Two newly-promoted clubs meet in the top flight for the first time this weekend, with both sitting in the bottom half but with reasons to be hopeful after a solid opening seven games.
Bournemouth’s horrendous luck with injuries continued last weekend as star striker Callum Wilson ruptured his cruciate ligament and was ruled out for six months. Wilson joins summer signings Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings on the treatment table, whilst captain Tommy Elphick and influential midfielder Harry Arter are also unavailable.
Eddie Howe’s men pipped Saturday’s visitors to the Championship title in the final minute of last season, and are now reliant on back-up strikers Glenn Murray and Yann Kermogant in the absence of their top goalscorer Wilson.
Watford failed to secure a third straight victory as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, and despite the impressive goalscoring form of Odion Ighalo, the Hornets are the joint-lowest scorers in the Premier League.
Midfielder Valon Behrami sits out the final match of a three-game suspension, whilst Joel Ekstrand will miss the trip to the Vitality Stadium with a knee problem.
The corresponding fixture last season was overshadowed by Watford’s Gabriele Angella being shown a red card just 26 seconds in; Quique Sanchez Flores will be needing his team to stay disciplined for longer than that if they are to pick up a result on Saturday.
League Position: Bournemouth – 16th, 7pts; Watford – 13th, 9pts
Last Meeting: Bournemouth 2-0 Watford (January 30, 2015)
Form: Bournemouth – LWDLWL; Watford – DDLWWL
Key Men: Bournemouth – Matt Ritchie; Watford – Troy Deeney
Shoot Says: Bournemouth 1-1 Watford