Howe happy with Brooks progress

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe is delighted with the way summer signing David Brooks has adjusted to the challenge of Premier League football.

The 21-year-old Wales international midfielder has started seven league games so far this season for the Cherries, scoring against Crystal Palace and Watford in his last two outings.

And Howe is pleased how well the former Sheffield United schemer has adapted to life in the top-flight, while also warning that there can be no let-up by Brooks in the coming weeks and months.

He told the Daily Echo: "The biggest compliment I can give him is that he hasn't been fazed at all by the step up in league.

"He has trained as normal and when he has been given opportunities, he has had the same mentality. I've been really pleased and the future is very bright for him.

"I've seen a player who loves his football, is focused on his work and is not really about outside influences or anything other than the training and the games.

"(But) he can't get ahead of himself because we have got quality players waiting in the wings."

Bournemouth have made a fine start to the new league season, claiming 16 points from eight games to lie in sixth place in the standings heading into the international break.

They return to action on Saturday 20th October when they welcome South Coast rivals Southampton to Dean Court.

Bournemouth are currently priced at 10/11 to finish in the top half of the table, while they are 10/11 to end up in the bottom half.

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Howe bullish over in-form Bournemouth

Bournemouth are capable of beating any side in the Premier League on their day, according to boss Eddie Howe.

The Cherries moved up to fifth in the standings following their 4-0 win over Watford on Saturday, their third triumph in the last four matches.

The south coast side were helped against the Hornets by the first-half sending-off of Christian Kabasele and Howe admits his team were not at their best over the course of the 90 minutes at Vicarage Road.

The Premier League's longest-serving manager says he would back his team against anyone on their day though, believing they have shown this season that they are capable of mixing it with the best in the division.

"I think we're capable of beating anybody when we're on the top of our game," Howe said. "I don't think we were on top of our game today, so that's good because there's room to grow and improve.

"But the results show we are in a really good place at the moment, a great position in the league, and we need to keep our feet firmly on the floor and keep pushing.

"Hopefully they won't [start talking about us]. We like to stay very much in the background and as underdogs. We'll just go about our work in a very controlled way and not get ahead of ourselves."

Following their good start to the season, Bournemouth are 16/1 to record a top-six finish, while they are 10/11 just to end up in the top half.

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Premier League: Joshua is King of Hertfordshire for a Day!

Watford FC 0-4 Bournemouth

This was sixth against seventh at Vicarage Road, yet you wouldn’t have known it had you looked at the scoreline.

For it was a day when everything went right for Bournemouth and everything that could possibly go wrong did so for Watford.

Indeed, it was a Hornets’ horror show!

A fortnight after going down 4-0 at Burnley, here were the Cherries hitting four of their own to consign Watford to a Premier League day to forget.

us had branded this as the battle of the overachievers.

But long before the end – by half-time in fact – the Premier League 2018 odds had been blown out of the water, and the only uncertainty was how many Eddie Howe’s men would score.

Highlights of the game

On the occasion of the 100th Premier League game at Vicarage Road, there’s no doubt the turning point was the 32nd-minute dismissal of home midfielder Christian Kabasele.

At that point, Watford were on top and threatening to equalise the 14th-minute goal they had conceded to David Brooks – the Bournemouth number 20 taping home after Ben Foster had denied Callum Wilson in a lightning-quick counter-attack.

Then Kabasele was shown a second yellow card for bringing down Joshua King in the box and, after dusting himself up, the ex-Man Utd junior stepped up to slot home the spot kick past another former United man.

It was the fifth penalty the Cherries have been awarded so far this season, a league high after only being awarded three spot-kicks during the whole of last season.

Yet there was no disputing the decision.

From that moment Watford looked beaten, Bournemouth had the momentum and the game was won on the stroke of half-time when livewire King headed Callum Wilson’s cross beyond Foster to render Javi Gracia’s half-time team talk meaningless.

Watford have conceded four goals at home in the Premier League for the first time since December 2017

Watford’s Troy Deeney reacts after Bournemouth’s Joshua King scores their second goal

It was four within two minutes of the restart as Wilson was left unmarked and controlled Ryan Fraser’s delivery before tapping the ball home.

Watford had been very unlucky to lose late on at Arsenal last weekend, but they, with the possible exception of industrious midfielder Etienne Capoue and second-half substitute Adrian Mariappa, were largely woeful this time.

Premier League 2018 news tells us that before this encounter, only reigning champions Manchester City had allowed their opponents fewer efforts on goal (14) than Watford (19).

In 47 minutes, that had changed dramatically; Watford were going down to back-to-back Premier League home defeats for the first time since May 2017.

In contrast, Bournemouth had victory in the bag. A victory which has given them 16 points from eight games – last season it took them 16 matches to reach that mark.

This was their biggest-ever away win in the Premier League as they moved up to fifth and leapfrog their opponents who slip to ninth in the process.

And after conceding a total of 20 goals in their last nine away league games, Bournemouth also had their first clean sheet in 10 away from the Vitality Stadium.

It was certainly their day in Hertfordshire, and the rows of empty seats in the home ranks were proof on its own.

Eddie Howe is certainly continuing to lift this Bournemouth team beyond the average and excel his already burgeoning reputation.

Key statistics

This was Bournemouth’s first success at Vicarage Road since 1997.

Since returning to the Premier League in 2015, Watford have received more red cards (13) than any other side.

Watford won their first four Premier League games of the season but are now without a victory in their last four.

Watford have lost just two of their last 15 games against Bournemouth in all competitions (won six, drawn seven).

Five of the seven Premier League meetings between these clubs have ended as draws, with the other exception being the Hornets’ 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium in August last year.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Steffen Iversen, John Carew and Tore Andre Flo are the only Norwegians to have scored more goals in the Premier League than King.

The Hornets remain one short of 50 Premier League wins and 200 goals in the division.

If there was any consolation for Watford, it was the return in the closing stages of winger Gerard Deulofeu, after a spell out with an injury.

What’s next?

Watford have a trip to Molyneux and a clash with newly promoted Wolves before welcoming Huddersfield Town to Vicarage Road a week later.

Bournemouth are back at home for a ‘south coast’ derby with Southampton and travel to Fulham a week later.



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Premier League Watford vs Bournemouth: A Battle of the Overachievers

Watford FC vs AFC Bournemouth

The underdog story is one of the few sports story archetypes that everyone can get behind. Ask any football fan, and they will tell you that they cannot really hate a club that is punching above their weight and having fun while doing it. Underdogs are what make the Beautiful Game even more enthralling.

Premier League: Watford vs Bournemouth is a game that features two underdogs that are thriving in the dog-eat-dog environment of the English top flight. The two clubs have rallied under Javi Gracia and Eddie Howe to pull off impressive results in the early days of the season.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a lot can still happen between October and May. However, there’s no bad reason for us fans to sit back and enjoy this battle between the league’s biggest overachievers.

Talking Points

Bournemouth Ryan Fraser has made a strong start in the Premier League this season

Ryan Fraser believes Bournemouth are ready for Watford battle

The obvious has to be said: plenty of pre-season predictions saw the two clubs wallowing somewhere in the middle of the pack, not vying for spots in the Champions League and Europa League. The fact that the two of them have gotten favourable results against clubs of equal strength last season is a testament to the tactical acumen of the managers and the players’ ability to pull off their coach’s vision.

Javi Gracia is doing a wonderful job as Watford boss since replacing Marco Silva at the start of the year. He did a brilliant job in keeping Watford up at the tail-end of the previous season, and he outperformed himself by bringing out the Hornets’ potential and turning them into a competitive football club.

He made key additions over the offseason, signing Deulofeu, Ben Foster, and Adam Masina for reasonable prices. However, the bulk of Gracia’s work can be found on the players that are already in the club. He used the preseason to position his players in a centre-heavy 4-2-2-2 with the wingbacks providing the necessary width.

While his defiant formation hasn’t paid dividends as of late, it cannot be denied that his players are thriving underneath it. Gracia sticks to his preferred XI and does not make many changes, ensuring the continuity of play is always there.

His players have thrived due to his tactics. The wingbacks, Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat, are among top-rated players in the club due to their involvement in the attack and defence. Troy Deeney, Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray are finding goals. Etienne Capoue and Christian Kabasele are doing a marvellous job on defence.

This Watford team will be a tough customer to contend with at Vicarage Road, but it isn’t like the Cherries aren’t ready to face the music themselves.

 AFC Bournemouth have established themselves as a Premier League mainstay under Eddie Howe. Their attack-oriented football has always produced plenty of highlights, and fans can always count on the young manager’s team to always push the limits.

Howe is considered by many to be England’s next big managerial hope as he has constantly defied expectations with his boyhood club. The 40-year-old has played such attractive football that some disgruntled Manchester United fans want to pry the beloved figure at Dean Court and stick him to the United job in Jose Mourinho’s place.

Of course, the manager’s attractive brand of football is cause for celebration. However, neutrals are severely mistaken if they think of Howe as the only outstanding man in the South Coast club.

Callum Wilson has always delivered for the Cherries, and his two-goal onslaught at London Stadium still brings shivers up and down the spine of Bournemouth fans. Ryan Fraser has shown his versatility in attack and defence. Steve Cook has blossomed into a Premier League-quality defender alongside former Chelsea man Nathan Ake.

The Cherries will surely try to score one on the Hornets, and it will be up to Gracia’s defence to try and stop them.


The two sides have not played each other plenty of times, with only fifteen games played between the two of them. The Hornets are leading the Watford vs Bournemouth results tally, winning seven of those encounters.  Bournemouth only won two of those games, and the remaining seven fixtures have ended in draws.

However, it is important to remember that almost all of the games Watford have won in their history were during their League One days. Their last seven games saw Bournemouth and Watford take a game each and end the rest with ties.

Moreover, the forms of these two teams coming into the game tilt slightly in Bournemouth’s favour. The Cherries won against Blackburn in the League Cup and mounted a comeback against Crystal Palace in the league.

Meanwhile, Watford put up strong fights against fellow London clubs Tottenham and Arsenal, but their efforts ended in nought.

Betting Tip

Watford FC vs AFC Bournemouth Over 2.75 Goals @ 2.00
October 6, 22:00 (GMT+8)

Watford vs Bournemouth odds sees this as a close battle, with the home advantage eventually pushing the Hornets through for the three points. I also won’t be surprised if both of these teams cancel each other out and see out the 90 minutes on equal terms.

However, it’s noteworthy to remember that three of their last four Premier League games finished with both sides scoring two goals each. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to predict that both sides would be able to score at least once and end the day with both of them taking a point apiece.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Watford take the win, but the underdog-loving side of me wishes for a Bournemouth win. Either way, we are guaranteed exciting attacking football from these two overachievers!

?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.



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Conversion the key for Palace

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is determined to try and keep confidence high among his goal-shy Eagles squad, who head to Bournemouth on Monday evening.

Palace have scored a mere four goals in six Premier League games so far this season, having failed to find the net at all in three outings at their Selhurst Park home.

Wilfried Zaha has three goals to his name, with Jeffrey Schlupp the only other goalscorer for the Eagles.

However, Hodgson is not overly concerned, as he has seen his side carve out plenty of chances, only to fail to convert – which he hopes is a fault will be rectified in the near future.

He told reporters: "We have created many chances, so it forces one to consistently look back to the misses and the missed opportunities, because in the bulk of the games we have played, we had that many chances.

"It's harrowing to come off the field at 0-0 when you have seen that many chances.

"I believe as long as you are creating those chances and you are getting in those positions, the goals will come.

"What you do is make certain the players believe in themselves, they keep working at their game and they share your belief that if you keep doing this then you will score goals."

Palace have claimed a win and two draws from their three previous Premier League visits to Dean Court, and are 5/2 to secure a draw on Monday evening.

The visitors are 12/1 to win the game 2-1, with Zaha available at 2/1 to score at any time.

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Howe: Palace are more than Zaha

Eddie Howe claims his Bournemouth side will not be just focusing on the threat of Wilfried Zaha when they face Crystal Palace on Monday.

The Cherries chief is looking for his side to rediscover their top form to bounce back from last weekend's 4-0 Premier League drubbing at Burnley.

A much-changed side defeated Blackburn 3-2 in the Carabao Cup in midweek, but Howe is set to revert to the majority of the players who have won three of their opening six league games.

Palace will arrive at the Vitality Stadium having lost just once in five with Zaha again proving to be their talisman this season with three goals in the bag to date.

However, Howe claims it is unfair to label Roy Hodgson's side a one-man team and he is wary of a number of Eagles' players who will provide a threat to Bournemouth.

Howe told Sky Sports: "He [Zaha] is an outstanding player. He did well against us in the two games last year, we found him difficult to deal with.

"From our prospective that is something we will look to improve. As I would say with any team it is not just him.

"Yes we need to deal with, be aware of and you have Andros Townsend on the other wing who has had a good start to the season.

"When [Christian] Benteke plays he is a focal point for them, they have got excellent midfielders, a lot of experience.

"So there are a lot of areas that they manage very well. But of course we have good players the other way. We know if we are at the top of our game we are a match for anyone."

Bournemouth are 5/4 to win on Monday, while Palace are 12/5 to come out on top, with Zaha 2/1 to score at any time and the draw is 5/2.

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Hodgson confirms duo’s absence

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said that Jairo Riedewald and Christian Benteke will miss Monday's trip to Bournemouth.

Riedewald picked up an injury in the midweek EFL Cup victory at West Brom while Benteke remains sidelined and will play no part against the Cherries.

The Eagles are 12/5 to beat Bournemouth and 12/1 to edge the match 2-1.

Hodgson said: "We picked up an injury against West Bromwich Albion with Jairo Riedewald but luckily we don't think it is as bad as we first feared when he had to come off so early in the game. He has had a scan and we are hoping he will be back in training towards the end of next week.

"Christian Benteke, we are monitoring on a day-to-day basis. He is improving but he is still having treatment so he is out of the question, but other than that we have a clean bill of health."

Wilfried Zaha should be able to feature against Eddie Howe's team despite picking up a "slight spasm" during last weekend's goalless draw with Newcastle United.

Meanwhile, Hodgson is expecting Monday's match to be a difficult test for his side, adding: "Their start has been good, there is no doubt about that with 10 points from six games being a very good reward and they must be really confident.

"They haven't changed their team spectacularly and their football has been pretty stable for the last two seasons which has given them very good results so obviously they have no reason to change. We are preparing for a very tough test."

Howe wary of resolute Rovers

Eddie Howe knows that Blackburn Rovers are capable of causing a shock by beating his Bournemouth side in the third round of the EFL Cup.

Tony Mowbray guided Rovers to promotion from League One last term and they have made a solid start to life in the Championship.

Blackburn are 12th after only losing one of their first nine fixtures of the campaign while they have knocked Carlisle United and Lincoln City out of the EFL Cup.

Howe, who is keen for his side to bounce back following their 4-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley on Saturday, said: "The challenge is that because the Premier League is so huge, it's about balancing those competitions and trying to progress while maintaining your league form. It's a difficult balance.

"Blackburn are playing with confidence and are a team that, on the back of promotion, have kept that momentum into this season.

"They have done very well adapting to life back in the Championship. It's a really difficult league, as we know, with the amount of games you have in a short period of time – and the physicality of those games."

Bournemouth are 1/4 to qualify for the fourth round of the EFL Cup by beating Blackburn and 50/1 to win the competition outright.

Howe waits on injured duo

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has revealed that Charlie Daniels and Kyle Taylor could miss the Cherries' visit to Burnley.

Daniels missed last Saturday's impressive 4-2 victory against Leicester City while Taylor is struggling with a calf injury.

However, there is some good news for Howe, who managed Burnley before returning to Bournemouth for a second stint as boss in 2012, as Junior Stanislas could be in the squad again for the first time in six months.

"We've still got a couple of doubts," confirmed Howe. "Charlie Daniels is still a doubt and Kyle Taylor looks like he's picked up a calf problem. Apart from that, we're pretty good.

"I'm really pleased for Junior. He's had a long time out of action, but it didn't look like that when he played earlier this week.

"He did well, was really good with the ball and contributed to an excellent performance. It was really good to see and you'll have to wait and see if he features on Saturday."

Bournemouth, 6/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, can be backed at 6/4 to beat the winless Clarets at Turf Moor. Sean Dyche's side are available at 11/10 to be relegated this season.

Howe happy with healthy start

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe is excited by the fact that his side still have plenty of things to improve on after making a strong start to the new season.

The Cherries moved up to fifth place in the Premier League table by earning a 4-2 win at home to Leicester City on Saturday, with the hosts leading by four goals before conceding twice in the final couple of minutes of the game.

And it was those concessions which left Howe feeling that his team can grow stronger in the coming weeks and months, even though he was largely pleased with overall performance against the Foxes.

He told his club's official website: "It's a good day for us. We go away with a very good result, but also knowing that we still have got work to do and things to improve. That's a very healthy position to be in.

"We knew it was a really important game. It's very easy to have a good start and then not back that up.

"We now go to Burnley and we know how tough that is going to be, so we're in good shape and very positive.

"While we weren't at our absolute best, we had to show spells of that and I thought we were disciplined and very ruthless in front of goal.

"We've created lots of chances and haven't been taking them, so it's good to see that change in our performance.

"The majority of our defending throughout the game was good too, but we can learn a lot from the last period of play."

Bournemouth are 13/8 to finish in the top half of the premier League table this season, with Wolves priced at 8/11 and Leicester 4/5.

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