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Aug 10, 2019 at 3pm UK
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Preview: Bournemouth vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between between Bournemouth and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bournemouth will open their 2019-20 Premier League campaign with a home match against newly-promoted Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.

The Cherries will be looking to improve on last season's 14th-place finish in the top flight, while Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2007 after claiming second in the Championship last term.

Match preview

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe applauds his side on December 4, 2018© Reuters

Bournemouth are heading into their fifth straight Premier League campaign, which is remarkable when considering the size of the club. A 14th-place finish last term ensured that they would play at least one more season of top-flight action, and Eddie Howe will be hoping for a strong start this weekend.

The Cherries lost exactly half of their 38 league games last season, but 13 wins and six draws saw them gather 45 points, leaving them 11 points clear of the relegation zone. It is promising to be a very competitive Premier League this term, making a strong start even more important.

Howe's side started their pre-season with a 3-2 success over AFC Wimbledon in the middle of July, while they have beaten Brentford and Lyon in two of their last three friendlies. The team will actually enter this match off the back of a 3-0 win over Lyon last weekend, which would have significantly boosted confidence.

Arnaut Danjuma, Philip Billing, Lloyd Kelly, Jack Stacey and Harry Wilson have all arrived at the Vitality Stadium in this summer's transfer window, while exits have been minimal. Indeed, the club actually earned more than £20m by selling Tyrone Mings, who had struggled to break into the first team.

There will again be pressure on Callum Wilson to score the goals during the 2019-20 campaign, with the 27-year-old managing 14 strikes and 10 assists in 30 Premier League appearances last term.

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson caps off the scoring against Brighton on April 13, 2019© Reuters

As for Sheffield United, the Blades are back in the Premier League for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign. The club actually played in League One between 2011 and 2017 before securing a return back to the Championship, ultimately spending two more seasons at that level before returning to the top tier.

Chris Wilder's side gathered 89 points from their 46 Championship games last season to finish second behind Norwich City, who won the league by five points. The jump from the second tier to the Premier League is huge, but the club have not been afraid to splash the cash in this summer's transfer window.

Big money has been spent on Oliver McBurnie, while Lys Mousset and Callum Robinson have also both arrived. No fewer than 10 new players have pitched up this summer when taking into account free transfers and loans, which is an indication of how keen the club are to fight off the threat of relegation.

It is a relatively kind start to the campaign when considering that they will face Crystal Palace and Leicester City in their two home matches after this one, ahead of a trip to Chelsea in their final game before the September international break.

The Blades have been impressive in pre-season, meanwhile, winning four of their six games - hitting five against Chesterfield and four against Barnsley towards the end of last month. Now comes the start of competitive action, though, and it will be fascinating to see how the team perform on their return to this level.

Bournemouth form: WLDWLW

Sheffield United form: WLWWWL

Team News

David Brooks celebrates scoring for Bournemouth on April 13, 2019© Reuters

Bournemouth have a fairly extensive injury list heading into this match. Indeed, Lewis Cook and Simon Francis are both long-term absentees with knee injuries, while Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas and summer arrival Kelly are all on the sidelines.

David Brooks was outstanding for the Cherries last season. The Welshman, though, will miss out on the chance to face his former club following ankle surgery. Charlie Daniels could feature after recovering from knee surgery, however, in what would be a big boost.

Summer arrivals Stacey, Chris Mepham, Harry Wilson and Billing are all in line to start, meanwhile, with Josh King expected to join Callum Wilson in the final third of the field.

As for Sheffield United, head coach Wilder has a fairly clean injury list heading into the contest, which is exactly what the supporters would have wanted.

McBurnie is expected to be given the nod in the final third of the field, with fellow new arrival Luke Freeman also potentially featuring in attack.

Dean Henderson will start in goal having returned on loan from Manchester United, but it remains to be seen whether Billy Sharp is given the nod from the onset.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup: Begovic; Stacey, Mepham, Ake, Daniels; Fraser, Billing, Lerma, H Wilson; King; C Wilson

Sheffield United possible starting lineup: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; Freeman, Robinson; McBurnie

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We say: Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United

It will be fascinating to see what type of game occurs at the Vitality Stadium. Both teams will have a number of their new signings on display, which only adds to the excitement. We are finding it hard to separate the sides on the afternoon - predicting a low-scoring draw on the opening weekend.

That said, there has been a winner in each of the last 11 games between these two teams in all competitions, with Bournemouth incredibly triumphing on just one occasion during that run of fixtures.

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