he is another one who would get in quite a few other Premier League sides.
And what Bournemouth players will the Swans be wary of?
Max Gradel, Benik Afobe and Matt Ritchie are Bournemouth’s standout players and they are the main players the Swans defence will need to keep an eye on. However, Josh King has also impressed in recent games and scored a great goal at Newcastle last week.
If you could take three Swansea players to the Vitality Stadium, who would they be?
If I could take three players to Bournemouth it would be Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Ayew and Ashley Williams. I think Bournemouth are short of the player who makes the transition between attack and defence, Sigurdsson would be that player. In addition, they could also do with a top quality centre-back, Ashley Williams. Ayew would bring pace and power, a great player.
My prediction for the game is 2-1 to Bournemouth. Although I feel it will be tight, I think that the Cherries might just edge it as they’re on a good run at the minute. Afobe and Ritchie will score for Bournemouth, with Gomis grabbing one off the bench for Swansea.
We’d like to thank Max for his time, and wish Bournemouth the best of luck for the remainder of the season (well, after Saturday of course).