We are getting to that point of the season where every week there is a ‘6 pointer’ – this one does not perhaps have quite that importance but both Bournemouth vs Swansea require a win to put further daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
At the start of the day it’s 14th playing host to 16th but that could all change if other results go against them so the importance of the game could very well be upgraded to a ‘6 pointer’ come the 5:30 kick off as two young English managers go head to head at The Vitality Stadium.
Eddie Howe was facing some pressure as Bournemouth began an uncomfortable slide down the table and a fortnight ago people were perhaps claiming that the club were falling victim to ‘Second Season Syndrome’ but what a difference a fortnight makes.
After a hard fought draw at Old Trafford which was no doubt overshadowed by the skirmishes between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings and as we all know by now it was something that earned Bournemouth’s Mings a 5 game ban.
Many feared the worst last week as Bournemouth started their run of games without Mings but they managed to earn a first win in 9 matches at home to West Ham. Josh King being the hero of the hour as his last minute winner not only gave the home side all three points but also King the matchball. That said he should have already earned that accolade after missing an early penalty for The Cherries.
Defeat for Bournemouth would have seen them slip to 15th and be on the same points as not only Leicester but also today’s opponents Swansea, so the win has certainly kept their heads above water for another week but Eddie Howe knows there is still a job to be done.
And it is the exact same scenario for Paul Clement at Swansea, they missed the ideal opportunity to move what would have been 8 points clear of the drop zone last week as they traveled to Hull in what was definitely a ‘6 pointer’ unfortunately though for The Swans it was a journey in which they came away empty handed.
That was a blow for Swansea but a massive boost for Hull as they breathed new life into their own survival hopes but as disappointing as it was to not be able to put a real healthy buffer between themselves and what would have been Middlesbrough in 18th, we should not forget the turnaround that Clement that has done at Swansea in such short time.
4 wins in their last 7 has seen Swansea’s season revitalised after a lacklustre start under Francesco Guidolin and that spell under Bob Bradley. For a club to have conceded over 60 goals at this stage of the season and not be in the drop zone means that credit has to go to the man who has salvaged their season.
But the job is far from over, Swansea still need at least 4 wins (12 points) if they are to guarantee survival and should they win this Evening it will pull Bournemouth into the mix but should the home side win they can almost start to plan for next season.
Swansea are in a routine of either win or lose, sometimes a draw would not be the worst result in the world for them and I have a feeling that is how it is going to end up later on. Perhaps the result neither team really wanted but they certainly will not turn down an extra point on the board. A draw for me.