Bournemouth v Norwich

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TEAM NEWS
Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie is rated as 50/50 because of a dead leg and could be replaced by on-loan Roma winger Juan Iturbe, who awaits his first start.

Lewis Grabban could play against his former club after rejoining the Cherries from Norwich this week.

Norwich have no new injury problems, but midfielder Gary O'Neil begins a three-game ban.

Full-back Ivo Pinto will not be involved as he continues to settle following a move from Dinamo Zagreb.

MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES
Martin Fisher: "Bournemouth have lost their way since Christmas - the incredible highs of beating Chelsea andManchester United replaced by a winless run of four games in which they've scored once.

"Hence the expensive acquisitions of Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban. Of course, the latter joined from Norwich, so he has to play in this one, doesn't he?

"The Canaries have already lost seven games on the road but they did win at the Vitality Stadium last January in Alex Neil's first game in charge.

"That victory set them on their way to the Premier League. A repeat will be a huge boost in keeping them there."

Twitter: @martfisher1

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "All three of our new players [Benik Afobe, Lewis Grabban and Juan Iturbe] are really good characters.

"It's nice to have done early business but it's all relative. We're trying to ensure we have enough strength in depth.

"The squad looks in better shape now, I believe. We've got players that can really make a difference."

Norwich manager Alex Neil: "I don't think it's any surprise that Bournemouth have invested heavily in the squad. If they've got the money, it's up to them.

"It's a crucial game for us, as it is for Bournemouth.

"If we win, we extend our lead over them to five points but it won't be the deciding factor. There's a long way to go."

LAWRO'S PREDICTION
Norwich's away form has been poor and I think Bournemouth's new firepower will make the difference. If they win, the Cherries go above the Canaries, and that is what I think will happen.

Prediction: 2-1

From the BBC
 

SUTSS

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Both teams will be worried about losing this and I think it will end in a draw with neither team wanting to take many risk and there being plenty of nerves.
 

AFCB_Mark

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Big game much?

Should be a cracker, both teams can't defend and both score goals. Most of these games would be tense and defensive but I don't think these two sides are capable of it.

Two games now that will really tell us where we are and just how much of a struggle the rest of this season will be.

We've managed to slightly, slightly improve at the back. Tuesday's unbelievable free kick finishes with Payet's brilliance aside. And we now have more confidence with our options in attack, Iturbe is a handful (although cant start as yet) Afobe looks the part. And then theres Grabban...

Norwich gave us a pasting at their place earlier in the season. Must do much better than that shambles.
 

AFCB_Mark

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Why the pessimism Munks?
 

PDS

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With this followed by Sunderland the next two games could be season defining to say the least. And I've really got it into my head that we're going to lose the next two as well, because, well we're Bournemouth and that's how we do things.

It seems everyone is expecting Grabban to score, I imagine he'll be on the bench again so I wonder what sort of reaction he'll get from the away fans. I think I can guess...
 

PDS

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Lewis Grabban not in the 18 with an 'illness'. Anyone buy that?
 

AFCB_Mark

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Absolutely fucking incensed by that twat of a referee, fucking generous Norwich unbelievable decision for Daniels and the keeper. Incensed dean court. Regulation penalty not given, and the keeper only a yellow?

Otherwise, cracking first half and unlucky not to be further ahead. Keep it going.
 

Munkiki

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standard pathetic first half performance - maybe even worse than normal. lucky to only be 1-0 down.

could say lucky to have 11 men too but with two defenders covering, think the ref was right to only book Rudd. a weaker ref would've given red though. (funny that the Bournemouth fans are incensed though given the ridiculous red card Howson was given there last season)
 

AFCB_Mark

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Well I guess Norwich were improved after their red last season, not to mention their handball goal...maybe it's for the best. But two fucking frustrating decisions that follow the trend this season. We don't have 30,000 to howl for decisions.
 

Munkiki

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if it makes you feel any better, we don't ever get given penalties either.

and handball? come off it.
 

Munkiki

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only way I can explain this performance is that we're helping Bournemouth stay up so we get the full £8m for Grabban
 

AFCB_Mark

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Well, we put a heck of a shift in,
Daniels and Pugh on our left
flank especially gutsy. Not always pretty but we played the better stuff for the most part. Norwich seemed a bit ponderous and lacking in imagination when they got in our half, and they had a fair amount of time in our half.

Obviously getting the second at the start of the second half (finally) really helps wih making them push forwards. Nice instinctive finish for Afobe to wrap it up.

Newcastle won I see so it's all tight. Sunderland next and another big shift required.
 

PDS

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Well that was... Unexpected. A superb performance from start to finish. Great to see Afobe getting off the mark early ahead of a big run of fixtures.

Norwich were bad, like really bad. Surprising considering they turned us over with ease at Carrow Road. Their plan was to kick us, and if that didn't work kick us quite hard.

Rudd looked like a clear red to me but will wait to see it again. It semed high, late and denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Great start to this frankly huge week. Play like that against Sunderland and we'll get something up there no doubt.
 

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Norwich' away form will let them down..
 

SUTSS

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That's our worst performance of the season I think. So strange to see us struggle on the road so much when we were unbeaten under Neil away last season. We really need to spend some money. We barely spent anything in the summer and it's beginning to have the same feel to it now. I know the club like to make a profit and keep the club in the black and we're probably punching above our weight with the amount we spend on transfer fees and wages but sometimes you need to push the boat out. I don't think any of our defenders or strikers are actually Premier League quality.
 

PDS

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That third goal looks even more ludicrously perfect on TV. Charlie Daniels putting in the most unreal cross
 

AFCB_Mark

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The club staff had a funny story to tell post match on Saturday. The Norwich squad got on their bus, the driver started the engine up and the stewards guided it out the car park and on their way home.

Except it turned out a few members of the coaching staff hadn't got on yet. 5 minutes later they came out the main reception with no coach there to board. Luckily the traffic leaving the game meant the coach hadn't gone too far, and Dean Kiely could be seen running down the road after it!
 

SUTSS

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The coach driver is getting his P45 in the post.
 

Super_horns

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I don't suppose the players were too bothered that the coaches had missed it!
 

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