• Date: Sat 22 April 2017
  • Kick-off: 14:00
  • Venue: Vitality Stadium
AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth

J. King 2"

B. Afobe 16"

M. Pugh 65"

C. Daniels 70"

4 - 0

AFC Bournemouth vs Middlesbrough


Match Preview
Eddie Howe looking for a response

Bournemouth will look to push themselves closer to another campaign in the top flight when they host second-bottom Middlesbrough in the Premier League this weekend.

Manager Eddie Howe is expecting a response from his side following successive defeats by title-chasers Chelsea and Tottenham.

"I am not going to say that one win will make us safe, but we are very motivated to win this game," Howe said.

"We were on a really good run before playing the top two. We knew how hard this run was going to be, but we have come out mainly unscathed after it.

"Both teams are desperate to win, it should make it a really good spectacle, but hopefully one we can excel in."

Tributes will be paid at the Vitality Stadium to former Middlesbrough defender Ugo Ehiogu, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training centre where he was under-23s coach.

There will be a minute's applause before kick-off, with the players from both teams set to wear black armbands.

Jack Wilshere meanwhile has been ruled out of the campaign after suffering a fractured leg against Spurs, but Howe has praised the England man's impact at the club.

"He is naturally down and disappointed he is going to miss the rest of the season, but he is a positive guy and will come back from this, I have no doubt," Howe said.

"His loan spell for us has been hugely beneficial, and hopefully Jack would feel the same way."

Rudy Gestede will return to Bournemouth on Saturday hoping to kick-start Boro's revival by ending his 43-game wait for three points.

The Teessiders have managed only four league wins all season and as a result find themselves six points adrift of safety with as many games remaining.

Gestede, a B#6million January arrival from Aston Villa, has made 11 league appearances for the club and is yet to finish on the winning side, and his last taste of top-flight victory came on the opening day of the 2015-16 season when he scored the only goal for Villa in a 1-0 win at Bournemouth, some 43 fixtures ago.

Boro's interim head coach Steve Agnew said: "We'd love Rudy to score - we'd love any one of the players to score the winning goal for us on Saturday.

"Rudy has been really good from day one, he's a top professional. He works ever so hard every day, he's always asking for extra work on whatever part of his game he needs to improve on."

Boro have not won in the league since they beat Swansea 3-0 on December 17, a run of 15 games which has yielded just six points.

Agnew said: "They have all been big weeks over this period, so of course it is big week and of course it's a massive game. But you have to enjoy it and that's the only way I know, that's what the players and staff know.

"They are all relishing the game on Saturday. You do need wins and that's what we have missed, and that's what we need from now on in.

"Yes, you need to be hard to beat and continue to be difficult to beat, but equally you need a goal to take the three points we need."

Gestede and full-back Fabio are expected to take their places in the squad after battling foot and knee injuries respectively this week, while defender Calum Chambers, who was ineligible against parent club Arsenal on Monday evening, could return.

However, Brad Guzan will deputise in goal for Victor Valdes, who will miss out once again with a rib problem, while skipper Grant Leadbitter will sit out with a hamstring strain.
Team Lineups

AFC Bournemouth

1 A. Boruc
2 S. Francis
11 C. Daniels 70"
15 A. Smith
3 S. Cook
4 D. Gosling
8 H. Arter
7 M. Pugh 65"
24 R. Fraser
17 J. King 2"
9 B. Afobe 16"
Substitutes
L. Cook > D. Gosling 44"
J. Stanislas > R. Fraser 72"
L. Mousset > J. King 84"
M. Gradel
R. Allsop
T. Mings
B. Cargill

Middlesbrough

12 B. Guzan
17 Barragán
3 G. Friend
4 Daniel Ayala
6 B. Gibson
25 C. Chambers
19 S. Downing
8 A. Clayton
21 G. Ramírez
14 M. de Roon
10 Álvaro Negredo
Substitutes
A. Forshaw > Barragán 23"
Fábio > M. de Roon 38"
R. Gestede > Álvaro Negredo 80"
D. Konstantopoulos
B. Espinosa
C. Stuani
Adama Traoré

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