Bournemouth welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday knowing they will need to arrest their wretched form if they are to remain a top flight club.
The Cherries haven’t won a Premier League fixture since before lockdown, with a 2-1 victory over fellow relegation candidates Aston Villa on February 1 the last time they scooped all three points.
Furthermore, Eddie Howe’s side have the unwanted record of conceding the most goals of any current Premier League club since winning promotion from the Championship in 2015.
That statistic appears to have caught up with Bournemouth, with the club’s 5-year Premier League tenure under serious threat.
They welcome Tottenham to the Vitality Stadium on Thursday occupying the division’s relegation zone and 4 points from safety.
One slice of fortune for Eddie Howe is that closest relegation rivals Aston Villa don’t kick off against Manchester United until after Bournemouth have finished their match with Spurs – meaning there is a chance to apply additional pressure in the race for survival.
Tottenham travel to the South Coast knowing they will need to perform more consistently if they are to clinch a European place this season, although they did bounce back from a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United with victory against Everton last time out.
Spurs head in to the game with Bournemouth sat in 8th place in the Premier League table, 2 points off rivals Arsenal in 7th, but 11 points from the desired Champions League places.
European football may end up arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the form of the Europa League next season, but manager Jose Mourinho won’t have given up hope of playing in Europe’s elite club competition in 2020/21.
Currently, 5th place this season may well be good enough, depending on whether Manchester City’s UEFA ban sticks.
Spurs’ margin of victory over Everton in their last game was narrow, with only an own goal securing the win – victory over Bournemouth would equal consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since February.
Monday’s clash with the Toffees saw tempers boil over in the Tottenham camp too, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris involved in a fracas with teammate Son Heung-Min.
In regards to team news, Bournemouth will be pleased to welcome striker Callum Wilson back in to the fold, with the England international having served his suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Eddie Howe still has longstanding injury concerns over club veterans Charlie Daniels and Simon Francis, with centre back Steve Cook also doubtful with a hamstring strain.
Philip Billing is expected to come in to the side after brushing off a knock, whilst defender Jack Stacey is ruled out.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is unlikely to drop Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-Min against the Cherries despite their on-field bust-up, with the two having kissed and made up by the time the game had ended.
However, the Portuguese will be without Japhet Tangana and Juan Foyth with both currently sidelined.
Dele Alli may also miss out, having been absent for the Everton game with a tight hamstring.
Eric Dier is unavailable for Mourinho, having been handed a 4-match ban and fined £40,000 by the FA for confronting a fan in an FA Cup tie with Norwich before the season’s suspension.
Harry Kane will likely lead the line against Bournemouth – the England captain has scored in 7 consecutive games against the Cherries, with Spurs winning all 7 – he’ll be hoping to keep up his hot streak.
AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur at the Vitality Stadium is a 6pm kick off on Thursday, July 9.