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 scotches Wilson exit talk

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has quashed rumours suggesting Callum Wilson will be heading to Chelsea in January.

It was suggested earlier this week that the 26-year-old was wanted by Blues boss Maurizio Sarri who had grown frustrated with the goal return of the likes of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.

Wilson has scored nine times in 18 games for the Cherries this season and also earned an England call-up, netting in the friendly international victory against the USA in November.

Howe said of the speculation: "Callum getting linked with other clubs, I think in some respects I would almost want that with every player.

"It means they are performing at their highest level and doing very well in the league they are in, so I have no problem with it.

"From my perspective, Callum's future is here. He is a massive part of what we are doing and I just want to see him continue to score goals for us."

Bournemouth signed Wilson from Coventry City for £3million in 2014 and, despite suffering two serious injuries during his time with the club, he has scored 47 times in 122 league appearances.

Bournemouth, 25/1 to win the EFL Cup this season, can be backed at 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table. Meanwhile, Howe's team are 5/6 to beat Brighton on Saturday.

Zola confirms interest in Wilson

Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola says his club are monitoring Bournemouth's Callum Wilson ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie.

The striker has been in excellent form this season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in a run that helped him earn a first England call-up last month.

A goal on his debut against the USA further enhanced his reputation and Chelsea have been linked with his signature in recent weeks.

Neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud have impressed Maurizio Sarri and the Italian will hope for a first-hand look at the 26-year-old on Wednesday.

The Cherries head to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup for the second straight season but it is unclear if Wilson will get a run, with Eddie Howe likely to rotate.

Chelsea are 3/10 to win the game, while the draw after 90 minutes is 5/1 and Bournemouth 10/1.

Whether the Dorset club will be able to hold on to their star man in January remains uncertain and Zola believes Chelsea are one of a number of clubs who maybe preparing to swoop once the window open.

"I'm sure that there are a lot of players that are linked with us," he said. "Certainly Callum Wilson is doing very well for his club and he is of interest, not just for us, but for many."

Chelsea are 11/4 to win the EFL Cup, with the Cherries available at 25/1.

Wilson can be backed at 40/1 to win the Golden Boot.

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Zola admits to Blues interest in Wilson

Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola says the club are monitoring Bournemouth's Callum Wilson ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup tie.

The striker has been in excellent form this season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in a run that helped him earn a first England call-up last month.

A goal on his debut against the USA further enhanced his reputation and Chelsea have been linked with his signature in recent weeks.

Neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud have impressed Maurizio Sarri and the Italian will hope for a first-hand look at the 26-year-old on Wednesday.

The Cherries head to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup for the second straight season but it is unclear if Wilson will get a run, with Eddie Howe likely to rotate.

Chelsea are 3/10 to win the game, while the draw after 90 minutes is 5/1 and Bournemouth 10/1.

Whether the Dorset club will be able to hold on to their star man in January remains uncertain and Zola believes Chelsea are one of a number of clubs who maybe preparing to swoop once the window open.

"I'm sure that there are a lot of players that are linked with us," he said. "Certainly Callum Wilson is doing very well for his club and he is of interest, not just for us, but for many."

Chelsea are 11/4 to win the EFL Cup, with the Cherries available at 25/1.

Wilson can be backed at 40/1 to win the Golden Boot.

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Howe hopeful of Wilson return

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is upbeat about the prospect of striker Callum Wilson overcoming a hamstring problem to feature against Wolves at Molineux.

Wilson missed the 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool due to injury, but Howe seems quietly confident that the 26-year-old, who recently marked his England debut with a goal in a 3-0 win over the United States, will be able to play a part on Saturday.

He told reporters: "Callum Wilson has recovered well, so we're hopeful he'll be okay.

"You need your best players fit and available and physically he's been good, as this is the first problem he's had. We're going to be careful with the problem and wait and see."

Wilson has scored eight times in 15 appearances in the Premier League this season to help the Cherries stand in eighth place in the standings heading into the weekend action.

Howe also confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Dan Gosling is facing a spell on the sidelines after undergoing a knee operation, although he believes that the midfielder is not facing a lengthy absence.

Meanwhile, the last three meetings between Bournemouth and Wolves have ended in 2-1 final scorelines, with the Cherries winning on both of their last two visits to the Black Country.

The visitors are 10/3 to triumph by a 2-1 margin on Saturday, with the draw priced at 13/5, while Wilson is available at 15/8 to score at any time at Molineux.

Wolves go into the game having won their last two league games, against Chelsea and Newcastle United, both by 2-1 scorelines.

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Premier League Review: City Dominate the Poor Cherries

Manchester City 3-1 AFC Bournemouth

I don’t think any Premier League fan worth his salt expected anything else out of this Manchester City-Bournemouth match.

While the Cherries have overperformed this season, the fact of the matter is that City have the better team than their south coast guests. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane were especially outstanding in a game that didn’t see club hero Sergio Aguero take to the pitch.

Highlights of the game

The Sky Blues were the obvious favourites coming into this game, and only a few expected the possible Premier League 2018 results of this game going against the league leaders. City’s starting XI is still incredibly strong even though Sergio Aguero, the hero behind City’s Champions League draw with Lyon, was listed in the team.

Eddie Howe understood just how talented of a squad Pep Guardiola has and decided to start with five at the back. Lanky defender Tyrone Mings joined Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Steve Francis and Charlie Daniels in their attempt to keep the hosts from scoring as much as possible.

The Cherries tried their hand in scoring early in order to put Manchester City in unfamiliar territory. Both Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser tried to score in the first minutes of the game, but the superb City defence prevented anything from happening in favour of the Cherries.

However, Manchester City soon showcased their dominance over their guests in the 16th minute. A long pass saw Sadio Mane with the ball inside the box. He tried to fire a shot, but Asmir Begovic managed to block the shot. However, Bernardo Silva got to the rebound first and scored the opener towards a relatively open goal.

The game began to swing in City’s favour as the Sky Blues began to pound the Cherries’ goal again and again. Ilkay Gundogan, Danilo and Raheem Sterling were especially dangerous during the half as they tried to double their lead.

However, it wasn’t like the south coast visitors were simply taking things without trying their own brand of attacking football. Fraser and Josh King tried their best to push the ball down the wings whenever they had the ball, but the Man City backline was just too strong.

Callum Wilson gave Manchester City after scoring the equaliser in their Premier League clash at Etihad Stadium

Callum Wilson rises for the header and scores the equaliser before the end of first half

The Cherries would soon get their equaliser right as the first half was winding down. Simon Francis was with the ball on the right wing, and he launched a nice lob towards the box. Callum Wilson leapt high and headed the ball past Ederson’s reach. The England international, who should have gotten his call-up years ago,  showed just why the Cherries have been successful this season.

The first half ended in a tie, but City played with renewed purpose in the second half. The Cherries almost weren’t able to hold the football as City upped the ante in the reset. Sterling and Danilo almost scoring during the 54th and 57th minute, respectively. Sterling, Bournemouth’s bogeyman, was soon able to retake the lead in the 57th minute after getting the rebound and firing towards the right corner.

 The match continued and City showed off the quality of their squad by bringing in quality players. Fabian Delph, David Silva, and Riyad Mahrez were all superb substitutes that seemingly only improved City’s XI with their entrance.

Silva, in particular, was instrumental in securing Manchester City’s third and final goal. From a corner, Silva passed the ball deep inside the Bournemouth box to Sane, and the young German made a quick pass to Gundogan. The former Borussia Dortmund man then slotted the ball past the Bournemouth defence for the winner.

The Cherries tried to salvage another late consolation goal, but City cannot be stopped when they play such dominant football. The game lived up to the script set by the Premier League 2018 odds, and Bournemouth leave the Etihad Stadium with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Key statistics

Manchester City played outstanding football to the point that they didn’t allow Bournemouth to touch the football at all. They held the Cherries to 27% possession through the game. They were especially brutal in the second frame as their guests only had 22% of the football. Begovic was quite busy with his three saves, but the final score showcased that the five-man backline didn’t do much in stopping Man City.

However, it’s not all gloomy for Bournemouth fans. Callum Wilson has been involved in 12 Bournemouth goals in his last 15 Premier League appearances. He was also the first forward to score against Manchester City in open play in the PL this season. He is definitely the pick among the Cherries this season.

What’s next?

Pep Guardiola and Manchester are now 5 points ahead in the Premier League table after defeating Bournemouth

Pep Guardiola and Eddie Howe talking after the match

Manchester City’s continued dominance in the league isn’t likely to stop any time soon. Pep’s team will face Watford up next in a game that they should dominate with ease. Chelsea on December 9th will be quite a challenge for them, but I think the Sky Blues have the quality to triumph over Maurizio Sarri’s Blues.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth will be hoping to snap their four-game losing skid against Huddersfield Town. After all, their opponents after the Terriers are Liverpool, and I don’t think Eddie Howe’s team has what it takes to stop them.

For more Premier League news and updates, always check with the reliable writers and punters at us.

 

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Pep: Cherries made it difficult

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola admitted that his side had taken their time to get going in their 3-1 home Premier League win over Bournemouth.

The Citizens needed second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan to see off the Cherries and secure a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, with the visitors threatening an upset when Callum Wilson equalised on the stroke of half-time.

And Guardiola was well aware that his players had not been at their best in the early stages of the game at the Etihad Stadium, telling BBC Sport: "A good win. After the Champions League it is always tough. People think it's easy for us, but that is not the truth, so I like to win in this way.

"We were flat (early on), but later we were more aggressive and we changed the game.

"We had a lack of rhythm in the first half – Bournemouth are so fast up front and so hard to play against. They put so many balls into the box, they are so strong.

"In the second half we were much better."

City are now 2/9 to retain their Premier League title, with Liverpool available at 4/1 and Tottenham Hotspur 33/1.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday a first goal for the club from Florin Andone was enough to give Brighton a 2-1 victory at Huddersfield Town, while Crystal Palace ran out deserved 2-0 winners at home to struggling Burnley.

Leicester City eased to a 2-0 success at home to Watford, while Javier Hernandez scored twice as West Ham triumphed 3-0 at Newcastle United to put an end to the Magpies' three-match winning run.

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