Junior Stanislas

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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.

Fulham win second-straight, beat Bournemouth (video)

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  • Mitrovic’s penalty kick the winner
  • Second-straight win for Fulham
  • 3 defeats in 4 for Bournemouth 

Already-relegated Fulham beat Bournemouth 1-0 at a sunny Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game to secure Fulham’s first away win of the season.

Mitrovic’s penalty kick came in the second half, as an even game saw the Cottagers edge it and caretaker boss Scott Parker has done his chances of getting the full-time job no harm at all with back-to-back PL wins against Everton and Bournemouth.

With the three points Fulham remain in 19th and are on 23 points, while Bournemouth sit in 12th on 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Callum Wilson raced in on goal early on but lifted his effort over the bar, and Bournemouth did all the pressing as Fulham struggled to get out of their own half and Josh King then fired over when it looked easier to score.

At the other end Nathan Ake cleared a header from a corner off the line, then Mitrovic flashed a shot over the bar but was offside.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ryan Fraser forced Sergio Rico into a smart stop across his goal after a trademark surging run forward, as Bournemouth turned the screw. Bournemouth were forced into an early change as Junior Stanislas (who only replaced Adam Smith in the team just before kick off) went off with a knee injury and youngster Jack Simpson replaced him.

Mitrovic was then denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Steve Cook as Fulham improved, and from the resulting corner Denis Odoi‘s flicked header was saved well by Artur Boruc.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Fulham went ahead, as Simpson clattered into Mitrovic to give away a clear penalty kick. Mitrovic stepped up and sent Boruc the wrong way to end his drought of nine games without a goal and put Fulham 1-0 up.

Ryan Sessegnon weaved his way into the box and forced Boruc into a save at his near post as the visitors dominated the play in the second half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fraser flashed a shot just wide and Bournemouth threw everything at Fulham late on, with Rico denying Wilson and then Maxime Le Marchand coming up with a huge block.

David Brooks‘ cross hit the top of the crossbar and then Lys Mousset sent a late header straight at Rico, and that was as close as Bournemouth came to an equalizer as boos rang out from the home fans at the final whistle.

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.

Bournemouth, Watford draw in six-goal thriller

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  • 5 goals scored in 13 first half minutes
  • Bournemouth fight back from 2-0 down
  • No win in three for Watford, Bournemouth

Bournemouth and Watford drew 3-3 at the Vitality Stadium Wednesday, as the Cherries and Hornets shared six goals in an incredible first half.

Watford went 2-0 up as Troy Deeney scored twice, but Bournemouth then scored twice through Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson to make it 2-2. Soon after Ken Sema put Watford 3-2 up, but then Ryan Fraser made it 3-3 with five goals scored in just 12 first half minutes.

The second half saw both teams have chances to win it, but a draw was a fair result in an entertaining encounter. With the point Bournemouth are in 12th on 27 points, while Watford climb to eighth on 29 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Jefferson Lerma lashed a shot over from the edge of the box as Bournemouth started well, but Watford were soon ahead. Abdoulaye Doucoure surged forward from midfield and found Sema on the right. His cross was attacked by Deeney who sent a header into the net.

David Brooks then went close to an equalizer as Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson combined to set him up, but Ben Foster kept out Brooks.

Watford then went 2-0 up as Dan Gosling gave it away to Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard then went on a rampaging 40-yard run. Eventually the ball found its way to Deeney who slotted home his and Watford’s second of the game.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Doucoure then curled a shot inches over as the Hornets dominated, but Bournemouth pulled two goals back quickly. Steve Cook‘s header across goal was headed on target by Gosling and despite Foster saving, Ake was on hand to make it 2-1. Game on.

Then Wilson nodded home another set piece to make it 2-2. But there was time for another few goals before half time, as Sema drilled in a low shot for his first PL goal to make it 3-2. But moments later Stanislas squared for Fraser to slot home and make it 3-3.

Josh King almost made it 4-3 right on half time but headed wide, as both teams looked like scoring every time they went forward. Amongst all of that Doucoure should have been sent off for lunging in on Fraser as Watford were lucky to keep 10 men on the pitch.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half the scoring inevitably slowed down, but Wilson almost scored from another set piece.

A long free kick into the box found the Bournemouth striker and his powerful head was right at Foster who acrobatically pushed the ball over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Foster then denied King brilliantly as Bournemouth pushed hard for the winner, and at the other end Cook lunged in for a wonderful last-ditch tackle as Roberto Pereyra was in on goal.

Deulofeu then curled just wide as Watford cranked up the pressure late on, as Tom Cleverely wanted a penalty kick after his the ball was handled by Ake in the box but nothing was given.

The game ended 3-3 after a thrilling first half blitz.

Bournemouth’s Brooks bullies Brighton

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  • Brooks scores in each half
  • Brighton’s Lewis Dunk sent off
  • Bournemouth up to eighth place
  • Brighton without a win away from home this season

Bournemouth beat 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as the Cherries enter the festive season on a high.

David Brooks scored a stunner and a header to do the damage, as Brighton’s captain Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half after picking up two yellow cards.

The win moves Bournemouth up to eighth in the table and on to 26 points, while Brighton remain in 13th on 21 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brighton started well as Yves Bissouma burst through the Bournemouth defense but his low shot was saved by Asmir Begovic.

At the other end Simon Francis clipped in an inviting ball which just evaded the Bournemouth attack as the home side huffed and puffed.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Callum Wilson then raced in and his cutback was cleared on the line by Brighton’s Bernardo and then Mat Ryan saved the rebound after persistent Bournemouth pressure. Jurgen Locadia prodded a decent effort goalwards at the other end, but then Bournemouth took the lead in sensational fashion.

Welsh international Brooks picked the ball up without much on but he danced towards goal and slammed an effort into the far corner to put the Cherries 1-0 up. Before the break Lewis Dunk got a powerful header on goal but Begovic saved superbly as Brighton were unlucky to get in behind at the break.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half Bournemouth almost doubled their lead.

Junior Stanislas whipped a free kick just wide of the post with Ryan rooted to the spot and the home side looked the more likely to score.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Brighton’s task was made tougher late on as Dunk was handed a second yellow card for taking out Wilson, and then it was game over.

Brooks scored his and Bournemouth’s second goal of the game as he deftly flicked home Ryan Fraser‘s inch-perfect cross to make it 2-0.

Game. Set. Match.