Lerma a doubt for Anfield clash

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has revealed that Jefferson Lerma will have a fitness test to see if he can feature in Saturday's game against Liverpool at Anfield.

The Colombia international, who has played in 19 top-flight games this season following his summer transfer from Levante, is struggling with an ankle injury.

He missed last month's impressive 4-0 win against Chelsea and was a second-half substitute at Cardiff City last weekend.

Howe said: "We are waiting on a fitness test for Jefferson. He's had a niggling ankle injury for a few weeks so has been on and off with his training this week. We will wait and see whether he's fit."

Bournemouth have a lengthy injury list to contend with and Callum Wilson and David Brooks look set to be sidelined until March.

Wilson had a knee clean-up operation at the end of last month while Brooks picked up an ankle injury against Chelsea.

"They have pretty similar timescales," Howe said of Brooks and Wilson. "David has been to see a specialist and has had scans so I think around the four-week mark for him.

"Callum had a clean-out in his knee so, again, probably around the same mark but we are not going to be able to get them back earlier than that. They are both big misses for us but I believe we have the squad strength to cover those players."

In addition to Lerma, Wilson and Brooks, long-term injury victims Simon Francis and Lewis Cook remain sidelined with anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Bournemouth can be backed at 13/1 to earn a shock win at Anfield while they are 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

Howe hopes for Wilson boost

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe is hoping that striker Callum Wilson has not suffered a major injury setback, having only just returned to action.

Wilson scored a superb goal in the 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Saturday, but was forced off 17 minutes from time at Dean Court due to a knee problem, having been sidelined for just over a fortnight by a hamstring issue.

And Howe has been left waiting to find out the extent of the injury, telling reporters after also see Josh King limp off late on against the Irons: "We're going to have to see how they are, but Callum's seems the more serious, limping off which is unlike him.

"We're going to have to see what he's done. It's not the hamstring, it was something in his knee, but I have no idea how serious it is."

Meanwhile, Howe was full of praise for the defensive efforts of his players against the Hammers, with the Cherries keeping a first clean sheet in their last five league games.

He added: "The players have been questioned, but I thought they came through with flying colours. I thought it was really disciplined display full of hard work.

"We've put a lot of hard work into the last few weeks and concentrated on our defending. It goes without saying, after the run that we've been on, that's what we would do and I'm very pleased that the players got their rewards."

Bournemouth are now priced at 6/5 to finish in the top half of the table and 4/6 to end up in the bottom half of the table.

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Howe weighs up Wilson return

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe will make a late decision on whether to hand striker Callum Wilson a recall for the clash with West Ham on Saturday.

The England international frontman has sat out the last two Cherries games due to a hamstring niggle and Howe is not about to take any chances with one of his most important players.

He told reporters ahead of the Hammers' visit to the South Coast: "He's been on the grass once this week and we will make a very late call on him. You have to be very careful with hamstring injuries."

Wilson has scored nine goals in 20 Premier League appearances so far this season and is 6/5 to score at any time on Saturday, with Bournemouth 11/8 to win the game and 9/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Howe has again attempted to play down talk of interest in Wilson from Chelsea, while confirming that his club have fielded no offers for any of their current squad.

He added: "We've had no interest in any of our players. Everything has just been speculation.

"I don't want to place any more pressure on Callum or any of my players by talking about things that aren't important. What's important is Callum working hard for the team and producing his best performances on a consistent basis.

"For him to be thinking about transfer fees, values and other clubs, I would recommend he focuses on Bournemouth."

Wilson scored a last-minute equaliser when Bournemouth and West Ham played out a 3-3 draw in this fixture last season.

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Howe makes Wilson view clear

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe says he would not sell star striker Callum Wilson at 'any price', with Chelsea having been linked with the England international.

Wilson has scored nine goals in the Premier League so far this season, with his excellent form seeing him breaking into the international set-up – marking his England debut with a goal in the 3-0 win over the United States in November.

His displays for the Cherries have sparked interest in his services from top-flight rivals Chelsea, but Howe says, for his part, he has no desire at all to allow Wilson to move on just yet.

Howe told reporters: "It's just my opinion, but I wouldn't sell at any price. But I'm the manager of the team, trying to create the best team I can.

"We desperately want to take the team forward and, to do that, we have to keep our best players.

"He's a very important member of the team. He has unique attributes which really complement what we do and we value him very highly.

"I've been told about the speculation – it's not something which I seek to read. It's business as normal, Callum has been bright and bubbly this week, so there are no problems there."

Bournemouth and Wilson are back in action on Sunday, when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton, having lost all three of their previous Premier League visits to the Toffees.

The Cherries are 29/10 to gain a draw on Sunday, with Wilson 15/8 to score at any time in the game, while David Brooks can be backed at 15/4.

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Wilson would improve Chelsea

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson would make Chelsea a better side, should they secure his signature, according to Dion Dublin.

The 26-year-old Cherries forward has scored nine league goals this season and has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.

Dublin says he's a tougher prospect when compared to the likes of Alvaro Morata, but the pundit has warned Chelsea they'll have to pay a hefty fee in order to see Eddie Howe release the frontman.

Morata has struggled under new boss Maurizio Sarri this season, scoring just five times in the Premier League and has been linked with a return to his native Spain.

Frenchman Olivier Giroud has been vying with Morata for game-time and, so far, Sarri has been unable to find a line-up that pleases him – resulting in Eden Hazard being deployed further forward than had normally been the case.

Wilson, who earned his England debut last year, would improve Chelsea's fortunes if they can attract him to west London, according to former Aston Villa and Manchester United forward Dublin.

"Wilson has all the attributes to make them a better side going forward, he is a more out-and-out forward than what they have at present," he told BBC Sport.

"Morata seems to have a soft underbelly, he likes a tap-in but does not really like to go through the pain barrier to score goals.

"I do like Giroud, he is a very good centre-forward. He does not get the number that people expect but as a centre-forward, and as a team player, I have a lot of admiration for him."

Wilson is 50/1 to finish as the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season, while Harry Kane is 9/4 having scored 14 goals so far and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is 7/1, with 10 to his name already.

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Howe hints at more new faces

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has suggested that he may add some more new players to his squad before the January transfer window slams shut.

Howe signed Liverpool duo Dominic Solanke, on a permanent basis, and Nathaniel Clyne on loan until the end of the season, last week with the latter playing on Saturday in the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup.

Howe has lost Simon Francis, Lewis Cook and Adam Smith to serious injuries recently while Solanke is not expected to make his Bournemouth debut until February because of a hamstring problem.

Howe replied when asked whether he would be doing any more business in January: "It's difficult to say with clarity yes or no. We are still looking at different areas."

On Clyne's display against the Seagulls, he added: "It was a good performance from Nathaniel. It's very difficult when you come in and you haven't had a training session with your team-mates but he fitted in well.

"I think he learned on the job of how we play and defensively he was excellent. We needed a right-back with the injuries we had to Simon Francis and Adam Smith. As soon as the window opened it was a position we were looking to strengthen in.

"Nathaniel was the obvious candidate, a player of huge experience and undoubted ability."

A poor run has seen Bournemouth slip to 12th in the Premier League table and they are 8/15 to finish in the bottom half this season and 8/11 to lose to Everton on Sunday.

Cherries face wait for Solanke

Bournemouth new boy Dominic Solanke will not feature for the Cherries until at least next month as he is struggling with a hamstring problem.

The 21-year-old striker joined Eddie Howe's men on Friday for a fee in the region of £17million, having found first-team opportunities limited during and 18-month stay with Liverpool.

However, the former Chelsea youngster is not ready to join in the action just yet, with Howe confirming that Solanke is some weeks away from full fitness.

He told reporters after a 3-1 FA Cup third-round loss at home to Brighton: "Dominic will miss most of January because he's got a bit of a hamstring issue.

"It will be more February before we're likely to see him in action, but we knew about that because he's been through all the medicals and checks.

"He adds a slightly different dynamic to our frontline. He can hold the ball up in play, he's technically gifted, has a good physical presence and all-round he's a very good player."

The Cherries have won just two of their last 11 Premier League games to drop down into the bottom half of the table, however, they still have an 11-point gap between themselves and the relegation places.

Their next outing comes on Sunday 13th January, when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton.

Bournemouth are available at 13/5 to earn a draw on Merseyside, with a 1-1 final scoreline 13/2 and a 2-2 outcome priced at 14/1.

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Cherries seal Solanke deal

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has completed the signing of Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke for an undisclosed transfer fee.

Howe is also believed to be on the verge of signing Solanke's Liverpool team-mate Nathaniel Clyne on loan until the end of the campaign.

The 21-year-old Solanke, who has put pen to paper on a long-term contract at the Vitality Stadium, began his career at Chelsea before moving to Anfield in July 2017.

He said: "I think the club is going somewhere. Over the past few years, they have been really good in the Premier League and had some good positional finishes as well. I think it's a good club to be at, especially for someone of my age.

"I spoke with the manager this morning [Friday]. He is a really nice guy. From playing and watching the Premier League, I know the sort of manager he is. I was excited to meet him and am really looking forward to working with him and seeing what he's about.

"My main target is to score goals and, being a striker, hopefully I can get a few for the team and help the team get wins. Playing in the Premier League, every game is tough and together we can try to do as well as we can."

Bournemouth are 1/1 to beat Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday and 11/8 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season.

Howe calm over Lerma situation

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe accepts that summer signing Jefferson Lerma will be facing a two-match suspension in the not too distant future.

The 24-year-old Colombia midfielder has already been yellow-carded nine times in the Premier League this season and another caution would mean a second suspension of the campaign for the former Levante man.

And Howe has admitted that he has to go with the flow with Lerma, who was brought in to add some much-needed bite to a talented but slightly lightweight Cherries midfield.

He told the Daily Echo: "It's why in some respects we bought him, not for the bookings, but for the physical side of the game.

"For his ability to stop counter-attacks and to bring steel to our midfield – there is a side effect to that.

"We of course don't want him suspended and to miss any games, but it looks like that is on the horizon. We just hope he can delay it for as long as he can, (but) you cannot stop the natural instinct that he's got."

Bournemouth are back in action on Wednesday evening when they play host to Watford, with the home side having lost nine of their last 11 Premier League games.

The meeting of the two sides at Vicarage Road earlier this season ended in a resounding 4-0 victory for the Cherries.

Bournemouth are 13/8 to secure another win on Wednesday evening and are 10/1 to earn a 2-1 triumph, with Callum Wilson available at 7/5 to score at any time.

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Ake’s injury concerns Howe

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is unsure as to the severity of the injury Nathan Ake sustained during the 4-1 defeat at Manchester United.

The Dutch defender, who scored the Cherries goal at Old Trafford on Sunday, had to be substituted in the closing stages of the game with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

The Bournemouth squad has been decimated by a string of serious injuries recently with Simon Francis, Lewis Cook, Dan Gosling and Adam Smith all currently sidelined by knee problems.

When asked about Ake's injury, Howe replied: "I don't know, I need to speak to Nathan and the medical team but it looked like a hamstring concern."

After watching his side slip to an eighth defeat in their last 10 league games. Howe added: "It was a tough day and a disappointing performance.

"Defensively, we weren't great and we weren't great with the ball which is a very bad mix when you come to Old Trafford.

"We didn't stop crosses well enough, didn't defend the crosses well enough and they have players that can hurt you in every position. We allowed those players too much time. It's certainly a game we will learn from."

Bournemouth are 8/5 to bounce back on Wednesday by beating Watford while they are 10/1 to record a 2-1 victory against the Hornets.