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Bournemouth v Wolves: Inside track on the Cherries

By Luke Hatfield | Wolves | Published:

Wolves make the lengthy trip to Bournemouth this weekend looking to solidify their place as 'best of the rest' in the top flight.

Will Wolves be able to get the better of Bournemouth?

With that in mind, we've once again called on Peter Bell, from the Cherry Chimes, to get an inside take on Bournemouth before the encounter.

See what he had to say here...

Sitting in 11th position in the Premier League table, how would you say Bournemouth's season so far has gone?

It's been a crazy season.

One minute Bournemouth are up with the top six and absolutely flying and then October came and the team had some horrendous injuries to key players.

We haven't done at all well against the top six sides apart from a 4-0 home win over an out of form Chelsea and the team has not won away since October.

Eddie Howe has done great work with Bournemouth.

So, it's the home form that has kept Bournemouth in the picture for a top half finish.

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Still, I think most fans would be satisfied with where the team is at moment with so many games to play.

Much has been made of Callum Wilson this season, with reports of a move potentially going ahead in January - how good has he been this year, is he worth the £50m being touted around in the press about him?

Callum has been one of Bournemouth's best players. He is the leading goalscorer on 11 in all competitions and he has been a big miss when he hasn't played.

The England call up last autumn was a real mark of progress for him and he has started to score a lot more headed goals this season.

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Bournemouth are not noted for scoring from headers so it's been good to see him do that.

I suppose Callum's price will be governed by whatever club's are prepared to offer for him. When Bournemouth paid getting on for £20m for Dominic Solanke who hasn't played much in the Premier League, then a Wilson's price has to be pretty high for the experience he now has.

I'd like the press to rate him even higher because if we do lose him, we'll need a big pot of money to find another striker that is ready-made for Bournemouth's style of play.

Callum Wilson has been a big miss for the Cherries.

Who do you think are the big threats from this Bournemouth side having witnessed them through two thirds of the campaign?

Injuries have depleted Bournemouth's scoring potential.

Josh King ad Ryan Fraser are the most likely goal scorers for us at the moment. If there is a penalty it will be Josh King who steps up for it and Ryan Fraser has been excellent with his late runs into the box from wide positions.

The players we really need back are Callum Wilson and David Brooks, but I can't see them back for this game.

What's your predicted XI for the weekend? And what can Wolves fans expect in terms of playing style?

The team will have a couple of changes from the Liverpool match last time out. Nathaniel Clyne will come back in at right-back and I can't see Bournemouth playing five in midfield, so Solanke is likely to feature from the start alongside Josh King.

The full line up could look like this: Boruc; Clyne, S Cook, Aké, A Smith; Ibe, Lerma, Gosling, Fraser; Solanke, King.

At home, Bournemouth attack from the outset. They will look to pen Wolves in and get some early corners.

Josh King could be a huge threat for Wolves.

What you will see is a lot of width to our play and Bournemouth are not afraid to keep possession and come back out of an advanced position and re-route the play to pull people out of position.

What sort of transfer business did Bournemouth do over January? What have you made of that business?

Bournemouth were very active this January. Nathaniel Clyne was brought in on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season as captain Simon Francis is out with a cruciate ligament injury.

Dominic Solanke was signed from Liverpool on a permanent deal to play as a striker, costing around £19m. Central defender, Chris Mepham was also signed permanently from Brentford for about £12m.

It's good to see that Bournemouth are signing young players in general and players that have international experience. It may mean the club spends less this summer having spent big in January.

The signing that has fans excited is Nathaniel Clyne and it would be really interesting to see if Bournemouth can turn Clyne into a permanent signing this summer.

Time will tell if Solanke or Mepham are good additions. Personally, I feel Divock Origi would have been a better striker signing from Liverpool than Solanke, but I'm prepared to be disproved.

Do you see Bournemouth pushing on now to try and solidify a top half finish in the Premier League, or is 11th an acceptable position come the end of the season?

Until the team gets players back it is hard to see them winning many games. We need two wins I'd say to get safe and they may not come until the end of March, if we have to wait for players to return to be back to full strength.

Any finish in the top 10 would be a good season for Bournemouth, but we may have to settle for top 12.

Nathaniel Clyne is one man signed by the Cherries in January.

Wolves are obviously doing well this season, what have you made of them from afar, and do you think they've got what it takes to finish 'best of the rest'?

Wolves have been great for the Premier League.

They really go for the win and they have many quality players. I have to wonder why Nuno Espirito Santo isn't being linked with bigger clubs yet. He has done remarkably well and could even take Wolves to a cup final.

Wolves have the firepower to finish the best of the rest. They have done well against the top six and have probably been unlucky against some of the lower placed teams.

I have been impressed with how they counter-attack and get number forward quickly in support.

Your match prediction?

I'd be more than happy with a 1-1 draw.

I am hoping that the number of games Wolves have played of late might catch up with them. I do make them slight favourites for this match though.

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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