Written by Billy the kid
With one side changed during our visit to Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday which ended in a 1-0 loss, the AFCB are back at Dean Court for their last game of the 46-game league season before the start. play-offs, the game against Stoke City. Saturday starts at the earlier time of 12:30 p.m.
We could see a much stronger squad lined up by Jonathan Woodgate as he prepares for the play-offs that will decide the league we are in next season. It has been a season where we have had the unusual occurrence in recent years of having two managers in one season. The 46-game league season has been mostly two games in one week. Be good to go into the playoffs on the back of a win.
Stoke City’s best-performing streak was earlier in the season, with an unbeaten five-game streak at the end of September / October with three wins and two draws. The other five-game unbeaten streak came in December with one win and four draws, before our away win at their home turf in early January 0-1 with a goal scored by Junior Stanislas.
Stoke City is in the middle position (14th) for its last game of the season, with nothing to play for. Their last six games were probably their worst streak of the season with 2 draws and 4 losses. They started with two losses, at home to Millwall, which finished 1-2 and then went down 2-0 to Birmingham City. They went on to play two games at home, drawing Preston 0-0 and then losing 2-3 to Coventry City. Their next match was a 0-0 draw at Nottingham Forest. Their last game ended in a 0-2 home loss to Queens Park Rangers.
The last time we met the Potters at Dean Court was in the Premier League in February of the 2017-18 season. The Cherries went behind to a fifth-minute header by Xherdan Shaqiri. The AFCB returned in the second half with two goals in nine minutes from substitutes Josh King who scored with a shot in the 70th minute and Lys Mousset who took the lead in the 79th minute to give the AFCB a victory.
AFCB vs. Stoke
AFCB team news
No news yet on Junior Stanislas or the latest on Lloyd Kelly, but hopefully both will be available for play-off selection. Steve Cook is expected to be fine after being ruled out with injury last Saturday.
AFCB player to watch
Arnaut Danjuma is at the top of his game right now and full of confidence.
Stoke City Team News
According to reports, they have 11 injured players plus more who are not 100% fit. The latest victim is Nick Powell, their top scorer who seems to miss the game.
Stoke City player to watch
With so many players and some key players, it’s hard to say. One of their youngest players who has caught the eye this season is Harry Souttar.
Should Woodgate put players to rest before the play-offs?
I do not know
Kenya Cherrie mentionned…
Secured a place in the top six, Bournemouth will be eager to regain their best form before the play-offs after suffering back-to-back 1-0 defeats in the Championship. Notably, they haven’t suffered three straight losses since July 2020 and you’ll have to go back to October 2019 for the last time they went three scoreless games.
The “Cherries” have shown an all-or-nothing approach in their last 11 home league games (W6, L5). They have also scored 50% (20) of their home league goals this season after the 60th minute, which suggests they will be at their most dangerous as the game progresses. But no matter when they come, goals should be guaranteed with the last six games at Vitality Stadium producing an average of 3.50.
Stoke City’s 57 points means they have already improved their points return for each of the previous two campaigns, despite not winning in six (D2, L4). In addition, they have won only two of the 17 league games with the current nine best clubs (D4, L11). One bright spot though is that they went unbeaten in the last league game in each of their previous nine seasons (W6, D3).
Michael O’Neill’s men have failed to score in seven of their previous 14 away trips (W1, D8, L5). But while wins are rare, they’re hard to beat and are the only Championship team to have double-digit (ten) away draws. Moreover, although they have only collected one point in six away games by conceding the first (D1, L5), they have scored the first game in their last three visits to Bournemouth (W1, D1 , L1).
Players to watch: Bournemouth have an 85.71% win rate in Championship matches when Arnaut Groeneveld marked (W12, D1, L1). Meanwhile, the Stoke striker Steven fletcher scored four of his last five goals after the 60th minute.
Hot statistic: Bournemouth’s five losses to bottom half opposition came with an exact margin of one goal, they were also losing four at HT and failed to score in three. – Join the conversation, click here.