Preview: Huddersfield Town v AFC Bournemouth

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 23/08/2013
AFC Bournemouth are the latest visitors to the John Smith's Stadium as Huddersfield Town look for their first home win of the season.Preview: Huddersfield Town v AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth have made a fairly decent start to their life in the Sky Bet Championship winning two (against Charlton and Wigan) and losing one that being a 6-1 hammering away at Watford but they sit pretty in 7th place.

Officials for the match:
Referee: Darren Bond.
Assistants: Declan Ford and Paul Marsden.
Forth Official: David Richardson.

Team News

Town:

Town have no injury worries only two long term injury casualties in Anton Robinson and Keith Southern, who has been linked with joining former Town boss Simon Grayson at Preston North End this week.

Mark Robins says James Vaughan trained fine this week after taking a blow to the ribs against Millwall last week and will no doubt start against Bournemouth

Bournemouth:

Transfers: Eddie Howe has brought in some Championship experience this summer such Elliot Ward and Ian Harte to the club on free transfers along with Andrew Surman on a season-long loan from Norwich. Mohamed Coulibaly has also come in on a free transfer from Swiss side Grasshoppers.

Bournemouth striker Mohamed Coulibaly is still ruled out injured and left-back Charlie Daniels is 50-50 whether he plays or not.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe says winger Matt Ritchie is unlikely to feature against Town but Josh McQuoid is back despite not being match fit.

Manager – Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe really has pulled up trees since becoming manager of Bournemouth starting with a caretaker role at the end of 2008 with the Cherries 10 points from safety in League Two. He was later named permanent manager until end of the season guiding Bournemouth to safety in the process.

In Howe's first full season in charge at Dean Court he guided Bournemouth to promotion despite the club being under a transfer embargo during the 2009/10 season.

The Cherries were competing well in League One but Howe left to take over Burnley in January 2011 guiding Burnley to an 8th and 13th place finish in an 18 month spell at Turf Moor.

Howe decided to return to Bournemouth in October 2012 and went on win promotion finishing 2nd place behind winners Doncaster Rovers. Howe had a 50% win ratio during his first spell at Dean Court winning 51 times in 102 games but is second spell with the club the 35-year old boasts a 65% win ratio winning 28 times out of 43 games.

A knee injury cut Howe's playing career short at 29, he did make over 250 appearances for Bournemouth in three different spells and also had a two-year period at Portsmouth.

One to watch- Lewis Grabban

The former Rotherham United striker has impressed so far in the Championship scoring four goals scoring both in the 2-1 win over Charlton, one in the defeat at Watford and one in the 1-0 win over Wigan. Grabban has been playing as a lone striker of late but has pace that can terrorise defences.

Head-to-head

Huddersfield have not beaten Bournemouth on home soil since the 2007/08 season when Phil Jevons scored to beat The Cherries 1-0 on the 29th January 2008.

The two clubs have only played twice since in Huddersfield since then the last being a Bournemouth victory in December 2011 with Cherries midfielder Harry Arter grabbing the only goal of the game.

In all competitions both home and away, January 2008 was the last time Town had beaten Bournemouth. In fact Town have only beaten Bournemouth 7 times in 21 games on home soil in a league fixture.

Prediction
I think Town will win this 2-0 through Martin Peterson and James Vaughan.

Fans View with Bournemouth fan Dom Greenslade you can follow Dom on Twitter @DAGreenslade

Q1- As an outsider looking in Eddie Howe had done a superb job last season at Bournemouth; describe last season

Describing last season in one word is quite impossible. The transition from relegation contenders to promotion contenders was something I will always remember. The season started on a bad note, picking up 3 from 3 and then losing an 8 goal thriller at Sheffield United. I suppose that, when we lost to Walsall at home, that is when the fans shifted. Chants that Groves needed to go became more apparent, the back pages of the Daily Echo were rife with rumours he was under a lot of pressure and feeling the heat. But then we lost 3 games on the trot and he had to go, even with Mitchell suggesting he was confident in them. Fifth from bottom, stands were emptying, moral was low, cries for Mitchell to get out etc. It didn't make me ashamed to be a Bournemouth supporter by any means, but things were tense, and times were hard and quite frankly, we knew we were better than how we were playing. I can remember the day when Howe was appointed manager. I think the feeling was of disbelief, the fact that Eddie was returning (despite Burnley's hands off warnings) and the fact that Mitchell had pulled this out the bag. Nevertheless, the atmosphere at Howe's first game in charge was something different. 15 games unbeaten certainly didn't go unnoticed. Stadiums were getting busier, fans were cheering instead of booing it was all coming together. But not once in the first 15 games did I ever imagine a playoff place, let alone automatic promotion and that feeling slowly came back with our small and unfortunate run of 0 from 5 around Feb/March. It was almost as if we had peaked too early, and reality had hit us. Somehow we came out of it fighting, the last home game against Carlisle was the most emotional game I've ever witnessed. People were crying with happiness, hugging strangers, running on the pitch, chanting Mitchell's name! Howe and Tindall revitalised the club. They gave us energy, they gave us something to cheer about again and they made people proud to go and support their local club. Bringing Pitman back, again, a move to get people excited about AFCB again. Not only did their tactics work, the atmosphere completely changed. When we lost, we weren't booing the team; we knew Howe did everything he could to win. The fans got behind him, and behind the team, and that was the real difference. It was certainly the biggest turn around I have witnessed, and one I shall never forget.

Q2- Bournemouth haven't started too badly this season beating both Charlton and Wigan respectively but got a hammering at Watford, what are your realistic expectations for this season?

I have no expectations for us this season except to stay up. (Lewis) Grabban has started brilliantly after a goal draught last season. It is good to see (Brett) Pitman back last week for a full 90 too, and with (Josh) McQuoid and Matt Ritchie still waiting to return and our new signing (Mohamed) Coulibaly also not fit, we still have more to offer. The win against Wigan was just what we needed after the Watford game and I would hope for us to be top half of the table of course, but every season is different. If we can keep a good home record then I think we are in with a good chance of a top half finish.

Q3- Happy with the signings that Eddie Howe has brought to the club this summer?

Coulibaly looks very good so far, I've been very impressed with him. Having the likes of (Andrew) Surman and Ian Harte has really strengthened our defensive capabilities. It's fair to say that when Daniels was out injured last season and we drafted Matt Ritchie to play as Left back, things went a little downhill, so Howe has been good at plugging this gap so we can afford to have more rotation. There are some extremely quick players in the championship, so the defence will be tested week in week out. I would say we still need another forward. Our forward options are lacking, with Pitman who was great last season, (Wes) Thomas who has just rejoined from loan and Grabban who has had a good start. We still have (Sam) Stockley who can offer something, but I feel we need a proven goal scorer in the championship.

Q4- What are your thoughts on Eddie Howe?

Eddie is great for the team. He is a local lad and can see the passion he has for this club. AFCB goes hand in hand with Howe. He has experience of the Championship also which is a great plus. He knows how to work the players, knows when something isn't working and knows how to sort it out. He is very humble when it comes to the club and its successes too. Personally, I wouldn't want to see anyone else in the dugout at this time.

Q5 – Donal McDermott had a very brief spell at Huddersfield Town but we didn't get to see the best of him, how is he doing back at Bournemouth?

Donal made a few appearances last season for us after signing. He looks sharp and pacey and can definitely add something to the team if he was to play as a forward. Its difficult to break into the team as a midfielder at the moment, (Ryan) Fraser has been great, (Marc) Pugh has played great too, then we have Ritchie and Mcquoid to come back yet, with (Harry)Arter, (Shaun)MacDonald, Surman, (Wes)Fogden, (Eunan)O'Kane and Coulibaly too. He was on the bench against Wigan so i hope to see him show what he can do in the coming matches.

Q6- Who is the fans' favourite?

Marc Pugh always gets a great reception as well as Tommy Elphick, so i'd go for either.

Q7- What player should Huddersfield Town fans watch out for on Saturday?

Now that would be telling! I'd say be wary of Fraser if he plays. He's really come out swinging, looked good against Madrid, and all games so far. He's small and nippy and really can whip the ball in. That said, with Grabban on the run he is on, I'd also watch out for him.

Q8- What is your prediction for Saturday?

This fixture has always proved a good one in previous seasons and both teams coming into the fixture off the back of wins, it's going to be a close one. I'd like to think we would keep a clean sheet, however, that's never plans out well away from home, so I would expect a goal or two. I never bet against my own team though, so I'm going with a away win at 2-1 or a draw at 1-1.

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