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First team

Squad boost ahead of Tykes clash

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Head coach Scott Parker could call on a host of recovered and new players for AFC Bournemouth’s clash with Championship rivals Barnsley on Saturday.

Illness forced goalkeeper Mark Travers and midfielder Phil Billing to miss the Cherries’ 0-0 draw at Hull City, the pair withdrawing from international duty with Republic of Ireland and Denmark, respectively.

Utility man Adam Smith has not featured since starting against West Brom on the opening day after also feeling under the weather – but Parker looks set to welcome back the trio against the Tykes.

And they could be joined by deadline-day signings Jamal Lowe and Ryan Christie, while playmaker David Brooks may also be in contention to face the south Yorkshire outfit.

Brooks was replaced by Morgan Rogers midway through the second half of the Cherries’ draw at Hull and subsequently withdrew from international duty with Wales due to a sore knee.

Asked today at his pre-match press conference whether Travers and Billing would be ready to return against Markus Schopp’s team, Parker told the gathered media: “They will be back this weekend. They’re back with us, so they’re fine. Adam Smith as well comes back.

“Junior Stanislas is still out at this present moment in time. Other than that, we have a clean bill of health.

“Hopefully, he should be fine," added Parker, when asked about Brooks. “He’s trained with us during the past couple of days.

“He picked up an injury at Hull and struggled a little bit afterwards. He reported with Wales but came back due to the injury he had on his knee. But he’s picked up well.”

Barnsley appointed Schopp in the summer as a replacement for Valerien Ismael who guided the Tykes to last season’s play-off semi-finals where they were beaten by Swansea.

“They’re a good side,” said Parker. “They’ve changed from last season in how they play. They’ve got good quality and can cause you problems if you don’t deal with the way they play.

“As always in this division, every team coming here is going to pose certain problems and we need to be fully aware of that and will be.

“I expect a tough challenge. We are going to have to be at our best, our optimum, to get a positive result and that’s the aim.”

Parker confirmed Steve Cook would continue to captain the Cherries with Lloyd Kelly taking the armband in his absence.

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