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First Team

Team news: Francis blow ahead of Old Trafford trip


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Simon Francis’ serious knee injury is the one new selection concern for AFC Bournemouth ahead of their Sunday match away at Manchester United.

The Cherries will be without their captain for the rest of the season after it was confirmed on Thursday evening that he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Boxing Day match at Spurs.

“It’s a huge blow for us, Simon, everyone connected with the club,” said manager Eddie Howe. “He’s been our leader on the pitch and a role model and a big miss in the dressing room. As a team it’s a big loss and a big gap to fill.

“He didn’t deserve that, but it’s happened and now we’ll do our best to support him through this process.”

Adam Smith, Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook remain absentees for Bournemouth ahead of their trip to the north west.

However, in his pre-match press conference Howe didn’t mention any further injury concerns in his squad.

“It’s a tough game and we’re going to need to rise to that challenge,” explained Howe of the game with Manchester United.

“They’ve had two really good results and two good performances. We look forward to going there, we always have done, and we look forward to a good game.”

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