The Opposition: Bournemouth

Bournemouth Arnautovic

Relative newcomers to the Premier League, Bournemouth surpassed expectations last season.

Even with long term injuries to key men Eddie Howe’s side stayed up with room to spare.

With no real stars in the squad, Bournemouth’s team ethos shone through and were a delightful addition to the top flight.

The so-called second season syndrome will daunt the Cherries, but with the return from injury of those key players there will be confidence that they can extend their Premier League stay to a third campaign.

Stoke actually managed to do the double over Bournemouth last season- something only four other teams managed.

Memorable match: Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke. 13 February 2016. Stoke travelled to the South Coast on the back of three consecutive 3-0 defeats in the Premier League but blew Bournemouth away with a fantastic performance. A magnificent volley from Giannelli Imbula was followed up by strikes from Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu as Stoke gained an important three points.

2016-17 Fixtures: 19 November (H), 6 May (A).

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