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We’re back on the road tomorrow and one of the longest trips of the season down to the Dorset coast and our away Premier League fixture against Bournemouth.

As we go into the game, we’re both in the bottom three with us currently having a one point advantage over them. It means this is going to be a key game for us and one that will prove to give a huge boost to either team should they win.

Much has been said about last week and the performance at Brentford. It was arguably our worst performance of the season and added to our struggles to keep the ball out of our own net. The three we conceded have taken the total to 23 in just nine Premier League games and that’s some way more than in any other season in this league.

It hasn’t helped with all the changes we’ve needed to make in defence, particularly with Jordan Beyer’s injury but the problems have not been exclusive to the defenders who have, at times, had little help from in front of them.

We are visiting a club where recent history has been good if that counts for anything. We’ve won our last three league games there and last season added a third round FA Cup victory to that. A similar result would be just what’s needed to try and get this season moving forward and helping us get out of the bottom three.

Midfielder Sander Berge, who was in the team beaten by Brentford last week, is confident that things will improve. He said: “It’s just a learning curve. We have a new, young squad with a different system and we just need to learn quick as a group and continue doing what we know we can do on the pitch.

“We all try to help each other. Everyone understands when you are a promoted team a lot of the time you are an underdog and no one expects to go out every game and get three points every time, but at the same time our ambition every match is to go out there and get something from it.”

Berge signed from Sheffield United just three days before we kicked off the season. He went straight into the side and has featured in all nine Premier League games to date with seven of them starts. That would suggest he’s a likely starter tomorrow but having said the same about Josh Brownhill last week I’ll not predict a definite starting role for him.

It’s anyone’s guess who will start the game. Vincent Kompany has said that it is going to be from the squad on duty at Brentford with some of the injured players not quite ready for a return but there will have to be one change with Connor Roberts forced to sit out the game serving a one match ban following his red card last week.

A reminder that our team last week at Brentford was: James Trafford, Connor Roberts, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Dara O’Shea, Charlie Taylor, Josh Cullen, Sander Berge, Mike Trésor, Zeki Amdouni, Wilson Odobert, Lyle Foster. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Hannes Delcroix, Jack Cork, Josh Brownhill, Nathan Redmond, Luca Koleosho, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Anass Zaroury, Jay Rodriguez.

Bournemouth swapped places with us at the end of the 2021/22 season, returning to the Premier League after two years. They were under the management of Scott Parker but he soon went last season with Gary O’Neil stepping up.

Things were looking bleak for them for long periods last season and they were in the relegation places as late as mid-March, but six wins in nine games took them and they were safe with three games remaining. We can never know the workings of our own club, let alone another, but it was something of a shock when O’Neil lost his job in June with Andoni Iraola selected to replace him. If it was because they had lost their final four games, it still looked a very short-sighted decision.

Now to this season under Iraola. It hasn’t gone as well as they might have hoped despite them bringing in nine new players. They are still to win a game and have that 19th place in the table just behind us with three points from three draws.

Two of those draws have come at home against West Ham on the opening weekend of the season and against Chelsea last month. They did what we couldn’t do and took a point at Brentford in the game before the Chelsea draw.

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Since the last point against Chelsea, they’ve been beaten four times at Brighton and Everton and at home against both Arsenal and Wolves, the last of those games against the team now managed by O’Neil. That was a game in which they led but conceded an 88th minute goal to go down 2-1.

They had Lewis Cook sent off too in that game so, like us, they have a player ruled out with a suspension. They continue to be without injured trio Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks and Emiliano Marcondes.

The manager has also confirmed that goalkeeper and captain Neto has sustained an ankle injury in training that will rule him out until the new year. He reported that he will be replaced by Andrei Radu, one of their summer signings, who will make a debut for the club he joined from Auxerre. However, since Iraola spoke, Bournemouth have recalled Mark Travers (pictured above) from his loan at Stoke. He has over sixty league appearances under his belt for Bournemouth although mainly in the Championship.

Against Wolves last week, the Bournemouth team was: Neto, Max Aarons, Illia Zabarnyi, Lloyd Kelly, Milos Kerkez, Alex Scott, Lewis Cook, David Brooks, Philip Billing, Marcus Tavernier, Dominic Solanke. Subs: Andrei Radu, Joe Rothwell, Ryan Christie, Dango Ouattara, Adam Smith, Justin Kluivert, Kieffer Moore, Antoine Semenyo, Marcos Senesi.




We won 4-2 at Bournemouth in January of this year in a third round FA Cup tie but it is heading towards four years since we were last there for a league game in what proved to be Eddie Howe’s final season as their manager.

On that occasion, we beat them 1-0 with a Jay Rodriguez goal in the 89th minute. It proved to be Sean Dyche’s fiftieth Premier League win as Burnley manager and we recorded three successive away wins against a team for the first time in this league.

It started well for us in the opening ten minutes or so and was convinced had we scored then we might have recorded another comfortable win there. We didn’t and it became potentially one of the least exciting games of that season.

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It really did look to be heading for a draw but then came the goal just as we were all settling for a point. Aaron Lennon and Ashley Westwood linked up on the right with Westwood crossing for Rodriguez to head home. There was a long wait while VAR looked for a handball to rule it out but alas it couldn’t; a Bournemouth defender had was the player to have handled it.

The goal stood and we were winners, the second of seven away wins in the season.

The teams were;

Bournemouth: Aaron Ramsdale, Jack Stacey, Simon Francis, Chris Mepham, Diego Rico, Lewis Cook (Callum Wilson ht), Philip Billing (Dominic Solanke 86), Jefferson Lerma, Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser, Josh King. Subs not used: Artur Boruc, Andre Surman, Junior Stanislas, Jack Simpson, Gavin Kilkenny.

Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hendrick (Aaron Lennon 65), Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil (Robbie Brady 82), Ashley Barnes (Jay Rodriguez 75), Chris Wood. Subs not used: Joe Hart, Kevin Long, Erik Pieters, Danny Drinkwater.

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