Media View: Schwarzer previews the Champions
We welcome Chelsea to Vitality Stadium tomorrow evening for the first encounter between the two sides this season.
Ahead of the fixture, afcb.co.uk gets the lowdown from former Blues goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who is now seen working for the likes of talkSPORT and the BBC.
afcb.co.uk: What have you made of Chelsea's start to the season?
MS: It’s definitely been a challenging time for Chelsea, for Antonio Conte and for his players. It’s been well documented that there were a lot of people unsettled at the club.
The manager has been a bit frustrated over the lack of dealings in the transfer window and he’s also said that he feels that they’re quite a bit off the pace in terms of strengthening and trying to compete with the likes of Manchester City.
All of a sudden, after two bad results, there’s almost like a mini crisis at Chelsea and that’s the nature of being a big club in the Premier League.
afcb.co.uk: They had a good win against Everton on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup. Can that give confidence in and around the squad?
MS: It gives every club confidence when you win games. The team that will play against Bournemouth will be a different side, but they’ll possibly be one or two players that still feature from the Everton game.
Overall, I think it’s about momentum. They had a good result at home last week against Watford and the important thing was the fight back and the spirit that they showed to get back into the game because at 2-1, it could have been 3-1 or 4-1. They held in there and then turned the game around so that’s the big positive that came out of it.
afcb.co.uk: Will the upcoming Champions League game against Roma have an affect on the team selected this the weekend?
MS: I don’t think so because they’ve got a big squad. They have international players playing in every position so, as much as the manager has complained with the lack of dealings in the transfer window, he has got a big squad.
There are lot of players that played against Everton that, if need be, can play in the Champions League next week because of injuries or fatigue. But, I think at that level, guys are more than capable of playing on a Saturday and then backing it up again the following mid-week in a Champions League game.
afcb.co.uk: Alvaro Morata is one summer signing that looks to have fitted in very well. What have you made of the start he’s made to his Chelsea career?
MS: He’s had a couple of injuries but you can’t knock his goal scoring record so far. He’s a different kind of player to what Chelsea have had in the last ten years when you talk about Didier Drogba and Diego Costa.
He’s someone that has been very effective so far this season and we’re talking about him playing in a team that hasn’t quite performed as well as you’d expect. So, in a way, I think that’s a good sign.
You’ve got Morata scoring goals around his injuries, but you’ve also got Michy Batshuayi who perhaps doesn’t have the greatest confidence from the manager but still comes in and does a very good job off the bench so they’ve got a bit of extra depth there.
afcb.co.uk: Finally, Chelsea have several excellent individuals, but is there one player that stands out to you as their main threat?
MS: It’s hard to look beyond Eden Hazard. When he’s on his game, there are very few teams and players that can stop him. He is up there with some of the world’s best.
The problem with him recently is his consistency. When Chelsea won the league, he was brilliant throughout the course of the season so it’s no surprise that they were Champions. This season, he’s had injury problems and missed a few games.
Since he’s come back, he’s still taking a little bit of time to gain full match fitness and, when he does, I think he’ll be instrumental. For Bournemouth fans, they’ll be hoping it’s not this weekend but for Chelsea fans he’ll be raring to go and play really well.
Team news: Updates on King and Defoe
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has revealed that Joshua King is a doubt for the weekend's Premier League game against Chelsea.
King has missed the last two games with illness, but the manager revealed that the striker is a doubt with injury.
Elsewhere, Jermain Defoe should be available for the Cherries against the Premier League champions.
"We've still got the long-term injuries not available," he said.
"Joshua King is a doubt and we'll have to make a late call on him.
"He's missed the last two games with illness but now has a back problem. He was feeling it in pre-season and he'll be seeing a specialist this week.
"We don't think it's anything serious, but it's resurfaced and leaves him a doubt for this game.
"Ryan Fraser also took a knock in midweek - but Jermain should be fine for the game."
Howe ready and set for Chelsea challenge
On a good week for his squad...
There's been a boost in the squad, we've been really pleased with the last two results. We now move onto another big game here, the mood here's very good.
It's a long season and we didn't want to become detached, so the Stoke win was important. More importantly it was about building confidence and getting the good feeling back in the squad, that's been carried through this week as well.
On opponents Chelsea...
We have full respect for Chelsea and what they achieved last season. I love watching them with the way they play.
Antonio Conte and I have spoken in the past, I find him a passionate enthralling character. He's very knowledgeable so it's fascinating to speak football with him.
We've had some good games against them, though the results haven't always shown that. Hopefully we can go one better this time and get a result.
Watford started the season very strongly as we found to our cost here. I watched the game at Chelsea last Saturday closely and both sides were good with Chelsea showing their character late on to win in a tight game.
We have to focus on ourselves and be good in both disciplines both on the ball and off the ball.
On selecting his best starting line-up...
I've always felt this season we have a strong squad and that's been shown this week. we don't have an 11 that picks itself at the moment. Hopefully the selection headaches will continue through the season.
I don't think everyone's playing to their full potential yet, but hopefully we'll get to that point soon.
We don't have a favoured starting 11 and I don't think we will, the days are gone when you play 11 players each week. In the Championship we had a core group of 15 or 16 players but the Premier League requires different things so we're prepared to change.
On the Cherries' chances...
We have belief no matter who we play, with the Manchester City match a good example. We ultimately lost but we were very close to winning the game before ultimately losing.
If we are clinical with our chances I think we can beat anyone.
On facing Chelsea next in the Carabao Cup...
It's not the draw we wanted but we're in the quarter-finals of the League Cup so you have to expect that. It's a great challenge for us at their own ground so we have to look to our win there in our first Premier League season and gain inspiration from that.
Matchday schedule: Chelsea
It’s our first 5.30pm kick off in the Premier League this season, as we welcome champions Chelsea to Vitality Stadium.
Due to the difference of time from a usual 3pm kick-off, and here’s a handy list of what’s going on when so you can plan your afternoon at the ground.
As always we recommend supporters to get into their seats as early as possible particularly with the enhanced security searches, and to encourage supporters into the ground we’re running a competition.
All you have to do is enter the ground before between 4pm and 4.45pm to be automatically entered into our prize draw to win a signed Jack Simpson shirt.
On top of that, there’s special events in the Fanzone and at the Great Escape Bar to prepare for.
9am: Superstore open
Our Superstore will be open from 9am as usual, all the way until kick-off. The store is also open 20 minutes after kick-off and we’ve got plenty of new merchandise, including our new winter fashion range.
9am: Ticket office open
The ticket office is open from 9am. There are no tickets available to purchase for the Chelsea fixture.
Tickets for Newcastle United away are on general sale, while Burnley and Southampton home tickets are both available to purchase.
The ticket office will be open 20 minutes after the game so supporters can purchase tickets for upcoming fixtures.
12pm: South Stand car park opens
Just behind the stadium, the South Stand car park is open for just £1 to all supporters.
It does tend to fill up approximately 75 minutes before kick-off and there will be delays of up to half an hour leaving post-match. Please be aware, there is an exit at the south end of the car park, which will bring you out via Gloucester Road in Boscombe.
Alternatively, the Sovereign Centre on Christchurch Road, which is also approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the ground, is available for matchday parking for both Saturday and week night games. Parking fees have been reduced prior to the 2016/17 season and cost just £2 for 4 hours and £4 for 24 hours.
Supporters will also be able to use Harewood College for parking Saturday home games.
This parking facility has the advantage of being away from the congestion around Kings Park, while only a short walk to Vitality Stadium, allowing easier access.
Available from 12.30pm, the car park will be manned by a steward until kick-off and is completely free to park. If using your satnav, please put in Harewood Avenue as the college’s post code sends you slightly off course.
Several residential roads adjacent to the ground have parking restrictions which the club asks supporters to adhere to. Where these do not exist, please be mindful of existing drive entrances and avoid parking illegally or unsafely. Residents have access to parking enforcement officers on a matchday and so to avoid any issues please respect their access.
2pm: Retail pod open
Our retail pod behind the Colmar Construction Ted MacDougall South Stand is open from 12pm and you can get your home and away shirts and plenty more! It's also open 20 minutes after the game.
2pm: 1910 Bar open
Want a drink before the game? The 1910 bar is open for home supporters and is located next to the press entrance in the Vitality Main Stand. Supporters are required to show home ticket on entry.
Hot food is available in the bistro section this bar does get busy, but there’s a special event taking place at the Great Escape Bar.
2.30pm: Meet an icon at the Great Escape Bar
Four members of the famous Great Escape squads will be making a special appearance on Saturday against Chelsea.
Steve Fletcher, Anton Robinson, Alan Connell and Mark Morris will all be having a different job at Vitality Stadium at the weekend, they'll be pulling pints!
In conjunction with club partners Heineken, the quadruplet of former players will be officially launching the aptly named Great Escape Bar at Vitality Stadium.
The bar, which has become a permanent fixture this season, opens at 2.30pm and Fletcher, Robinson, Connell and Morris will be on hand to serve drinks, pull pints and chat to fans until 3pm.
Don’t miss it!
3pm: Special Halloween Fanzone
Ghosts, witches and monsters will be welcomed to the Junior Fanzone as we celebrate Halloween!
Young supporters are encouraged to come along in fancy dress for the fixture on Saturday 28th October, with a pair of signed boots among the prizes for those coming along in the best costumes.
There’s loads going on for our young supporters, click here for more details!
3.30pm: DC Lounge open
The DC Lounge is open to both home and away disabled supporters pre-match. It is based on the ground floor and first floor in the East Stand for the use of disabled supporters only.
This offers Sky/BT Sport TV and a refreshment service, and a great opportunity for supporters to socialise before the match. There is also a lift available for supporters using the platform. There are also two accessible toilets and a matchday quiz as well.
4pm: Turnstiles open
Supporters who haven’t joined us yet will see we have updated our turnstiles over the summer.
Here’s a video on how to use your ticket/season ticket to get into the ground.
New turnstiles guide: What to do
Don’t forget about our prize draw for a Jack Simpson signed shirt - all you have to do is enter the ground between 4pm and 4.45pm to automatically be entered!
Our Junior Cherries £2.50 matchday meal deal in concourses will be available, it's one meal per Junior Cherries member and all JC membership cards will be scanned so the deal will activate.
4.45pm: Pre-match entertainment begins
From highlights on the big screen to fans’ champion and the player warm ups, our matchday entertainment begins at 4.45pm!
5.30pm: Kick off
We get underway for at Vitality Stadium for a big game under the lights against the reigning champions.
Ref watch: Pawson to officiate Chelsea game
Craig Pawson will be the man in the middle as Antonio Conte’s Chelsea travel to Vitality Stadium on Saturday evening.
The English referee has taken charge of eight Premier League fixtures to date this season, handing out 31 yellow cards and three red cards, one of which was as recently as last week when Idrissa Gueye was sent off for Everton against Arsenal.
Pawson last officiated the Cherries in September, as Eddie Howe’s side ran out 2-1 winners over Brighton & Hove Albion, whilst his last outing at Stamford Bridge was Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat to Burnley on the opening day.
He brings with him plenty of experience, having already taken charge of two Europa League ties this term and an under-21 international friendly.
On Saturday, Pawson will be assisted by Lee Betts and Eddie Smart, with Roger East the fourth official.