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Bournemouth logo
Premier League | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 2pm UK
Vitality Stadium
Aston Villa logo
Bournemouth
2 - 2
Aston Villa
Semenyo (10'), Solanke (52')
Kluivert (12'), Semenyo (17'), Senesi (45+4'), Christie (54'), Kerkez (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bailey (20'), Watkins (90')
Torres (29'), Zaniolo (43'), Duran (84')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fresh from confirming a place in the knockout rounds of the Europa Conference League, Aston Villa meet a resurgent Bournemouth in Sunday's Premier League clash at the Vitality Stadium.

Unai Emery's men bested Legia Warsaw 2-1 on Thursday, in a game that was overshadowed by despicable scenes of violence outside the ground, while the Cherries made it back-to-back wins by seeing off Sheffield United 3-1 last weekend.


Match preview

Bournemouth's Justin Kluivert celebrates scoring their second goal with Marcus Tavernier on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Taking some of the pressure off his own shoulders while leaving Paul Heckingbottom's job in even more jeopardy, Cherries head coach Andoni Iraola masterminded his side's second successive top-flight win at Bramall Lane last weekend, where Bournemouth picked up where they left off before the international break.

Having waited all season to open his Premier League account, Marcus Tavernier struck a brace either side of a Justin Kluivert effort to put the game to bed before the hour mark, and while Oli McBurnie gave the disgruntled Blades faithful something to cheer towards the end, his consolation was of little value.

Also revelling in a 2-0 beating of Champions League-competing Newcastle United earlier this month, Bournemouth are slowly leaving their relegation rivals in their wake, sitting 16th in the table but boasting a seven-point advantage over recent foes Sheffield United in 18th spot.

The hosts now have three wins from their last four Premier League games to shout about as Iraola seeks to prolong the feel-good factor on the South Coast, but it has been over five years since Bournemouth enjoyed a three-match winning streak in the top flight, triumphing in four in a row between May 2018 and August 2018.

The Vitality Stadium faithful have to go even further back to March 2016 for the last time that their side won three successive Premier League matches in a single season, and 28 goals conceded is the worst defensive record outside of the relegation spots - shortcomings that Villa will need no invitation to expose.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery reacts on October 29, 2023© Reuters

There should not have been a more relieved man in the stadium than Boubacar Kamara during Villa's Europa Conference League tie with Legia Warsaw on Thursday evening, where Unai Emery's men confirmed a top-two finish in Group E with a game to spare.

A crisp Moussa Diaby strike sent Villa ahead early doors before Kamara passed the ball straight to Ernest Muci, who accepted that gift with a brilliant curler into the top corner, but returning left-back Alex Moreno restored the Lions' slender lead with a stunning finish from a free kick in the second period.

However, the full-time result partially paled into insignificance after four police offers were injured in clashes with Legia Warsaw fans outside the ground, but Emery's men focused on the task at hand on the field and are now within a point of ensuring a direct passage into the last 16.

The ex-Arsenal coach also got one over Tottenham Hotspur again last weekend, subjecting the Lilywhites to a third successive loss to leapfrog them into fourth place in the table, marking the first time since December 2009 that Villa have been in the Champions League spots after 13 matches.

Nine of the visitors' last 11 matches continentally and domestically have now ended in victory - including each of their last four - but not since October 5 have the attack-minded Lions kept a clean sheet, and four of their previous six Premier League showdowns with Bournemouth have seen the Cherries emerge on the winning side.

Bournemouth Premier League form:


Bournemouth form (all competitions):


Aston Villa Premier League form:


Aston Villa form (all competitions):


Team News

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on November 26, 2023© Reuters

A host of long-term absentees will remain out of contention for Bournemouth this weekend, as Tyler Adams (thigh), Max Aarons (thigh), Alex Scott (knee), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Emiliano Marcondes (foot) and Darren Randolph (illness) continue their recoveries.

In-demand centre-back Lloyd Kelly - who is supposedly attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan ahead of the January window - was taken off at half time in the beating of Sheffield United too, and Iraola will also be without the soon-to-be free agent here.

Milos Kerkez is primed and ready to come back into the rearguard in place of Kelly, while it remains to be seen if Kluivert's goal at Bramall Lane is enough for the Dutchman to keep Philip Billing at bay.

As for Aston Villa, Emery decided against risking Ollie Watkins for the win over Legia Warsaw due to a "small pain" that the England striker experienced in training, and he remains touch-and-go for the weekend; Jhon Duran is available to cover if necessary.

However, engine-room enforcer Boubacar Kamara was booked for the fifth time in the Premier League this season during the win over Tottenham and must serve a one-match ban, while Bertrand Traore (muscle), Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings (both knee) are unavailable too.

Kamara's ban may present an opportunity for either Leander Dendoncker or Jacob Ramsey to strut their stuff in the middle of the park, but Youri Tielemans is the most likely candidate to deputise centrally, while Emiliano Martinez, Diego Carlos, Pau Torres and Lucas Digne should be reintroduced into a rejigged defence.


Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez; Cook, Christie; Semenyo, Kluivert, Tavernier; Solanke

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Cash, Tielemans, Luiz, McGinn; Diaby, Watkins


SM words green background

We say: Bournemouth 1-2 Aston Villa

With Tavernier back on the goal trail and Dominic Solanke more than capable of capitalising on any weary legs in the Villa backline, another clean sheet-less afternoon likely awaits Emery's men, but the visitors' ability to fight fire with fire has been apparent throughout the season.

The Lions struggle to blow teams away on rival territory compared to their Villa Park fortress, and while a rejuvenated Bournemouth should give them an excellent run for their money, we still expect the visitors' attacking firepower to come to the fore in a narrow success, even if Watkins is unable to complete the full 90.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Bournemouth vs Aston Villa

Bournemouth
17.9%
Draw
6.8%
Aston Villa
75.2%
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13Bournemouth2477103346-1328
14Brentford2574143544-925
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17Everton2586112733-620
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19Burnley2534182555-3013
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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