Chris Mepham

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Premier League Preview: Southampton v. Bournemouth

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  • Early-season mid-table clash on the south coast
  • 10th-place Saints host 9th-place Cherries
  • 0-0, 3-3 draws in PL meetings last season

Matchweek 6 of the 2019-20 Premier League season is upon us, and the proceedings are set to kick off on Friday when a pair of south coast clubs, Southampton and Bournemouth, do battle (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Both sides enter the clash at St. Mary’s Stadium on the back of a victory last weekend in PL action. It’s Bournemouth whose triumph last time out was wildly impressive, though, as Eddie Howe’s side cruise to a 3-1 win over top-six hopefuls Everton at Vitality Stadium. However, Saints have proven a real nightmare of an away day for the Cherries as they’re in search of their first-ever win away to Southampton (15 previous tries, beginning in 1953 – all competitions).

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Southampton secured their most recent victory when they traveled to newly promoted, 10-man Sheffield United. Home form has been a bit worrying for Saints early this season, until you consider they’ve hosted none other than Liverpool and Manchester United at St. Mary’s… until you look back to last season and realize they have won just five of their last 21 at home. On the plus side, Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s side has been much improved since conceding five goals in the first two games of the season. Since then, just one goal which came in a 1-1 draw with Man United.

Injuries/suspensions

Southampton: OUT – Kevin Danso (suspension); QUESTIONABLE – Nathan Redmond (ankle), Michael Obafemi (hamstring); PROBABLE – Ryan Bertrand (ankle)

Bournemouth: OUT – Charlie Daniels (knee), Lloyd Kelly (ankle), Dan Gosling (hip), David Brooks (ankle), Junior Stanislas (knee), Simon Francis (fitness); QUESTIONABLE – Chris Mepham (undisclosed), Arnaut Danjuma (foot)


Projected lineups

Southampton: Gunn – Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard – Soares, Romeu, Hojberg – Ward-Prowse, Boufal – Adams, Ings

Bournemouth: Ramsdale – Stacey, Cook, Ake, Rico – Wilson, Billing, Cook, King – Solanke, Wilson


What they’re saying

Ralph Hasenhuttl, on Southampton’s defensive improvement: “This season it’s not the case that we don’t give them any chances, they still have chances because it’s very difficult in the Premier League to not give them a chance. Also the goalkeepers Angus (Gunn) and Alex (McCarthy) make a good development this season and the back five were very concentrated. It is good to see things develop that you have been working on. This can hopefully continue.”

Eddie Howe, on the budding south coast rivalry: “It should be a really feisty game, a really good atmosphere and an entertaining match. Southampton have started very well, too. It’s gaining in everybody’s focus. The more games we have, the more the rivalry will intensify I think. We’ve enjoyed the games against Southampton which have been tight and tough, from both clubs’ perspectives. We’re looking forward to another entertaining match.”


Prediction

Southampton have been far more convincing in their defending than Bournemouth on the attack. It’ll likely be a game of precious few high-value chances. In the end, neither Saints get the elusive home win nor the Cherries get the first victory at Southampton. Final score: 1-1.

Sheffield United snatch late draw at Bournemouth

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Sheffield United struck in the 88th minute to secure a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Saturday.

The newly-promoted side snatched a point thanks to local lad and club captain Billy Sharp, as he jumped off the bench and scrambled home an equalizer.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Mepham‘s clinical finish had given the Cherries the lead, but Sharp did what he does best as he pounce in the box to send the travelling Blades fans wild.


Three things we learned

1. Fraser, Wilson carrying the Cherries without Brooks. And Bournemouth just looked a little lackluster in attack without their Welsh wizard who is out injured.

2. Blades unfazed by the big time. Very impressive on the ball and deserved their equalizer which was a lovely moment for local lad and captain Sharp.

[ MORE: Sharp, Wilder react to draw ]

3. Bournemouth’s defensive unit looked stronger, then let in another late goal as it was the same old story for Eddie Howe. They looked less dangerous in attack and still conceded, which will be a worry.

Man of the Match: Dean Henderson – Made one stunning save in the second half from Billing and held United’s defense together as Bournemouth piled on the pressure.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sheffield United started well as goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale denied David McGoldrick who broke free. Ryan Fraser was causing problems out wide for Bournemouth as the Cherries settled into the game.

The Blades looked comfortable enough and were rattling into challenges as Wilder’s side held their own. Adam Smith was booked in the first half but VAR was used to rule out a red card as the game turned into a scrappy affair.

David McGoldrick was played in over the top but arrowed his effort just wide of the far post as the Blades grew in stature.

At the other end Bournemouth’s Phillip Billing forced Dean Henderson into a wonderful save as the Man United loanee denied the Danish midfielder at full stretch.

Moments later Bournemouth took the lead as Ryan Fraser whipped in a free kick to the back post and several players tried to hook the ball goalwards with Henderson denying Callum Wilson, then Mepham arrived to smash home.

Just as it looked like Bournemouth were going to win, Sharp pounced and celebrated wildly with the away fans on the South Coast.

Sheffield United celebrated being back in the big-time in dramatic fashion.

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.