Cherries can pip Villa on long-awaited Premier League debut
Having said that he’d give the players who earned promotion for Bournemouth last season the chance to prove themselves in the Premier League, manager Eddie Howe seems to have a change of heart.
Middlesbrough midfielder Lee Tomlin and French forward Max Gradel arrived at the Vitality Stadium earlier this week, bringing the number of summer signings up to eight. Excitement will bubble over into trepidation as the Cherries kick off their first-ever campaign in the top flight against Aston Villa this Saturday – will Premier League teams allow them to play the kind of football which has seen them progress from League 1 in three years, or will the small south coast club be struck down by a dose of reality?
Villa are many people’s idea of relegation candidates, despite being much-improved under Tim Sherwood in the second half of last season. They did reach last year’s FA Cup Final but have lost Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke to bigger rivals over the summer and captain Ron Vlaar has been released. Sherwood will be relying on new strike force Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede to score the goals to keep his team outside of the bottom three but neither have Premier League experience. Villa are also relying on Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair to get back to their best and that looks a huge gamble.
There are no easy games in the Premier League but Bournemouth couldn’t have hoped for a more gentle introduction to life among the elite at home against a team that is likely to struggle all season. Time will tell whether they can survive on small crowds but the Cherries can make a winning start at 10/11. The home side is 5/2 to win by one goals in our Winning Margin market.