Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth team’s slide into the Championship moved a step closer with defeat against Manchester City in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Bournemouth’s plucky – but ultimately fruitless – fightback at the Etihad has shown there is still plenty of fight left in the Cherries, but it’s probably a case of, too-little, too-late.
The Championship moves closer for Bournemouth
The defeat didn’t make much difference to the odds of Bournemouth getting relegated. The bookmakers had them at 1/10 to 1/12, pre Man City match.
If anything, their odds have slightly shortened, with some layers now pricing them at 1/7. This is probably down to a couple of reasons.
First, Bournemouth’s goal difference didn’t take a hammering at the Etihad, although it’s still 4 goals worse than Watford. It’s also 10 goals worse than West Ham’s, so that seems irrelevant. Second, and most likely, the Cherries are showing some real fight.
Even though the players haven’t given up the fight, the 2-1 defeat still highlighted some of the reasons Bournemouth are where they are.
Striker Callum Wilson was guilty of snatching at late chances. The sort of chances he would have put away with ease at the start of the season.
The facts are, you can put in a shift and work hard until the cows come home, but if you can’t put the ball in the net, you won’t win many matches.
Fellow front man Dominic Solanke failed to build on his brace against Leicester last Sunday. He was eventually substituted for Callum Wilson on the 69 minute mark. The individual plights of both Solanke and Wilson are probably one of the main reasons Bournemouth will ultimately go down.
What Of Bournemouth’s Relegation rivals?
The team directly below Bournemouth, Aston Villa, are away at Everton tonight (Thursday, 6pm). Although this is a difficult looking fixture, it’s one they have more than a decent chance in.
Everton have little to play for. There is no chance of relegation, and no chance of Europa League for the Toffees. On the flip side, they can play with freedom and express themselves.
Then onto the real big one on Friday, the one that gives both Villa and Bournemouth hope, West Ham V Watford.
Yes, having both your rivals play each other means someone, or both, have to drop points.The problem for Bournemouth is, if there is a positive result for one side, that team can’t be caught by the Cherries.
West Ham V Watford is at the Hammer’s London Stadium, with kick off at 8pm.