Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Aston Villa
The day where Aston Villa could mathematically be relegated from the Premier League has seemed inevitable for months and today, it is finally here as Bournemouth have the opportunity to put them out of their misery. Villa have dished up some torrid performances of late in front of their own supporters but they have one final chance to try to put things right before they are confirmed as a second-tier side.
For Villa to be relegated this afternoon, their result against the Cherries must be worse than than of Norwich City's efforts against Crystal Palace. Given that Palace have been almost as poor as Villa since the turn of the year, you would have to fancy Norwich to get at least a draw at Selhurst Park so the onus is on Villa to produce a showing that they undoubtedly owe their long-suffering fans, who have witnessed just two home wins in the Premier League all season.
Before we continue the build-up to this game, let me point you in the direction of the showdown at Upton Park between West Ham United and Arsena
l. It has been a humdinger and there is still almost a third of the game to go!
Anyway, back to this game and let's take a look at the team news that is emerging from Villa Park.
ASTON VILLA XI: Guzan, Lyden, Clark, Lescott, Cissokho, Bacuna, Westwood, Gana, Richardson, Sinclair, Ayew
ASTON VILLA SUBSTITUTES: Bunn, Richards, Adama, Sanchez, Gestede, Grealish, Tonev
BOURNEMOUTH XI: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Gradel, Grabban, King
BOURNEMOUTH SUBSTITUTES: Federici, Wiggins, Macdonald, O'Kane, Pugh, Iturbe, Wilson
The big news coming out of the Villa dressing room is the full first-team debut that has been handed to Jordan Lyden. There is also a start for Leandro Bacuna, while Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew
have been entrusted with the attacking duties. Adama Traore is on the bench and could make his first appearance since January 2.
There is also a significant inclusion on the bench for Bournemouth too, with Callum Wilson being deemed ready to return to the first-team picture for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury in September. There is also a place for Juan Manuel Iturbe, who hasn't been seen since February 20.
There has been another goal at Upton Park - the sixth of the afternoon! See who scored it by following our live text commentary
HEAD TO HEAD!
This afternoon's match represents just the seventh time that these two clubs have met in a competitive fixture, with Villa winning four and Bournemouth just the one. The reverse fixture on the opening day of the season was decided by a Rudy Gestede
effort in the second half, but the forward has only been named on the bench by Eric Black
for today's contest.
There's probably little point taking a look at the form table given that Villa have lost their last six games in the Premier League, but it's worth taking a look at Bournemouth's recent results. They may have recorded 10 points in four games over February and March but they have been easily beaten in their last two outings for the loss of seven goals. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were the opposition but Eddie Howe
will be keen to ensure that they get back on track this afternoon in order to reduce the possibility of their campaign fizzling out.
Usually with young players, it comes as a surprise when they are finally handed their first Premier League start for the senior side but that isn't the case with Jordan Lyden. Villa supporters have been calling for his inclusion for weeks as they look for some of their academy players to be given some match action before next season. Lyden has already started a game against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup but a Premier League start will be a different proposition for the 20-year-old Australian midfielder.
The full-time whistle has gone at Upton Park with the London derby between West Ham United and Arsenal ending 3-3 after a pulsating match. Read our on-the-whistle report here
Some of the Villa players are going through their final bits of the warm-up. I can't see many fans in the stand in the background...
We cannot let this game get underway without speaking about the return of Callum Wilson. When he was finding the back of the net on a regular basis at the start of the season, there was talk of a possible England call-up before Euro 2016 but while he will have to bide his time before making his bow on the international scene, he will be delighted to be back in contention before the summer. I'm sure Eddie Howe
won't take any unnecessary risks with him but it's a huge boost to both the club and Wilson as they look to end an unforgettable first Premier League campaign on a high.
PREDICTION! Villa are Villa and Bournemouth haven't scored in two games so we aren't expecting many goals this afternoon. A narrow 1-0 win for Bournemouth looks the best bet and if that result materialises, it could be enough to send the home side down to the Football League.
It goes without saying that we will bring you news of any goals from Selhurst Park but if you would like to follow the fixture between Crystal Palace and Norwich City, you can do so by clicking here
We are almost ready for kickoff in the West Midlands! Have the Villa supporters got any belief left in them to spur their team onto victory?
We are underway at Villa Park!
CHANCE! Rather surprisingly, the first opportunity of the game goes to Villa after Sinclair finds the advancing Idrissa Gueye but his first-time half-volley goes miles over the crossbar.
CHANCE! Brilliant response from Bournemouth. A neat flick from Gradel releases Grabban towards the Villa defence and after biding his time, the forward fires a low drive towards the bottom corner, only to see Guzan turn the ball behind for a corner.
There hasn't been much to talk about aside from those two chances. Bournemouth don't appear to have lost any confidence after falling to two heavy defeats and that may not bode well for Villa the longer this game progresses.
Bournemouth have put together some neat moves during the opening stages. They are having plenty of joy on either flank too. Villa don't appear to be receiving too much backing from their fans, with the Cherries fans making the most noise inside Villa Park.
SHOT! That's ambitious from Westwood but you can't blame him for having a go. The ball fell invitingly to him on the edge of the penalty area but his volley was always clearing the crossbar from 25 yards.
The only goal to be scored elsewhere in the Premier League has come at St Mary's, with Southampton leading Newcastle United thanks to a goal from Shane Long. Nothing to report from Selhurst Park.
SHOT! Villa give the ball away in the centre of the park and it sets Bournemouth up to lanuch a break-away. The ball eventually falls to Gosling, but his long-range effort is tame and goes a couple of yards wide of the post.
I have to say, I am very disappointed with the atmosphere at Villa Park. You can't blame the home support in the slightest but it doesn't make for the greatest spectacle. They have had little reason to cheer, though. They are barely having a kick in the Bournemouth half.
The first booking of the afternoon goes to Steve Cook
, who misses the ball as he lunges in at Gueye.
GOAL FLASH! Still no goals at Selhurst Park but there has been on at the Liberty Stadium, with Swansea City taking the lead against Chelsea. As it stands, Swansea sit just one point behind Bournemouth in the table.
Still not much to report from Villa Park, apart from a yellow card for Gueye after a late tackle on Elphick. Harsh caution.
Bournemouth manage to win a corner - just the second of the match - but when the ball is finding delivered into the box, the Villa defence do just enough for the ball to be claimed by Guzan.
GOAL FLASH! Disaster for Newcastle - they are now 2-0 down to Southampton! It is looking very much like two English giants will be plying their trade in the Championship next season.
Bournemouth are continuing to probe but so far, there has been no real end product. Howe will be pleased that they look as comfortable as they do but maybe less happy that they are yet to force Guzan into a proper save.
There will be one minute of added-on time.
GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Bournemouth (Cook)
HALF TIME: Aston Villa 0-1 Bournemouth
Is that the goal that is going to send Aston Villa down? It's a terrific goal too and it has come from two defenders! I short-corner routine ended with Francis cutting the ball back for Cook to flick the ball - Vardy'esque - into the near post. Bournemouth deserve their lead at half time.
Villa get the second half back underway. Eric Black
has replaced Lyden with Rudy Gestede
Given the timing of the goal, we weren't able to praise Cook as much as we should have done for his finish. It was every bit as good as Jamie Vardy's against Germany but probably a yard or two further out. It represented his fourth goal of the season.
Villa win a corner after Cook diverts Ayew's flick away from goal but after Westwood's delivery to the far post, Clark can only head wide.
As it stands, Cook's goal is taking Bournemouth up to the dizzy heights of 11th position. Pretty sure that they would have taken that at the start of the season!
Sinclair has been one of Villa's brightest players this afternoon but aside from one cross during the early stages, his end ball has been lacking. That is the case here after he burst clear down the flank.
I'm taking credit for this. Sinclair receives the ball on the wing and finds Gestede with his cross, but the striker miscues his volley and Boruc claims easily. That was a chance for the home side.
SUBSTITUTION! Bournemouth make their first change of the game, bringing on Marc Pugh in place of Max Gradel.
In all fairness to Villa, they are showing more intent in the final third this half. Ayew gets himself into a crossing position but despite a high-quality ball being sent into the penalty area, no-one is there to add the final touch.
There remains no goals between Crystal Palace and Norwich City but as it stands, it doesn't matter. Villa are going down if they don't score in the final 28 minutes of this football match.
We've not seen a lot of Bournemouth since the restart but they win a free kick in a threatening position after Gueye brings down Gosling. Surman is the player who steps up to take it but it goes straight into the wall. Very disappointing.
When your team are 22 minutes away from being relegated...
GOAL FLASH! Crystal Palace have taken the lead against Norwich City! Lifeline for Aston Villa. Is this the start of the great escape? No. No, it's not.
Not a lot to report from the last few minutes but as you can imagine, there's not a lot being taken by the Villa fans regarding that Palace. They know it matters little in the grand scheme of things.
GOAL! Aston Villa 0-2 Bournemouth (King)
Sorry, Villa fans. I will take the blame for that one. A mistake at the back allows King to move in on goal and he makes no mistake by clipping the ball over the advancing Guzan. Game over.
Adama Traore has been introduced into the action and his first real contribution sees him surge down the right flank but his cross into the middle is well cleared. Bournemouth seem content to see out the game now. Don't think there will be much action during the closing stages.
SUBSTITUTION! Jack Grealish will be involved for the final six minutes plus added-on time after replacing Kieran Richardson. Villa fans - is that really long enough?
GOAL! Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth (Ayew)
Game on! A through ball from Gueye is picked up by Ayew and after side-stepping a defender, the attacking curls the ball past Boruc and into the bottom corner. That's more like it.
Villa are pressing for an equaliser but it looks as though we are about to see Callum Wilson make his Bournemouth return.
There will be three minutes of added-on time.
SUBSTITUTION! Here comes Callum Wilson to a standing ovation from the Cherries faithful. He has replaced King.
FULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth
The full-time whistle has gone at Villa Park and Bournemouth have held on for a 2-1 win. Despite that late goal, they never seemed in much danger of failing to win this match and despite defeat, Villa have avoid relegation for this week at least after Norwich City lost at Crystal Palace.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this match but we hope that you can stick around for all of the other reports and reaction. Goodbye for now.