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Wolves v Bournemouth: The low-down on the Cherries

By Luke Hatfield | Wolves | Published:

Wolves look to continue their recent good form as they host Bournemouth at Molineux.

What can Wolves expect from Bournemouth?

With that in mind, we spoke with Peter Bell, from the Cherry Chimes, to get a better look at Eddie Howe's men.

See what he had to say here...

Much has been made to Bournemouth's strong start to the season, what have you made of the first months of the campaign?

It has been an exciting period for AFC Bournemouth fans. We have been in exalted company near the top of the league in the first few months, but without taking any points off the top six teams it is not a big surprise that the club has started to slip down a few places.

A few injuries have also hindered team selection, so the pressure is still very much on to pick up as many points as the team can quickly to get to safety.

Eddie Howe is regularly one of the poster boys of British managers - what has he done this season to get the Cherries doing so well?

Well, Eddie says that pre-season was the best ever.

There was a very intense programme with top teams like Real Betis, Levante and Olympic Marseilles to warm up against and the lads hit the season running really.

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Last season's poor start was really tough and the players and Eddie Howe didn't want to experience that again.

I think the fixtures were also helpful for Bournemouth early on this season. Other than that I don't think Bournemouth have changed that much.

Recruitment was good though in the summer with Jefferson Lerma and David Brooks making a real impact as first team regulars.

What do you think is the ceiling for this current Bournemouth team in terms of league position and why?

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I think the best that Bournemouth could achieve this season is seventh and that is more because of the small squad we have more than anything else.

If we get any more injuries it will make it more of a grind to get over 40 points, before other teams start catching us.

I think that the team can get more than 50 points which would be a new record for the club.

What sort of transfer business did Bournemouth do over the summer?

Jefferson Lerma was brought in from Levante as a physical central-midfielder. He is in the Colombian international team and played in the World Cup against England last summer.

He has given the team much more confidence against the better teams and he is starting to really control games for us.

David Brooks was also signed for around £12m from Sheffield United which was an absolute steal.

At 21 he is already playing for Wales' first team and he has scored some sensational goals. He is very intelligent and his link up play around the box is superb. It shows that there are some great players playing in the Championship who can step up.

Digo Rico was also signed from Leganes and while he has not played that many games, he may well start to push his way into contention now as Bournemouth are getting a bit stretched with injuries.

He plays at left back and does like to get forward and has a fierce free kick. He had a bad game against Burnley but is fighting his way back and got a few minutes against Liverpool.

Callum Wilson is just one player Wolves will need to keep a keen eye on if he plays.

What have you made of that aforementioned transfer business?

As I said earlier, the transfer business has been probably the best for Bournemouth since they have been in the Premier league and if we could add two or three more top players, before next season, then I think a more sustainable attempt at attacking sixth position could be achievable.

How do you expect the Cherries to face up with Wolves this weekend? What's your predicted XI?

Ahead of any fresh injury news I would predict 4-4-2: Begovic; Francis, S Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks, Gosling, Lerma, Fraser; Wilson, King

Steve Cook had a poor game against Liverpool, but I expect him to keep his place ahead of Tyrone Mings. Junior Stanislas perhaps did not do enough to keep his place though, if Callum Wilson is okay to come back into the team.

Will Bournemouth see Wolves as a target for three points given that it's their first season in the top flight?

I think you have to see every game as a chance to get three points.

Bournemouth have done very well against newly-promoted teams since they won promotion themselves, but it is an away game and Wolves have been picking up points and are deservedly challenging for a top 10 finish.

I see it as a game with two very attack-minded teams and probably an end-to-end game.

What have you made of Wolves from afar? Do you think they have what it takes to challenge for a top half finish?

Morgan-Gibbs White has been exceptional and you are never out of games with talented players like Ruben Neves who is capable of winning a game with a moment of magic.

As long as Wolves keep clear of injuries then they have the quality to be a top 10 club even in their first season back in the Premier League. They have shown they can come back and play well after suffering defeats and they have played their own game even against the very best teams.

Your match prediction?

I think this will be an epic contest with a few goals and I'll sit on the fence with a 2-2 draw.

You can follow Peter on Twitter here and read his work on the Cherry Chimes website.

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
@LHatfield_Star

Digital Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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