Promoted Bournemouth host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Both clubs come into the contest deflated by distant officials. West Ham consigned Bournemouth to a second consecutive defeat on Monday night which left Gary O’Neil bemoaning the ten VAR decisions – by his count – which have gone against the Cherries during his interim reign.
Spurs were denied a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Harry Kane by the referee’s video-aided assistant late on Wednesday evening. Tottenham’s home draw with Sporting CP halted a sequence of consecutive defeats but leaves their Champions League future hanging in the balance.
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Neither Dominic Solanke nor goalkeeper Neto reemerged for the second half of Bournemouth’s defeat to West Ham after sustaining ankle and leg injuries respectively.
The pair are expected to join captain Lloyd Kelly (ankle) and David Brooks (thigh) on the sidelines this weekend.
Bournemouth Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Travers; Fredericks, Mepham, Senesi, Smith; Lerma, Cook; Christie, Billing, Tavernier; Moore.
Bench: Dennis, Stephens, Zemura, Stacey, Pearson, Rothwell, Anthony, Stanislas, Marcondes.
The increasingly agonising wait for Tottenham’s link man Dejan Kulusevski is set to drag on after the Swede suffered a setback in his recovery from a thigh problem. Richarlison was spritely enough to act as an impromptu ball boy in the closing stages of Tottenham’s midweek draw but may not make it on the other side of the white line just yet.
Tottenham Starting 11 (3-4-3): Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon; Moura, Kane, Son.
Bench: Forster, Davies, Sanchez, Doherty, Skipp, BIssouma, Perisic, Gil, Spence.
Injuries to Bournemouth’s first-choice goalkeeper, captain and number nine have removed three vertebrae from the spine of the promoted outfit.
Tottenham are carrying some absentees of their own and have shown a decided lack of fluency in the absence of Kulusevski in particular. However, away from an increasingly frustrated home crowd, Spurs should still have enough to navigate their way past the side with the worst defensive record in the division.
Prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Tottenham