Callum Wilson‘s (£6.3m) return from injury looks set to act as a catalyst for interest in Bournemouth options ahead of Blank Gameweek 31.
The Cherries got their first Premier League away win since October on Saturday as Wilson inspired a 2-0 victory at Huddersfield.
After losing the previous nine on the road in a row, by a combined score of 28-4, Gameweek 30 proved a confidence boost for them.
“We needed it. We really felt for the supporters in that time without an away win so we’re really pleased for them. They had a long journey, left early and we rewarded them with a good clinical performance. We were good in attack and solid in defence so it’s a really good day.” – Eddie Howe
With home fixtures confirmed in both upcoming Blank Gameweeks, we’ve done further analysis on the best Bournemouth options available right now, and the impact of Wilson’s return.
Huddersfield Town 0-2 Bournemouth
Goals: Callum Wilson (£6.3m), Ryan Fraser (£6.1m)
Assists: Fraser, Wilson
No player had more shots on target than Wilson in Bournemouth’s 2-0 win at Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon. Both of his shots inside the box were accurate, with one of them handing him the first goal since his last start all the way back in Gameweek 23. The forward’s energetic display also helped him provide an assist, rounding off a complete Fantasy performance and an 11-point haul. With Newcastle coming to the Vitality Stadium in the first of the remaining two Blank Gameweeks, and Burnley after that, interest in Wilson is expected to be high.
“He’s outstanding, he has unique attributes for us with his ability to run in behind and his work ethic. He knows where the goal is and it was great to see him score, he also provided an impressive assist for Ryan in a key moment in the game with a great reverse pass. My priority is to make sure he’s fit and fine, he might be looking at the England situation but I’m pleased to see him score and play well.” – Eddie Howe
The return of Wilson also appears to have helped Ryan Fraser (£6.1m) rediscover his golden touch. At the John Smith’s Stadium, no player created more chances than Bournemouth’s diminutive left-winger. In the absence of the England international, Fraser had not registered a single attacking return since Gameweek 22. The two have now played together twice between then and Gameweek 30, and Fraser has two goals and two assists in those matches, one of each coming at Huddersfield. Those wanting to invest in the Bournemouth attack over the Blank Gameweeks with more space in midfield than among the forwards should seriously consider Fraser now that Wilson is back in the side.
“That’s a prime example of our performance, it’s a really nice passage of play – the interchange of passes (between Fraser and Wilson) were excellent to see. It’s the kind of goal we scored early in the season, the team has been hit with injuries but it’s great to see that fluency back today.” – Eddie Howe
Those looking to sign Fraser might just want to wait until the next pre-match press conference for Bournemouth though. The Scottish international was able to complete the 90 minutes in West Yorkshire but did take a few heavy hits. Meanwhile, David Brooks (£5.1m), making his second start in a row since coming back from injury, did have to be replaced by Dominic Solanke (£5.0m), but Howe believes he will be okay.
“David Brooks was fine he was just very fatigued. Ryan took a couple of nasty tackles. We hope there are no ill-effects from that.” – Eddie Howe
Josh King (£6.5m) should not be overlooked too casually as he had more goal attempts than any other player at Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon, although fewer in the box than Wilson. The Norwegian did not register any attacking returns in Gameweek 30 but has scored in three of his last four at the Vitality Stadium.
There were other boosts for Bournemouth as they had Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m) back in central midfield after serving a two-match suspension. Having him in the side in the Blank Gameweeks should help the Cherries live up to their potential against Newcastle and Burnley.
“It’s a great boost to have Jeff back. Whenever he has been missing this season we have felt that absence. He is a real physical presence for us. I think he’s been excellent. He is another player who has come into the Premier League, improved, and is learning with every game. Naturally, he plays his way and I don’t think he’s changed that. He had been unfortunate with a few of his yellow cards.” – Eddie Howe
In defence, Chris Mepham (£4.5m) appears to be growing into the side with each passing Gameweek. Despite an uncertain first start against Wolves in Gameweek 27, he has looked a lot more assured as he fills in for long-term absentee Steve Cook (£4.4m). As interest in Bournemouth defensive assets grows, the former Brentford man is one of the nailed-on options.
“It has been really good early signs for Chris. He has attacked it really well so far. Mentally he has shown real maturity and hasn’t been fazed by the occasions and the games. I have been really pleased with him and I see signs of a leader in there as well, which is a great sign for the future.” – Eddie Howe
Meanwhile, it there was an eighth start in a row for Artur Boruc (£4.0m) in the Bournemouth goal, continuing his potential for those who are playing the Free Hit in Gameweek 31. The clean sheet recorded at Huddersfield was the first on the road since Gameweek 10, but in home matches, there is plenty to encourage investment in the Bournemouth back-line. In their last four at the Vitality Stadium, the Cherries have conceded just twice.
Elsewhere in the defence, Nathan Aké (£5.0m) continues to be an ever-present although is slightly dearer. The full-back spots don’t look quite so settled. Charlie Daniels (£4.1m) has started the last two in a row, but they are the only Premier League matches in the last nine Gameweeks that he featured from the beginning. Fellow left-back Diego Rico (£4.1m) has started just once in that time. On the other flank, Nathaniel Clyne (£4.4m) started the three matches prior to Gameweek 30, but Adam Smith (£4.3m) was deployed on the right against Huddersfield. He looks unlikely to be involved against Newcastle, after coming off with a hamstring injury.
“Adam Smith said he felt his hamstring very early in the game. Looks like he might be out for a few weeks.” – Eddie Howe
Huddersfield’s credentials were dealt another blow in their defeat to Bournemouth. While the Cherries were much improved with Wilson back, it says all Fantasy managers need to know that the Terriers both blanked offensively and conceded twice at home to a side that had been so poor away from home.
Jan Siewert’s men had just two shots in Bournemouth’s penalty box all afternoon, and only one of them was on target. Meanwhile, it did not take too much from the Cherries to break Huddersfield down, who conceded 50% of the shots on target that they faced.
Huddersfield Town XI (4-3-1-2): Lössl; Durm, Schindler, Zanka, Bacuna; Mooy, Stanković, Billing (Löwe 45′); Pritchard; Mounié (Grant 61′), Kachunga (Rowe 76′).
Bournemouth XI (4-4-2): Boruc; Daniels, Aké, Mepham, A Smith (Clyne 44′); Fraser, Surman, Lerma, Brooks (