Contact us

Betting preview: Bournemouth - Swansea

Eddie Howe isn’t the most animated manager in the Premier League, but he could barely contain his disappointment as Bournemouth slipped to defeat against south coast rivals Southampton last weekend. Two goals from Dusan Tadic did the damage at St Mary’s, either side of the fleeting encouragement provided by a Josh King leveller in first-half stoppage time.

The result means Howe will fail to improve the club’s finishing position for the first time in seven seasons, with last year’s final tally of 46 points out of reach with two games remaining. It’s a shame because the Cherries were well ahead of schedule at the start of February with 31 points from 26 matches, compared with 28 and 26 points at the same point in their two previous top-flight campaigns. 

But records aren’t the source of Howe’s frustration. He’s a staunch process man and measures his team by performance, the main frustration for him being the pattern of decline in key indicators. A capable team has drifted away from its identity as the summer closes in, losing control by giving the ball away cheaply to create an uncomfortable volume of transitions.

Collectively, Bournemouth are built to thrive on sustained spells of possession and any game that doesn’t involve them having the ball for long periods is a game played on somebody else’s terms. Other teams might get their tactics right to deny the Cherries the retention they desire, but simple misplaced passes are a giveaway to something else that Howe simply cannot abide.

So we should expect a marked improvement in that department this weekend, assisted by a Swansea side that has shown little ambition on the road under Carlos Carvalhal. The Jacks have generated the worst expected goals data in the division since the turn of the year, primarily because of some startling numbers whenever they venture outside of Wales.

Draws at Huddersfield (0-0) and West Brom (1-1) give you some indication of how they approach games on opposition soil. Against the Terriers, they were down to 10 men inside 11 minutes and weathered a 30-0 pummelling on the shot count to nick a point. At the Hawthorns, they were sluggish and their front five mustered just three touches in the opposition box.

Win cash prizes for free with our competition!

User Total
Profit 1 Yield Expected prize
285776 2
500 EUR
272577 3
250 EUR
256199 4
125 EUR
181839 5
75 EUR
177265 6
50 EUR

Don't miss out - join our May Tipster Competition today

The relegation picture dictates that Swansea must entertain some ideas of bagging maximum points here, but it could be a catch 22 situation for Carvalhal: does he park the bus and allow Bournemouth the possession they can thrive upon, or introduce his players to a different approach that might drag them out of their comfort zone?

The suspicion is the former. Not all managers think beyond the game in front of them and explore future implications and permutations, but Carvalhal is highly intuitive and will almost certainly weigh up how this game might affect Southampton in the later kick-off at Goodison Park and then the rearranged six-pointer at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night.

If Swansea nick a point here, then Saints must beat Everton to leapfrog the Jacks going into that vital clash. And Bournemouth’s inability to keep a clean sheet - just one in the last 26 matches - might only further encourage the Portuguese to stick with his cautious instincts in anticipation of a fruitful set play that gives them more than they bargained for.

Ultimately, though, Swansea might be powerless in any case. On an ordinary weekend, Bournemouth would be comfortably odds-on for this game and there’s value in the odds against quotes about them sharpening up their act for their final home game. The clean sheet might elude them once again, but a lead at any stage could expose the visitors’ biggest limitations.

Recommended bet:

Bournemouth to beat Swansea at 23/20

England - Premier League Bournemouth vs Swansea City 05 May, 14:00 GMT 0

View all previews