Bournemouth vs Fulham preview: Eddie Howe warns against underestimating visitors
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Last Updated: 20/04/19 8:07am
Eddie Howe insists his Bournemouth players cannot afford to underestimate Fulham as they seek to make it back-to-back Premier League wins.
The south coast club banished any lingering fears of relegation by thrashing Brighton 5-0 last weekend.
The convincing win at the Amex Stadium moved the 12th-placed Cherries on to 41 points, five shy of their record Premier League points tally with four fixtures remaining.
"The target is to win the next game and we'll see from there what happens with the rest of the season," said Howe.
"We need to make sure we don't drop our levels.
"I would be very disappointed if we didn't see the same team in terms of endeavour, spirit and togetherness that we saw against Brighton."
Following their win against Everton last time out, Fulham are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since April 2014.
Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker believes now is the perfect time for the club to "get ahead of the game" in their preparations for a promotion push next season.
Parker has yet to learn whether he will be at the helm to try to tackle the challenges of an unrelenting Championship campaign head on next season.
The former Fulham midfielder, who replaced Claudio Ranieri in February, believes the rebuilding process needs to begin quickly to stay ahead of their promotion rivals.
Parker said: "I'll be beneficial for everyone to take this time to really focus, reassess and plan for next year [in the Championship]. It's going to be a big year, in a difficult league. Now is an opportunity to get ahead of the game.
"The Everton win was a relief for everyone. Performance-wise, at home, it was very, very pleasing.
"We're playing against a very good team [Bournemouth] with a first class manager. It'll be a tough task for us, but we go into it with massive confidence after a strong performance."
Steve Cook came through the 5-0 win over Brighton unscathed and will be available once more for selection after a week of fitness work.
Artur Boruc looks set to continue in goal having replaced Asmir Begovic in the victory over the Seagulls.
Diego Rico (ankle), Charlie Daniels (knee), Andrew Surman (calf), Simon Francis (knee) and Lewis Cook (knee) all remain sidelined.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah is doubtful for Fulham. The on-loan Manchester United defender has a knee ligament problem and is the only fresh injury concern for caretaker boss Scott Parker following the win over Everton.
Defender Alfie Mawson is close to a return from his knee injury while goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli (knee) and midfielder Lazar Markovic (calf) also continue their recovery.
- Bournemouth have lost just one of their last 11 league games against Fulham (W7 D3 L1), a 3-1 defeat at the Vitality Stadium in January 1994 when both sides were in the third tier.
- Fulham have only won two of their 13 league visits to Bournemouth (W2 D3 L8), and are winless in their last three trips to the Vitality Stadium (D1 L2).
- Fulham have had a player sent off in each of their last two games against Bournemouth, Fernando Amorebieta receiving a red card in March 2015 and Kevin McDonald in the reverse fixture in October.
- Bournemouth's Premier League games have seen 110 goals scored this season, more than any other side in the competition (F49 A61).
- Fulham have won just two points from their 51 available on the road this season (W0 D2 L15).
- Ryan Fraser provided two assists in Bournemouth's 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage in October, the only time the Scotsman has achieved this feat in a Premier League game.
- Bournemouth pair Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for 11 Premier League goals this season - only one duo has ever combined for more in a season; Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn Rovers during their 1994-95 title-winning campaign (13).
- Following his goal and two assists against Brighton last time out, Callum Wilson has become the first Bournemouth player to register 20 goal involvements in a single Premier League campaign (12 goals, 8 assists).
- Ryan Babel has been directly involved in seven Premier League goals since his debut for Fulham in January (4 goals, 3 assists), at least four more than any other player at the club.
Both had great results last weekend with Fulham beating Everton and Bournemouth destroying Brighton. It will be an open game in the sunshine, and I expect both teams to really go for it, with little riding on it.
Bournemouth have found their goalscoring touch once again so I expect them to come out on top.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1