Bournemouth will look to continue their recent resurgence when they head to Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Cherries were in absolute freefall and looked destined for relegation after a run of just one win in 12 Premier League games. However, back-to-back victories over Brighton and Aston Villa have lifted the south coast side to 16th.
However, an away trip to Bramall Lane will be a stern test of their still-fragile confidence, with Chris Wilder’s men continuing to churn out results in their unlikely search for European football.
Can Bournemouth take another step toward safety or will the Blades cut the Cherries back down to size? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Sheffield United vs Bournemouth and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Bramall Lane
Date: Sunday, 9 February 2020
Kick-off: 2:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1, BT Sport 1 HD & online via the BT Sport app
Last five meetings: Sheffield United vs Bournemouth
10 Aug 2019: Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United (Premier League)
23 Feb 2013: Bournemouth 0-1 Sheffield United (League One)
01 Sep 2012: Sheffield United 5-3 Bournemouth (League One)
07 Apr 2012: Sheffield United 2-1 Bournemouth (League One)
17 Dec 2011: Bournemouth 0-2 Sheffield United (League One)
Aggregate Score: Sheffield Untied (DWWWW) 11-5 Bournemouth (DLLLL)
Ones to watch
Sheffield United: Sander Berge
Sander Berge was in fine form on his Sheffield United debut, with the club’s record signing adding real dynamism and a robust edge to Chris Wilder’s midfield.
The Norway international could play a key role in Sheffield United securing a surprise European spot between now and the end of the season and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in a midfield battle against the likes of Philip Billing and Lewis Cook.
Key stat: Berge made a match-high six tackles during his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace.
Bournemouth: Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser’s recent comments about taking his eye off the ball amid transfer links to the likes of Arsenal and Man Utd haven’t exactly made him the most popular figure around Bournemouth, but Eddie Howe was quick to back his winger following a positive performance against Aston Villa.
“The fans were brilliant with him and he was very good in return, he showed how important he is,” he said. “You work with [players] every day and you see their personalities. You know them as people.
“When you see something that has maybe come out the wrong way and he ends up getting criticised, you feel for the lad sometimes, certain players and certain situations. It was nice to see him come out with a good performance.”
The Scotland international was mesmeric last season and if the Cherries are to survive the drop once again, Fraser will need to rediscover his golden touch and start delivering in front of goal.
Key stat: Fraser is without a direct goal involvement in his last 14 Bournemouth appearances across all competitions.
David McGoldrick is fit enough for the bench after recovering from a foot injury and other than that, Wilder has a clean bill of health and is able to field a full-strength XI.
Record signing Sander Berge impressed on his debut against Crystal Palace and makes his first Bramall Lane appearance.
Confirmed line-up: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McBurnie, Sharp.
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Jefferson Lerma is suspended following his red card against Aston Villa and leaves Howe with further headaches as the Cherries boss juggles a number of injuries.
Arnaut Danjuma, David Brookes, Charlie Daniels, Jack Stacey, Joshua King, Chris Mepham and Lloyd Kelly are all sidelined.
Confirmed line-up: Ramsdale; Smith, Francis, Ake, Rico; Gosling, Billing, Surman; H. Wilson, C. Wilson, Fraser.
Just when you thought Bournemouth were dead and buried, they go and win back-to-back games against their relegation rivals and move clear of the bottom three. The pressure on Howe has lifted slightly and the Cherries boss will look to the likes of Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson to continue their resurgence.
That said, an away trip to Sheffield United is likely near the bottom of everyone’s wishlist right now, so don’t expect it to be third time lucky for the Cherries.