Match Preview: AFC Bournemouth Vs Sheffield United


After twelve years in the football league wilderness, Sheffield United will return to top-flight action when they visit AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

In the opening match of the campaign, Eddie Howe’s men will play host to the new boys Sheffield United, in what promises to be a lively encounter.

It was a very busy transfer window for both clubs as they attempt to punch above their weight yet again ahead of the upcoming season. The Cherries acquired five new signings, with Philip Billing and the loan signing of Harry Wilson the notable arrivals.

They also let go of Tyrone Mings, who joined Aston Villa for a staggering £26.5 million following a successful loan spell last year.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United battled throughout the window to secure signings despite their restricted wealth. Proving shrewd in the market, Chris Wilder brought their prodigal son Phil Jagielka home.

They also did business with their counterparts on Saturday, buying Lys Mousset for £10 million. Although Mousset was the Blades record signing, that was broken only a week later when they splashed out to buy Swansea striker Oli McBurnie for £20 million.

Team news

After an excellent start to his Premier League and Bournemouth career, David Brooks is expected to miss the first three months of the campaign. The Welsh wizard picked up an ankle ligament injury during a friendly with Brentford in July.  Brooks is one of a whole host of absentees from the Cherries squad, with Simon Francis, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas and new signing Lloyd Kelly on the sidelines.

The visitors travel down to the south coast with a clean bill of health for the Premier League curtain raiser.

Eddie Howe said:

“I’m always a little bit worried when people say it’s a great window just after it’s closed, I’d rather people say that in January as it needs to be proved. “Time will tell but I’m excited to work with the new players.

Once we get everyone fit, I think it will be the best squad I’ve ever had to manage here. “We’ll work to get everyone back and we’re excited by that.

I’ve been hugely impressed by Chris Wilder and what he and his staff have done. “They’ve gone up through the leagues with their philosophy and style and I have been impressed watching from afar.”

Howe’s opposite number Chris Wilder was in high praise for the club he’s facing on Saturday:

“Their model in terms of recruitment is really good. Their coaches are teachers. Eddie is a fantastic manager but their coaches, their staff makes their players better and a unit. They’ve done fantastically well over the years.”

“Every time I lead the club out it’s a really proud moment, we’re all going after the game, we’re excited! ‘They’re will be a lot of emotion around the first fixture.”


Ahead of the clash on the weekend, the Blades have the edge in previous meetings between the two sides. Having played Bournemouth 15 times, they have only lost once, winning 10 of those matches.

Expected line-ups

AFC Bournemouth (4-4-1-1) – Travers; Smith, Cook, Ake, Daniels; Lerma, Billing,Wilson, Fraser; King, Wilson.

Sheffield United (5-3-2) – Henderson; Baldock, Basham, Egan, Jagielka, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck, Freeman; McBurnie, Mousset.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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