Bournemouth Season Preview | Premier League Analysis & Betting Pick
Steven Paston/Getty. Pictured: Neto.
Welcome to Action Network's Premier League team previews, where our soccer experts will break down each and every Premier League team ahead of the season, which starts on August 11. It's time to evaluate Bournemouth.
Bournemouth Season Preview
Bournemouth finished last season just above the relegation zone, but they had the worst xG differential of anyone in the Premier League. Things are looking up for the Cherries, however, with new ownership coming in and investing in the squad. Additionally, the introduction of a new manager could propel Bournemouth up the table.
Things are going to be changing at Bournemouth and their ceiling just got raised with the hiring of Andoni Iraola from Rayo Vallecano. The move means an immediate switch in how Bournemouth play. Iraola wants his team to press with outrageous intensity to disrupt an opponent's build up play as opposed to the passive 4-5-1 low block that the Cherries played under Gary O’Neill.
In La Liga last season, Rayo Vallecano finished third in PPDA, forced the second-most high turnovers and had the most shots off of those forced high turnovers. He is going to come in and emphasize the best part of Bournemouth over the second half of last season, which was their ability to play in transition.
Yes, Bournemouth finished with the worst expected goal differential in the Premier League last season and a lot of that was due to the fact that they made no investments in the squad to begin the season. Then, there was a change in ownership in the middle of the season and in the January transfer window Bournemouth spent big money bringing in attacking players Dango Ouattara from Lorient and Hamad Traore from Sassuolo, which really improved their attack.
From January 21st until the end of the season, Bournemouth only had a -0.47 npxGD per 90 minutes and averaged 1.30 xG per 90 minutes. That may not sound impressive, but it's a big improvement from where they were.
This transfer window they continued to improve their squad, bringing in highly touted left back Milos Kerkez from AZ Alkmaar and Zabaryni.
The variance that exists for Bournemouth this season is incredibly wide. Their ceiling could put them in the top half of the Premier League table, but their new style of play, if not successful, could see them get relegated.
So, I like the prospects of taking them +900 to finish in the top half of the table, similar to when Leeds United burst onto the scene with Marcelo Bielsa.
Pick: Bournemouth Top Half Finish (+900 via DraftKings)