AFC Bournemouth v Leeds - The preview

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United make the 550 mile-round trip to the south coast of Bournemouth for this mid-week clash. Last time the southerners came out with a 4-1 win, something Leeds fans deem highly unlikely to happen again, given the influx of players into the Yorkshire club this season under new owner Massimo Cellino.

Leeds have seen 15 new faces enter Elland Road this season, many thought to have bright futures ahead for them. Despite some of the players not having played any minutes this season, the Leeds fans are nevertheless full of hope that this could be their year. Boss Neil Redfearn has recently been told he will not take the job on permanently, as Cellino looks overseas for a coach, Argentina boss and ex-Leeds player Alex Sabella the name on everybody's lips.

To the game anyway, Bournemouth proved a difficult opponent for many last season, the club proved last season finishing in a very respectable 10th position, a place where Leeds have failed to finish higher than for four years. The Cherries will look to make the Goldsands Stadium a fortress this season, having won 11 times at home last season.

AFC Bournemouth will be with some rather significant absentees, as striker Yann Kermorgant will not feature due to a knee injury sustained in Saturday's draw with Rotherham. Brett Pitman is expected to fill in for the injured forward. Elliot Ward will neither feature after recently undergoing knee surgery and Tokelo Rantie is still absent after injuring himself on international duty with South Africa.

Leeds are expected to play Brazilian wonder kid Adryan, whose nickname is "The new Kaka'". Whether Kaka' shows up on the pitch remains to be seen, however he is expected to feature. New signings Brian Montenegro and Dario Del Fabro played in Leeds' development squad game earlier in the week, with Montenegro scoring, however are not expected to play any part in tonight's game.

Something interesting:
1) In 1990, Leeds took 10,000 fans to Bournemouth away, where Leeds won 1-0
2) Both teams have won one of their last 5 competitive games.

My expected Leeds line-up:
Silvestri,
Warnock, Pearce, Bellusci, Berardi,
Austin, Cook, Mowatt, Sloth,
Sharp, Doukara

Follow me on twitter @j4brennan
 

AFCB_Mark

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The game followed a similar pattern to all 3 of our recent home games. Whereby we play well for the most part, create a lot of chances, go 1-0 up, then run out of steam/get found out on about the hour mark, and end up conceding and imploding. One draw and two defeats recently following that same pattern.

Supporters have been looking for one silver bullet of an answer, but in reality it's a mixture of a few issues.

This all started with the defeat against Nottm Forest several weeks ago. The first half and parts of the second were genuinely brilliant for quality of play and chances created, it matched or perhaps even surpassed the peaks we reached last season. But only one chance was taken, 1-0 isn't enough to see a game out. In the second half when Stuart Pearce corrected his suicidally open formation, Forest sorted themselves out and came back hard, winning 3-1. Losing a game in which we played so well for long periods, was incredibly gutting for players and supporters, and since then, something hasn't quite been right.

Up front Yann Kermorgant and Callum Wilson are a bit hit and miss, which is to be expected when you have a new striker partnership. Wilson is still a kid, had just stepped up a level, and like most players making the L1 - Championship step up, will need some time. Wilson is clearly good enough because when he's "on it" he causes chaos. However for every game "on it" he'll have a two or three quiet games.

Our best play is at a very high tempo, and when it worked so well last season it often resulted in us being at least 2 goals up, or more, by half time. That meant that when the inevitable drop of pace came (because let's face it 90 minutes of dominate break neck tempo would be impossible at this level) we were already comfortable and just had to do a professional job to see it out. Now that the attack has been adjusted with Grabban going and Wilson coming in, the flow is slightly disrupted. The confidence is lower than last season, and as happens to any club in football you go through periods where things don't seem to drop for you. So we aren't taking those chances when we'reon top so that when the drop off comes, we're in trouble.

So our supporters ask themselves what can be done to cure this apparent sudden loss of 'mojo' - changes of system? Raft of changes in selection? Or just play our way through it and be patient? After all, this is the Championship, we are still 15th, with the likes of Fulham amd Cardiff to name two below us.

Is it really worth a meltdown? I think not. We'll get there, I have no doubt about that. But it must be said, Howe has a few issues to think through.
 

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