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Opposition View: AFC Bournemouth vs Luton Town

Date: Saturday 16th December 2023

Kick-off: 3pM (GMT)

Venue: Vitality Stadium

Luton players rejoycing after Kal Naismith's winner the last time the two sides met
Luton players rejoycing after Kal Naismith's winner the last time the two sides met

After a week of tough games against two of English football's elite clubs, Luton travel to the south coast for another crucial fixture against an in form AFC Bournemouth side.

After a tough start to the season Andoni Iraola has got Bournemouth ticking in recent weeks, winning four of their last five legaue games, including their impressive 3-0 victory at Old Trafford last weekend. The Cherries have 16 points from their last seven games, with only Liverpool boasting a better record.

Opposition View:

Ruled out for the game: Hamed Traore (illness), Alex Scott (knee), Max Aarons (hamstring)

In goal Neto is likely to start and will captain the side. The former Valencia shot-stopper has kept four clean sheets so far this season, including in their impressive victories over Manchester United and Newcastle.

In front of the Brazilian expect an unchanged back four of Adam Smith, Illia Zabarnyi, Marcos Senesi and Milos Kerkez. The defensive unit are resolute and have proven tough to break down, with Adam Smith bringing vital experience in place of the injured Max Aarons.

Iraola has deployed a two-man midfield pivot of Lewis Cook and Ryan Christie. The Scott has dropped into a deeper role in recent weeks and has seen performances improve dramatically. Philip Billing is likely to take a more adanvances position behind the striker, offering a physical presence that can carry the ball forward.

Out wide Bournemouth are spoilt for choice. Antoine Semenyo has put in some impressive performances on the right and is likely to keep his place. On the left Marcus Tavernier has hit his best form since joining from Middlesbrough in August 2022, with two goals and three assists so far this season.

Dominic Solanke has relished every opportunity for Bournemouth since joining from Liverpool, scoring 65 goals so far for the Cherries. The Englishman has scored eight goals in the Premier League so far this season and is the obvious threat in front of goal.

Bournemouth have an abundance of offensive options off of the bench, Justin Kluivert, Luis Sinisterra and Dango Ouattara could also feature, providing varying types of threat in wide areas, while David Brooks has also returned to the squad and can play in midfield and out wide. Keiffer Moore has struggled for gametime this season, featuring for just 85 minutes, however his physicality can provide a very different problem for defences.

Predicted XI

Neto, Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez, Cook, Christie, Semenyo, Billing, Tavernier, Solanke

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