Bournemouth play their first home game of the 2017/18 season and it is Watford who are the visitors to The Vitality Stadium later this afternoon. Eddie Howe’s men will be looking to get off the mark after an opening day defeat away at West Brom.
That is not the case for Marco Silva’s Watford side as they played out a six goal thriller at Vicarage Road last Saturday Lunchtime. It was a topsy turvy encounter against Liverpool and one that thanks to Miguel Britos’ injury time goal saw them earn a share of the points.
Previously to today these two teams have met four times in the Premier League and neither team has ever beaten the other, all four fixtures have ended in draws with last season both encounters recorded the same scoreline of two goals a piece.
Last season both Josh King and Troy Deeney scored in both matches and Watford boss Marco Silva will have to decide whether to include his club captain from the start after he missed the season opener due to having groin surgery.
There was not even room for club record signing Andre Gray last week as the man who made the move from Burnley just over a week ago had to make do with a place on the bench, the same had to be said for Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe.
The England international was only involved after the break at The Hawthorns and in all fairness played little part in Bournemouth’s defeat to West Brom. He will be hoping that this time around he has afforded more minutes in a bid to open his account for the season.
Watford showed last Saturday that they certainly have goals in them but also that there is still work to do in defence. Two of their goals were perhaps more attributed to gifts from Liverpool due to their lacklustre defending but that should not take anything away from their performance.
Goalkeeper Huerelho Gomes once again showed he can be something of a calamity as a couple of moments where a rush of blood to the head were apparent. One led to Liverpool being awarded a penalty the other saw him getting lobbed after rushing off his goal line.
Unfortunately this is the risk you take when it comes to Gomes, there is something resembling an experienced goalkeeper there somewhere but at the same time you know he is also prone to a lapse in concentration, one that ultimately is to the detriment to his team.
The same cannot be said for Asmir Begovic who will provide a much more calmer presence to Bournemouth’s back line. They arguably had the same issues with Artur Boruc in goal last season and it is an area that was certainly identified for improvement by Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe earlier this summer.
Both sides earned promotion to the Premier League for the 2015/16 season and now they are in the third consecutive campaign, this means that they have brushed aside any worries that ‘Second Season Syndrome’ may have got the better of them.
Now these two outfits will look to become established top flight clubs and these are the games in which they will have identified as ones where points can be realistically earned. I mentioned above that there have been four previous draws, I have a feeling that this one will be the fifth. Honours even this afternoon for me.
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— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 18, 2017