Bournemouth continue to defy their critics by remaining in the English Premier League. They have plenty of areas in which they need to improve though. Will this be the season when they have to battle to stay in the Premier League?
Bournemouth finished 14th in the English Premier League last season. That’s two places lower than they managed in 2017/18. Despite that drop in their final position, Bournemouth won two more league games than in the previous season. They were a comfortable 11 points above the relegation zone. 70 league goals were conceded, the highest total since winning promotion. At the other end, the 56 goals was their highest total in the Premier League.
Bournemouth have signed 20-year-old defender Lloyd Kelly from Championship side Bristol City. Defender Tyrone Mings spent time on loan at Aston Villa last season. Mings has now joined them on a permanent deal worth £20m. Also on his way out is striker Lys Mousset who is on his way to Sheffield United for £9m. He only scored three goals for Bournemouth in 55 league appearances.
Home form saw Burnemouth win eight league games last season. With their away form being disappointing, Bournemouth have to maintain this home form to stay out of trouble. You can get odds of 4/1 (5.0) at Coral on Bournemouth finishing in the top ten.
They have several players who can provide goals for them. Callum Wilson and Ollie King have totalled 42 league goals between them in the past two seasons. Wilson is 50/1 (51.0) with Betfair to be the Premier League’s top goalscorer this season. With steady contributions from Ryan Fraser and David Brooks, those goals are what keep Bournemouth away from the bottom three.
You look at Bournemouth and often wonder how do they manage to stay out of a relegation battle? Last season saw 70 goals conceded and only the bottom two in the table conceded more. In four Premier League seasons, they have conceded 265 goals. The odds on them being relegated this season are 5/1 (6.0) at BetVictor.
Away form is something that has to be improved this season. Just the five wins last season but 13 defeats and 45 goals conceded. That was the joint most conceded in the Premier League last season. At one stage, Bournemouth lost nine in a row on their travels conceding 28 goals.
Early Fixture List
10 August: Sheffield United (home)
17 August: Aston Villa (away)
25 August: Manchester City (home)
31 August: Leicester City (away)
15 September: Everton (home)
Not the easiest of starts for Bournemouth. Their opening fixture could well produce a win against the Premier League new boys. Unibet will give you odds of 9/10 (1.9) on them beating United. Aston Villa away wo’t be easy and the next three games all look tough ones. Don’t be surprised if they get off to a poor start.
Their final finishing place has been on the downslide for the past couple of seasons. They have a good manager in Eddie Howe but will he ever sort their defence out? With 131 conceded in the last two seasons it’s no wonder they can’t finish in the top ten. Their home form keeps them afloat with the occasional win making up for the appalling away record. 32 away league games have been lost in the last three seasons and that’s just not good enough.
They may well make a poor start to the new season with a toughish looking set of fixtures. Just how they will react if that happens is going to be a key factor. Bournemouth haven’t ended up in a relegation fight since winning promotion.
That could well happen this season particularly if any injuries came along for Wilson and King. Bournemouth seem to just do enough to stay out of relegation trouble, a finish around the 14th or 15th mark looks likely unless a solution to their away form and defending can finally be found. If that does happen, then a bet on them being the top Southern club has a chance of being a winner. They are 5/2 (3.5) at SkyBet to finish above Watford, Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion and strangely Norwich City.