Media view: Press opinion on Potters
With Stoke City heading to Dorset on Saturday for the Cherries' latest Premier League match, afcb.co.uk spoke to Pete Smith, sports reporter at the Staffordshire Sentinel, for an insider's view on our upcoming opponents.
You can follow Pete on Twitter here.
How are Stoke getting on under incoming manager Paul Lambert?
It’s been a big improvement. They have been more organised, especially defensively which was ultimately what cost Mark Hughes his job. They had the worst defence in Europe’s top five leagues and now Lambert’s come in and kept two clean sheets, which is no mean feat.
Stoke haven’t really looked in danger in those games so there’s a lot of optimism at the moment. The side are still in a bit of a dogfight – but then so is almost everyone else!
Are the Stoke fans getting behind Paul Lambert and the team?
Yes, absolutely. It’s fair to say there was a bit of shock when he was appointed, he came out of nowhere as he hadn’t been in the Premier League for a few years and his last two jobs were in the Championship.
The outcry came from the outside world and Paddy Power paid out on Stoke being relegated, but that's seemed to galvanise everybody and everyone’s got behind him. He’s been really enthusiastic and humble and after each match he’s gone over to the fans to show his appreciation. There’s a bond there already.
Midfielder Badou Ndiaye came in on deadline day, what do we know about him?
We don’t know much more than we’ve read, because not many of us are experts in Turkish or Norwegian football! What we’ve read has been good though, he brings a few things which Stoke have been missing. He adds energy, aggression and he gets goals from midfield, so three big ticks.
Moritz Bauer has also really impressed at right-back since coming in. He’s very fast, gets stuck in and likes to get forward, so he’s got a lot of fans already.
What are the Stoke expectations for their trip to Vitality Stadium?
Everybody’s expecting a tough game, the away games at Bournemouth have been quite open which has been a bit of a contrast to how they’ve been at the bet365 Stadium. Nobody’s expecting an automatic three points but nobody’s writing Stoke off either.
Five point preview: Stoke City
New Manager bounce?
For the third time in the Cherries' last four home matches in the Premier League, the day's visitors have a new manager.
Under the stewardship of Paul Lambert Stoke have netted four points and are yet to concede a goal, with Bournemouth earning four points from their two recent matches against newly-managed sides West Ham and Everton.
Credit where it's due
Ahead of the match, Lambert stated that his side are a completely different team to the Chelsea side beaten by Bournemouth in midweek, though he pointed out the impressiveness of the Cherries' Stamford Bridge win.
"Did anybody see that result coming, probably not - certainly not outside the Bournemouth walls anyway, so you have to give them enormous credit," said the Stoke manager.
“Eddie has had good continuity there, which has helped them, his players know each other inside out, they have a good team spirit and they are a good side collectively.”
Doing the business
The Cherries were the only side of the division not to have signed a player during the January transfer window, with Stoke securing three new players ahead of the close of the window late on Wednesday.
The Potters moved quickly to secure defensive duo Moritz Bauer and Kostas Stafylidis, the latter on loan, with Bauer immediately starting and looking a solid Premier League performer.
On deadline day Lambert was able to bring in £15m midfielder Badou Ndiaye from Galatasaray with Saturday potentially the first opportunity for Stoke fans to see their new number 27.
Doing it on a cold wet Saturday in Stoke
In his pre-match press conference, Eddie Howe spoke of his side's win at the bet365 Stadium this season as a turning point for his side, when Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas struck to gain a 2-1 win, the Cherries' first away success of the season.
Heading into the game, the Cherries were second bottom of the table with just four points from eight games - contrasting to the current moment with the Chelsea win thrusting Howe's squad into the top half for the first time this season.
As a further stat, Bournemouth had a goal difference of -8 heading to Stoke in October, with the mark also identical pre-Potters this time around.
Going for the record
Starting with the last-gasp 3-3 draw at home to West Ham on Boxing Day, the Cherries have now equalled their Premier League best by going six games unbeaten.
The previous half-dozen game spell came just over two years ago in November and December 2015, when the Cherries also won three and drew three and recorded an accy-smashing win away at champions Chelsea.
Collect a point or more against Stoke City on Saturday and Bournemouth will enter seventh heaven and stretch their PL PB.
Ref watch: Tierney in charge against Stoke
Paul Tierney will be the man in the middle, as the Cherries prepare to face Stoke City at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
The referee has officiated nine Premier League games to date this season, handing out 24 yellow cards and awarding one penalty. However, he has yet to send someone off in English football’s top flight this season.
Tierney has taken charge of Eddie Howe’s side just once this season, as the Cherries ran out 1-0 winners against Newcastle at the Stadium of Light.
The 37-year-old certainly possesses plenty of experience and was promoted to the FIFA list of referees at the turn of the year.
On Saturday, Tierney will be assisted by Marc Perry and Mick McDonough, with Chris Kavanagh the fourth official.
Adam Smith out of Stoke City clash
AFC Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe revealed that Adam Smith will sit out of the weekend's game against Stoke City.
Smith missed the Chelsea game due to injury, but the manager is adamant that the full-back's absence won't be long term.
"We're pretty much as we were ahead of the Stoke City game," he said.
"Adam Smith sat out against Chelsea in midweek after picking up a thigh problem away at West Ham.
"We don't think it's very serious and he should be in contention very soon.
"Everyone else is OK - bar the long-term absentees Tyrone Mings and Jermain Defoe.
"Jermain is building up his strength and fitness and hasn't trained with us yet. It will be great to have him back after some time away."
Matchday schedule: Stoke City
AFC Bournemouth take on Stoke City in the second Premier League home game of the year.
Please arrive at the ground as early as possible as there will be 100% searching, so please do not bring a bag to the game unless necessary.
Here’s a schedule of what opens when prior to kick-off – enjoy the game!
9am SOUTH STAND CAR PARK OPEN
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 may be delays in excess of half an hour leaving post-match. Please be aware, you can turn left out of this car park and right at the roundabout, which will bring you out via Gloucester Road in Boscombe.
ALTERNATIVE PARKING SPOTS...
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 cost just £2 for 4 hours and £4 for 24 hours.
Supporters will also be able to use Harewood College for parking, in Harewood Avenue. Please use the street rather than the college if using SatNav.
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 free to use. We respectfully ask that all visitors keep to the 10mph and then the 5mph speed limits.
There are parking restrictions on many roads close to the ground and the club asks all matchday visitors to please respect these and ensure access to drives and garages is maintained. Residents have direct access to parking enforcement officers on a matchday and so to avoid any issues or fines please respect their access.
9am TICKET OFFICE OPEN
Tickets for our upcoming away game at Huddersfield Town, as well as the home games against Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion are available to purchase before the game - the ticket office will also be open for 20 minutes after the game.
There are no tickets available for the Stoke City game on the day.
9am SUPERSTORE OPEN
The Superstore is open from 9am on Saturday, and we will be open for 20 minutes after the game. The retail pod outside the Ted MacDougall Colmar South Stand will be open at 12pm and after the game too.
There are a number of promotions taking place at the moment, with 20% off training wear and M88 still offering a £10 Superstore gift voucher with every replica shirt purchased. In addition to this, in celebration of Wednesday's fantastic result, you can also get any of the starting XI from Wednesday printed for free with any replica shirt purchased.
12pm 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 their home ticket on entry.
Hot food is available in the bistro section of the 1910 and bar does get busy, but below is an alternative…
12pm THE GREAT ESCAPE OPEN
Our outside bar is open for business from 12 noon, with last orders at 2.15pm. Situated between the Thistlebarrow Road entrance and the Superstore, it’s a great place to meet friends before entering the ground for a drink and a hot snack.
12.30pm JUNIOR FANZONE OPEN
Our Junior Fanzone is open for young supporters at 12.30pm. There’s plenty going on with an Xbox One, table tennis tables and loads more going on with plenty of new graphics put up around the fanzone. Check it out!
12.30pm 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 a lift available for supporters using the platform and two accessible toilets. The matchday quiz is a highlight too.
1.30pm TURNSTILES OPEN
Supporters can take their seats from 1.30pm and make the most of our pre-match combo. Choose from either a pie & pint for £5 (not available in the South Stand) or a pie & soft/hot drink for £4, both available up to half an hour before kick-off.
The Junior Cherries meal deal remains fantastic value at just £2.50 – just show your JC card at the food counter when ordering, and then enjoy!
If you join us early, there’s a prize draw with a signed Callum Wilson shirt on offer and you’ll automatically be entered once your ticket has been scanned.
1.45pm PRE-MATCH ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS
We’ve revamped our big screen so there’s plenty of new entertainment on offer this season.
See lots of goals and highlights from our recent memorable wins!
Make sure you are in your seats to see our latest Fans’ Champion place the matchball on the Premier League plinth just before kick-off.
Fan Champion is new this season and gives supporters the chance to nominate for selected games a fellow Cherries fan they think deserves a special matchday – someone who has achieved something great or is a valued member of the community. Just email [email protected] with your nominee’s name and why you think they should be a Fans’ Champion.
We get underway for a big game against Stoke City!
Supporters are reminded that AFC Bournemouth does not tolerate any abusive or discriminatory language or behaviour and fans are encouraged to contact a steward should they witness this. Alternatively, supporters can confidentially text the support number on 07968 980580 with details.
Keep an eye out for half time too, where we’ll have our team relay!