Two sides that have made decent starts to the Premier League campaign will face off on Saturday at the Vitality as Bournemouth welcome Leicester City to the South Coast.
Group EPL Vitality Stadium, Dorset, England
Key Stat: Each of the last three Premier League encounters have ended in a draw, and five of the past six as well.
Expert Verdict: In the Cherries and the Foxes we have two of the most unpredictable teams in the division. Bournemouth are always capable of putting up a tough fight, or being rolled over and hammered. Leicester can do the same. They put up a great fight with the bigger sides, but they have had a tendency to disappoint against the 'smaller' sides since their shock title win a couple of seasons back. Given that and the propensity for draws in the tie, another one would be no surprise.
Eddie Howe has a very fit squad at the moment, and he could have everyone fit by match day if midfielder Junior Stanislas regains his fitness after returning from injury.
The last time these two sides met, Joshua King's goal from the spot looked like being enough to earn his side all three points. The Norwegian will now be looking to add to his solitary goal this term. His dynamic play on and off the ball going forward can be very tough to deal with for the Fox back line. Center back Nathan Ake is another player to watch. The Dutchman is just as capable of impacting games in both boxes, so watch for him to do that here.
Bournemouth have a loss, three wins, and a draw in their last five matches:
2-0 loss at Chelsea
3-0 home win vs MK Dons (EFL Cup)
2-2 home draw vs Everton
1-2 win at West Ham
2-0 home win vs Cardiff
Defenders:Francis, Cook, Ake
Midfielders:Smith, Lerma, Gosling, Diego Rico
Forwards:Fraser, King, Wilson
Claude Puel's biggest bit of news this week is that striker Jamie Vardy is set to return after suspension. Other than the Englishman, Puel will be without the likes of midfielder Matty James and defender Caglar Soyuncu due to injuries.
One of the bigger stars in the league still is the aforementioned Vardy, and the meteoric rise of his could still have a few twists along the way. Before his suspension, he had scored a goal already. He has done well away in the pat, and it'd be no surprise if he did quite well here. Another player to keep an eye on is center midfielder James Maddison. He has looked every bit the part of a Premier League player after his move up from the Championship, as his goal and assist show so far.
Leicester have two losses and three wins in their last five matches:
1-2 home loss vs Liverpool
4-0 home win vs Fleetwood Town (EFL Cup)
1-2 win at Southampton
2-0 home win vs Wolves
2-1 loss at Manchester United
Defenders:Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell
Defensive Midfielders:Mendy, Ndidi
Attacking Midfielders:Ghezzal, Maddison, Gray
Bournemouth and Leicester have only faced off eight times before, and the draw has been a popular result. Five of those have taken place. The Foxes have won two of the other three. Here's a look at the last five results:
Mar 3, 2018: Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth
Sep 30, 2017: Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester
May 21, 2017: Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth
Dec 13, 201: Bournemouth 1-0 Leicester
Jan 2, 2016: Leicester 0-0 Bournemouth
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Bournemouth are at 11/8 to win, a draw is at 11/5, and a Leicester win is at 2/1.
Bournemouth find themselves in a lofty sixth place as EPL play kicks off again after a couple of weeks off. The Cherries have won twice and drawn once in four matches so far, and their only loss has come at the hands of Chelsea away. If you're going to lose to a side, there are few better to lose to in this division. With that said, two of the wins were over strugglers in West Ham and Cardiff, so it is yet to be seen whether they can keep this pace up or not. Even if not, they will have to be very optimistic that they can escape a prolonged relegation battle this season after starting so well against possible rivals at the bottom.
Leicester come into this match two places behind Bournemouth in eighth place and have earned just one point less. The Foxes have looked very competitive in both of their defeats, losing by one goal to both Liverpool and Manchester United. Their wins came over Southampton and Wolves, once again showing that they very much have what it takes to be a very solid team in the mid-table. The potential to go further than that is very much unlikely, but if things click for them you just never know after their shock title win two seasons ago.
Jamie Vardy has scored two of Leicester's last three goals against the Cherries. So him scoring anytime is at 2.4 via Betfair.
A score draw is at 13/4 via Ladbrokes.
Claude Puel and his Foxes will be happy to have Jamie Vardy leading the line again, but there is just something about playing Bournemouth that doesn't equate to wins. They just miss out on one here against the Cherries.