Surgery ends Stanislas’ season

Bournemouth forward Junior Stanislas will miss the remainder of the Premier League season after undergoing surgery on a serious knee injury.

The 28-year-old has seen his campaign disrupted by injures on several occasions, however, Stanislas had found form after overcoming those problems, scoring four goals in his last eight appearances for the Cherries.

He has now been forced back on to the sidelines, with head coach Eddie Howe confirming the bad news ahead of a weekend visit from Crystal Palace.

Howe told reporters: "He picked up a serious knee injury against Watford and has been operated on.

"We'll be looking now towards next season and whether he'll make the start. We'll have to see how his rehab goes. He's a big miss for us.

"At first our medical team were worried about him doing his cruciate ligament, but it was the anterior, the lateral meniscus.

"It's probably the better of the two evils. It has been operated on and repaired, we're quite happy with how that has gone."

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed that Adam Smith will miss the weekend action, but has not yet been ruled out for the rest of the season, with the defender currently sidelined by a knee problem.

The Cherries and the Eagles shared the spoils from a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park earlier this season, with Jermain Defoe netting both goals for the visitors.

He can be backed at 13/8 to score at anytime on Saturday and is 11/2 to net the first goal of the game, with Bournemouth 9/1 to win the game 2-1.

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Howe sees value in Hornets win

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe expects the clash with Watford at Vicarage Road to be a tense tussle, with a win for either side a major boost to their season.

The Cherries and the Hornets are locked on 36 points apiece heading into the weekend action, with a three-point return on Saturday almost certain to see the winning team dismiss any lingering fears of being dragged back into the relegation dogfight.

And Howe is well aware of the importance of the game, with his ultimate target the matching or an improvement on the 46-point return of last season in the Premier League.

He told reporters: "I think the weekend's result will go a long way to helping the winning team.

"We always try and set a target or bar. I think it's healthy for the players to see an objective at the start of the season. If we can get close to or beat our target from last season, we'll be in a good position."

Meanwhile, Howe was also full of praise for the fighting spirit and determination shown by his squad, with the Cherries having only lost twice in their last 12 league games.

He added: "I think a lot of it is within the players themselves. They are a great group, they want to do well and want to win.

"When you have those characteristics within you, you never give up and never quit. I don't think you can."

The Cherries are without a win in their previous five Premier League meetings with Watford and are 23/10 to take all three points on Saturday, with a 1-1 draw priced at 6/1 and a 2-2 final scoreline available at 12/1.

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Howe expecting Spurs backlash

Eddie Howe says his Bournemouth side are expecting a backlash from Tottenham following their dramatic exit from the Champions League this week.

Spurs looked like they could be heading for the quarter-finals of the prestigious European competition but suffered a defeat to Serie A title-holders Juventus on Wednesday night.

Tottenham now head to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League and consolidate their top-four position.

Howe knows all about the qualities in the Spurs squad and is expecting his side to come up against a Tottenham team determined to bounce back on the south coast.

The Cherries chief said: "Spurs have been playing really well recently. Of course, the [Champions League] exit will hurt them, just because I think they will be believe they should have gone through, they were the better team for the majority of that game.

"But I am sure they will be focused on this weekend's match, which is important for them and very important for us."

Bournemouth are 11/2 to win, 7/2 to draw and 8/15 to lose to Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Spurs full-back Serge Aurier is available after missing the defeat against the Old Lady because of a European suspension, while Tottenham will monitor the fitness of midfielder Eric Dier who is nursing an elbow injury.

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No end in sight for Mings

Eddie Howe has admitted that Tyrone Mings is unlikely to play again this season as the defender is continuing to struggle with a back injury.

The 24-year-old has been bedevilled by a series of injuries since he moved to the Cherries from Ipswich Town in the summer of 2015 and has been sidelined for almost six months.

He is currently receiving treatment for his troublesome injury at an orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar but Howe accepts that Mings may not play again until the start of the 2018/19 campaign.

He said: "I don't think we will see Ty this season. It hasn't been totally ruled out but my understanding is he is going to need time to get everything right, so it will probably be pre-season when we see him.

"We fully anticipate he will be able to do pre-season and train normally, as we stand now. So, hopefully, that will be the case.

"He is in one of the best places in the world for his injury so he is getting really good care. The facilities are unbelievable and we are really pleased with his progress."

Mings penned a new four-year contract in September even though he has only made 14 appearances for the club. He spent more than a year out after suffering a knee injury six minutes into his Premier League debut against Leicester City in August 2015.

Bournemouth, 25/1 to be relegated this term, are 16/5 to beat Leicester City this weekend and 4/1 to keep a clean sheet in the encounter.

Howe happy with Defoe’s progress

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is confident that Jermain Defoe will soon be available for first-team selection again.

The veteran former Tottenham, Portsmouth and Sunderland striker has been sidelined since he sustained a fractured ankle in the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Chelsea in December.

Defoe had been set to travel with the Cherries for their training camp in Portugal this week.

"He is running on grass and did his first football session on his own with the coaches last week. We are looking forward to seeing him return pretty quickly," said Howe.

"There is no time frame as yet, we are going to need to see how he reacts to training with the team."

Bournemouth's next Premier League fixture is on 24th February when Newcastle United visit Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth are 23/20 to win the match and 11/10 to finish in the top half of the Premir League table this season.

Meanwhile, Howe has been named Premier League manager of the month for January.

Bournemouth did not lose any of their four top-flight matches in the month as they moved into the top 10.

They drew 2-2 at Brighton on New Year's Day before beating Arsenal 2-1, drawing 1-1 at West Ham United and winning 3-0 at Chelsea.

Howe urges Cherries focus

Eddie Howe says Bournemouth must stay focused and not allow themselves to be distracted by Huddersfield's recent form when they meet on Sunday.

The Cherries are in fine form ahead of the John Smith's Stadium tussle, unbeaten in seven games with four wins under their belts lately.

In their last away game, Bournemouth stunned Chelsea with a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Huddersfield's only wins in their last 11 matches have both come in the FA Cup as they overcame Bolton and Birmingham.

David Wagner's men have lost five on the trot in the league and dropped into the relegation zone as a result.

Bournemouth won the reverse fixture 4-0 in November, despite being down to ten men for the entire second half, but Howe felt they were flattered.

"I think it's dangerous to look at who you're playing. It can be very unpredictable, so we can't lose our focus," said Howe.

"I think David Wagner is an outstanding manager. They've performed well, they've been in games and they've not changed their philosophy.

"When you look at the home game against Huddersfield this season, I thought the scoreline flattered us. We know how good they can be."

Bournemouth are 29/20 to win on Sunday, while they are 50/1 to repeat their 4-0 success from earlier in the season.

Huddersfield meanwhile are 23/10 to win, with the draw priced at 11/5. Wagner has no problem admitting how big the game is for the home team.

"We are totally aware this is a massive game for us, but now it's not only to believe that you have the chance to stay up, now's the time where together we all have to fight to stay up," the Huddersfield boss said.

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Wagner says next fixtures key

Huddersfield boss David Wagner has accepted that the Terriers Premier League future may be determined by their next few fixtures.

After a promising start to life in the top flight, his team have struggled in recent weeks and they now sit second from bottom of the table.

They have not won in the league since December and go into a key game at home to Bournemouth on Sunday on a run of five successive league defeats.

However, apart from a game against Tottenham, seven of their next eight games are against teams outside the top six including clashes against fellow strugglers West Brom, Swansea, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Brighton.

With so many teams still in relegation trouble it is a run of games that could well decide Huddersfield's fate and Wagner is aware of their importance.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday's game against Eddie Howe's improving Cherries, Wagner said: "This is a massive game for us.

"And now, it is time to believe, that we have the chance to stay up and fight. And this does not mean just the squad but also the supporters and the whole town to fight for Premier League survival.

"Now we have games against teams, in and around us, and we have a chance and must show our fighting spirit."

The Terriers are 23/10 to win on Sunday with Bournemouth 29/20 and the draw priced at 11/5.

Though Town's league form has been a concern, they are through to the last 16 of the FA Cup, having overcome Birmingham City in a replay in midweek and Wagner says, far from being a distraction, the cup can have a beneficial effect on their survival bid.

"We have that winning feeling again, which is important, and came back from a goal down," he added.

"It was what we needed and we need to build up the momentum. So 'yes', it was a long night, but the players have shown how fit they are.

"Every win helps, and it doesn't matter what the competition is. It was a good win and a good performance as well."

Town are 100/1 to win the cup this season.

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Wilson aims to tame Terriers

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is keen to continue his excellent record against Huddersfield Town when the two teams meet on Sunday.

Wilson has netted five goals in three games against the Terriers, including a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Vitality Stadium in November.

The Cherries striker also scored a brace against Town in the Championship in August 2014.

Wilson is 8/5 to score at any time against Huddersfield on Sunday when Eddie Howe's side will be attempting to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to eight games.

Wilson said: "I seem to like playing against Huddersfield. It will be good to go back there and, hopefully, I won't be missing as many chances as I did against Stoke and will be putting them in the back of the net.

"On my debut I played against them and scored two goals, so I know I have done it before.

"You get a bit of confidence from that. This season I scored a hat-trick against them as well, so I will go there wanting to score and improve. If you don't then it's as if you have failed on that day."

Bournemouth are 29/20 to beat Huddersfield and 9/1 to win the match from behind.

Howe happy with tight squad

Eddie Howe is pleased with his Bournemouth squad despite failing to bring in any new players during the January transfer window.

The Cherries boss is happy to have fewer players to deal with after allowing a string of players to leave on loan, including Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban.

Bournemouth have moved up to 10th in the Premier League table after winning 3-0 at Chelsea on Wednesday and are unbeaten in their last six top-flight matches.

Howe said: "We've got a tight squad. When we've worked at our best, that's what we've had.

"I think having a huge squad and lots of bodies out of the squad is never a good mix for a vibrant dressing room, so we are happy to go with a tighter squad.

"We wish the players well who have gone out on loan and hope they do well for their respective clubs. It's a good opportunity for them."

Meanwhile, Adam Smith is unlikely to play against Stoke City on Saturday because of the thigh problem he sustained in last month's draw against West Ham United.

Howe added: "We don't think it's serious and we hope he will come back into contention very soon."

Wenger admits Sanchez leaving

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accepted that Alexis Sanchez will be leaving the club this month with both Manchester clubs still interested.

The Chilean almost joined Manchester City in the summer with a deal falling through on deadline day.

However, with United now having joined the chase he looks to have played his last game for Arsenal, having been left out of the Gunners side who lost at Bournemouth.

Before that game Wenger addressed the fact that Sanchez was missing from the team. When asked if a move was imminent he replied: "Yes. Don't read too much in it because even I don't know which way it will go.

"He's being vague at the moment. The situation is not completely decided one way or the other, so I left him at home."

To make matters worse for Wenger, his side lost 2-1 at Bournemouth; the Cherries first ever win over Arsenal.

Hector Bellerin gave Arsenal the lead early in the second half but two goals in four minutes, from Callum Wilson and Jordan Ibe turned the game around and, though the visitors poured forward in search of an equaliser, they were lacking the invention often provided by Sanchez.

The result means that Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League table, five points off a top four place. It was also their second defeat in the space of a week after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest last weekend.

They are still in the EFL Cup having drawn with Chelsea in the semi-finals first leg and they are 4/1 to win the trophy at Wembley next month.

Arsenal are back in Premier League action next weekend, at home to Crystal Palace and, without a win in five matches, they are 4/9 to put that right against Roy Hodgson's improving side. The Eagles are 5/1 with the draw priced at 15/4.

Eddie Howe's side now have a four-point gap on the bottom three following this vital win and they are up to 13th in the table.

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