Charlie Daniels

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Premier League Preview: Bournemouth v. Tottenham

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  • Spurs (still) lead the top-three race, somehow
  • Cherries sit 14th, safe from relegation
  • Spurs won 5-0 at Wembley back in December

Tottenham Hotspur continue to lead the top-three and -four race that seemingly no one — not even them — wants to win. Yet, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side has two more chances to secure Champions League qualification by a very straightforward formula: they need just three points, beginning when they visit 14th-place Bournemouth on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

With Chelsea (68 points) just two points back in fourth and Arsenal (66) trailing by four, it’s Tottenham’s place to lose. To be certain, they have tried to do so again and again, only to see their London rivals falter immediately thereafter. Take, for instance, last weekend: Spurs lost to West Ham, but Chelsea drew Manchester United and Arsenal were hammered 3-0 by Leicester City. It’s been that kind of month for top-six sides not named Manchester City or Liverpool.

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As for the Cherries, they’re long since clear of the relegation zone and have very little left to play for, and it’s looked that way in recent outings. Eddie Howe‘s men have picked up just nine points from their last 12 games (2W-3D-7L), though they are on something of an upswing with four of the nine points coming in their last three games.

Injuries

Bournemouth OUT: Lewis Cook (knee), Junior Stanislas (hamstring), Simon Francis (knee), Charlie Daniels (knee), Andrew Surman (calf), Diego Rico (ankle) | Spurs — OUT: Harry Kane (ankle), Harry Winks (groin), Erik Lamela (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: Jan Vertonghen (head)

What they’re saying

Howe, on Bournemouth’s need for continued progression: “People will use ‘established.’ I don’t know if we have ever used that word. For us, it’s not a useful thing to look at, you can then get complacent and lazy,” he said at a press conference. “For us it is about having to prove we deserve to be here first and foremost every season, so that means starting the campaign with a really good mentality to go to achieve and progress.”

Pochettino, on Spurs’ performance this season: “I always remember the first meeting that we had all together, when the World Cup players arrived, and we said, ‘We all start from zero. It’s going to be a difficult season and we need to be open to improve and to fight.’ We’ve always built some spirit inside the dressing room to fight against the reality. It was tough but in the end we are in a very good position. We feel very proud.”

Prediction

Spurs have fared remarkably well against Bournemouth (6W-1D-0L since the Cherries were promoted in 2015), as has Son Heung-min on an individual level (four goals in the last two meetings). It’s all setting up for Spurs to secure a top-four place on Saturday and free their minds for Wednesday’s trip to Amsterdam for the second leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Fans who want to try their hand at predicting PL games can down the NBC Sports Predictor app, with a chance to win up to $50,000 each week. Download it on iOS or Google Play.

Dominant Leicester ease by Bournemouth (video)

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  • 4 wins from last 5 for Leicester
  • Vardy has 5 goals in 5
  • 1 win in 8 for Bournemouth

Leicester City totally dominated Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, as Brendan Rodgers‘ men continue their charge up the Premier League table.

The Foxes took the lead through Wes Morgan early on, and Jamie Vardy sealed the victory in the second half.

With the win Leicester are now level with seventh-place Wolves on 44 points, and qualifying for the Europa League is a real possibility.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leicester almost took the lead as a cross to the back post was cleared by Charlie Daniels. Seconds later they went ahead from the resulting corner. The ball dropped to Chilwell who drilled a shot across goal which Morgan deflected in. 1-0.

At the other end Kasper Schmeichel saved from Callum Wilson after Ryan Fraser‘s superb cross, as Bournemouth should have been level.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

James Maddison curled a low shot just wide for Leicester, then Vardy scuffed a shot wide after a wonderful run and pass from Ricardo Perreira.

Bournemouth’s Josh King sliced an effort wide as the Cherries worked their way back into the game, but Vardy was denied by a wonderful block by Nathan Ake.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Youri Tielemans flashed a shot wide, then Vardy had a shot blocked as the Foxes piled on the pressure in the second half.

Vardy then sealed the victory, as he jumped ahead of Asmir Begovic and glanced Tielemans’ cross off the crossbar and in. 2-0.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rodgers’ revolution at Leicester is gathering momentum, with three wins in his first four games in charge.

Newcastle grab last-gasp draw at Bournemouth (video)

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  • Ritchie scores stoppage time equalizer
  • King’s double gave Bournemouth the lead
  • 1 defeat in 6 for Newcastle

Bournemouth were haunted by a former star, as Matt Ritchie scored a late, late leveller for Newcastle United at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The former Bournemouth winger made it 2-2 in second half stoppage time with a fine volley, in a game played in swirling winds on the South Coast. Salomon Rondon had given Newcastle the lead right on half time, but two Josh King goals looked to have sealed all three points for Bournemouth.

Ritchie’s goal grabbed a point for the Magpies, who now move seven points clear of the relegation zone and are just three points behind Bournemouth who have 38 on the board.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle had plenty of the ball early on and DeAndre Yedlin was brought down in the box by Charlie Daniels but no penalty kick was given. Ryan Fraser hit the post with a low shot but the game was a scrappy encounter.

Ayoze Perez then sent a shot in on goal which Artur Boruc saved smartly, as the Magpies took the game to the Cherries.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Jefferson Lerma was then lucky to not be sent off as he caught Perez with a late challenge, but that Colombian midfielder was only shown a yellow card.

The wind on the South Coast of England impacted both teams in the first half, but right on half time Rondon gave Newcastle the lead. His stunning free kick, won by Miguel Almiron who almost ran the length of the pitch after a Bournemouth corner, flew in at the near post to put Newcastle 1-0 up.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Bournemouth equalized right at the start of the second half, as they were awarded a penalty kick. Federico Fernandez had his arm around Nathan Ake‘s neck and Mike Dean pointed to the penalty spot. King finished calmly to make it 1-1. Game on.

Moments later Bournemouth should been ahead. Chris Mepham‘s header across goal from a corner went towards Ake and instead of nodding home he got out of the way of the ball as he thought it was going on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rondon fired across goal and Matt Ritchie was inches away from knocking home to put Newcastle back ahead in an end-to-end encounter, with Rondon also going down in the box after being pulled back by Callum Wilson but no penalty was given. Lerma then headed over from close range as Bournemouth missed a big chance.

Wilson then thought he had given Bournemouth the lead, but Paul Dummett acrobatically cleared off the line as Newcastle survived a huge scare. Soon after they weren’t so lucky as Dominic Solanke took his time in the box and set up King to sweep home and put Bournemouth 2-1 up late on.

However, the drama wasn’t over. DeAndre Yedlin sent in a cross and Ritchie popped up, in stoppage time, to smash home a beautiful volley to make it 2-2. He then celebrated wildly with the travelling Newcastle fans, as the point gained felt like a win for the Magpies.

Bournemouth rocks Chelsea by four (video)

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  • Brooks scores, assists
  • King with brace, assist
  • Arrizabalaga under siege

Bournemouth hammered Chelsea for the second time inside a calendar year with a 4-0 defeat of the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

It was just inside of a year ago that Bournemouth beat Chelsea 3-0. This time, it was four thanks to a Charlie Daniels flicked header in stoppage time.

Joshua King scored twice and added an assist. David Brooks also scored and recorded an assist as Bournemouth beat a Top Six side for the first time in eight tries this season.

Bournemouth moves 10th with 33 points, while Chelsea remains fourth with 47.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

David Brooks couldn’t snap into a back post header of a Joshua King flick, and Kepa Arrizabalaga made a decent close-range save on the bounding effort.

Arrizabalaga was again called into action by Brooks, who dribbled deep into the Chelsea end but found space limited before hitting a low shot to the keeper.

And Artur Boruc made a fine save on Mateo Kovacic‘s diving header before collecting a well-hit left-footer from Hazard.

Arrizabalaga was again steady when the Cherries’ counterattack struck in the 44th minute, parrying a beam off the boot of Junior Stanislas.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

King solved Arrizabalaga in the 47th minute, and it comes as little surprise that Brooks set up the chance with a terrific pass.

Pedro found N'Golo Kante on the doorstep with a swooping pass over the top of the Bournemouth back line, but the diminutive Frenchman messed up his first touch and Boruc handled it.

The provider and finisher switched places for Bournemouth’s second goal, as King sent Brooks over the top and the Scot beat Arrizabalaga low for 2-0 in the 63rd.

King then scored with an easily finish across goal after Stanislas cooked Antonio Rudiger.

Spurs thrash Bournemouth in hot pursuit of top-two

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  • Spurs make it five straight PL wins
  • Eriksen, Son, Lucas have 1H party (Kane joins later)
  • KWP assists the first three
  • Cherries lose for seventh time in nine

The busy festive period is off to a flying start for Tottenham Hotspur, who followed up Sunday’s 6-2 thrashing of Everton with a 5-0 demolition job of Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

With Manchester City suddenly looking fallible, Tottenham have not only erased the gap between themselves and the defending Premier League champions, but moved one point clear into second place on Wednesday. Based on current form, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side might just be the greater threat to Liverpool’s six-point lead.

Christian Eriksen opened the scoring after 16 minutes, benefiting from a massive deflection on his shot from outside the penalty area. The Dane has now scored in three straight Premier League games, beginning with his stoppage-time winner against Burnley last week.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Son Heung-min made it 2-0 just seven minutes later. Kyle Walker-Peters announced himself onto the stage as well, notching his second of three assists on the day by sneaking around Charlie Daniels as the Bournemouth defender couldn’t corral the ball 18 yards from goal. Walker-Peters slid the ball to Son, who needed just one touch to set up his shot from outside the box and beat Asmir Begovic.

Spurs found a third goal before halftime, as Walker-Peters picked out a late-arriving run by Lucas Moura. Walker-Peters broke down the right side of the penalty area and cut the ball back toward the penalty spot and the Brazilian guided it home with ease.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

With the goals flowing furiously at Wembley Stadium, Harry Kane had to get in on the action and take his tally to 12 on the PL season. This one was of particularly high quality, as Eriksen’s ball floated over Kane’s shoulder and required the most precise of redirections to beat Begovic inside the far post. Predictably, Kane got it just right.

Son got his second in the 70th minute, as Spurs refused to give up after Begovic and Co., denied them three times. Eventually, the ball fell to Son with an open net five yards in front of him.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]