If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s to Eddie Howe and his team’s credit that Bournemouth are now considered a mainstay in the top flight due to consecutive solid finishes of 9th and 12th. Last year may be seen as a slight backwards after hitting the heady heights of the top half two seasons ago but mid table is still a very respectable finish for a team that has come so far.
They have achieved what they have without ever straying away from their exciting attacking blueprint. Their promotion campaign saw them plunder 98 goals back on 2015 but their Premier League adventure so far has yet to see them park any buses. Their close to gung-ho approach means that their attackers are a favourite of FPL managers, especially when The Cherries host a below par or out of form side.
However, it seems that Howe and co are sticking quite literally to the phrase used at the very start of this preview. New boys Wolves and Fulham have already flexed their financial muscle in the market the summer, showing that they have no intention of paying the Premier League a flying visit, whereas David Brooks has been the only new arrival on the south coast this summer. As always, priority number one will be to stay in the league, a task that possibly won’t have been as tough as it is looking to be this season. Don’t be surprised if Bournemouth spring another surprise or two, however.
This Year’s Lineup
See last year’s. There may be a few concerned faces on the terraces in mid-August if Bournemouth still haven’t strengthened their squad going into the new campaign. Should it stay like this, Josh King will be the one to watch once more while Callum Wilson is surely due an injury free campaign to show that he can replicate that hat-trick against Huddersfield on a more regular basis. Pocket rocket Ryan Fraser is also a great FPL pick up on a week-to-week basis.
Charlie Daniels is the pick of the bunch in terms of defenders returning some interesting attacking numbers while the likes of Steve Cook and Simon Francis are always highly thought of in FPL games using advanced scoring systems due to the sheer volume of aerial duels won and clearances that they make.
One thing FPL managers like in a lineup is predictability. There’s no one more reliable in the Premier League at providing that than Bournemouth.
Josh King didn’t receive a call up to the England squad this summer due to the fact that he is Norwegian. Had this not been the case, there’s still a chance that King would have missed out on Southgate’s squad due to an unsatisfactory campaign plagued by niggling injuries.
The only reason I say this is due to the fact he set himself an incredibly high standard to keep on achieving, hitting an incredible 16 goals in 31 starts in 2016/17. His fall last season was dramatic in comparison, halving his output to 8 goals with 3 assists in the last campaign. King remains the star man at Bournemouth and while his average draft position could fall to around the 5th round (I’ve even seen him fall to round 7 in mock drafts) he could be an absolute bargain at £6.5m in the official game.
One To Watch
Junior Stanislas seems to have no luck with injuries, but when he is playing he is a fantasy football manager’s dream. Taking charge of the set pieces allows Stanislas the chances to showcase his exceptional crossing abilities.
He also has an eye for goals as well as the trickery and pace which make him valuable in advanced scoring formats. An injury free season would surely see him hit figures in the region of 6 goals and 9/10 assists, which could make him a late round steal in drafts and a bargain in the official game at £6.0m.
Get attackers, avoid defenders. That’d be the easy advice to give. With 61 goals conceded, The Cherries shipped more goals than relegated West Brom and Swansea but with 45 scored in the right end they outscored 7th places Burnley by 9.
I’m liking the look of Wilson and King in particular this year, particularly considering their kind fixture list at the start of this season. Owning these Bournemouth assets could lead to good trade value if they enjoy a good early run, especially if King shows the form that he did two seasons ago.
As previously mentioned, I can see this year’s relegation fight being the toughest in recent history but with their experience and stability as well as their firepower, I expect Bournemouth to beat the drop comfortably once more, especially if they can bring in another new face or two. An injury free squad could even see them push on towards a Europa League spot.