We travel to the Vitality Stadium for Bournemouth vs Spurs in the Premier League so we look at their tactical strengths and weaknesses.
Bournemouth are making strides this season. A slight switch in formation, new additions and a faster tempo to their play has seen them make a good start. Eddie Howe has gone a long way to addressing their problems of the last campaign, but some issues do remain. Ahead of Bournemouth vs Spurs on Saturday, lets take at look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Where Bournemouth concede chances
Bournemouth have been conceding chances in three main areas this season.
Left back zone
Bournemouth have been conceding chances, and goals, to teams that can in to their left back zone. The highly attacking Charlie Daniels occupies this position. While he is adept at getting forward, this can see opponents benefit from the space that he leaves behind.
In a recent Premier League match, Watford were very good at exposing his left back zone to create their chances. Several dangerous crosses were put in for the aerially powerful Troy Deeney. What’s more, the Hornets striker also scored a goal as Nordin Amrabat got in to this zone to pull the ball back to him.
Deeney was a handful all day for the Bournemouth back four, which might signal that this is a good game for Vincent Janssen to finally open his Premier League account.
Everton were also adept at exposing the left back zone despite slipping to a 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth. They looked for their big target man in Romelu Lukaku, as they too found space to create from this side.
The Cherries continue to be vulnerable here. Therefore, the selection of players down our right side will be key to exposing the space Charlie Daniels leaves in Bournemouth vs Spurs on Saturday.
Third man runs and through balls
The second area has been the spacing between the Bournemouth centre backs. Movement can drag Steve Cook and Simon Francis around, leaving space for through balls and third man runs.
The best example of this was Man City’s 4-0 destruction of Bournemouth in the Premier League. The Citizens got in with through balls that pierced the centre of the defence after their front three had moved the centre backs around.
We can see it in practice on Ilkay Gundogan’s goal. Kevin De Bruyne has possession out on the left and Bournemouth’s centre backs are tracking two of City’s front three, who are trying to fill the spaces between them. The distance between the back four is already becoming stretched as they try to guard the front three. Gundogan’s late run is the danger.
As De Bruyne dribbles infield, the centre backs become separated as Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho make runs. This leaves space for Gundogan to sprint through the corridor created and score.
Dele Alli is a big exponent of these type of spaces created for us with his stealthy and often late movement. Scoring at West Brom last weekend, he should get more chances to add to his account.
Last season Bournemouth struggled with defensive errors, especially from the handling and kicking of Artur Boruc. His blunders were a main feature of Bournemouth 1-5 Spurs at the Vitality Stadium.
This term and the miscues still remain an issue. Only Man City (5) have made more errors in the Premier League that have led to goals than Bournemouth’s four.
A few examples from this season were the mix up at the back on opening day that led to Juan Mata scoring. Last weekend, Ryan Mason returned Steve Cook’s errant pass from the edge of his box with interest to net for Hull.
Its not just Boruc’s kicking. Defensive communication issues have also been a problem. Spurs will do well to continue the pressing that has seen us generate opposition errors so far this season.
Bournemouth chance creation
Where Bournemouth have been strong this season is in their chance creation. The addition of Jordan Ibe and the return of Callum Wilson have seen them inject a ton of pace and dribbling in to their attack. Along with speedy Junior Stanislas, the Cherries are now playing at a much higher tempo and its paying dividends.
Last season, Bournemouth generated a lot of chances from crosses. This term, they are using the speed, dribbling and directness to get in to the box for more cutback and pullback opportunities.
This sees them use the full backs and the wide players in front of them – Ibe and Stanislas – to dribble in to positions in the box. Here they are closer to their targets so their short crosses, cutbacks and pullbacks have a much greater chance of finding their mark.
Last weekend’s 6-1 hammering of Hull showed just how dangerous Bournemouth can be with this tactic.
Delivering balls closer to targets appears to be paying off for the Cherries. This term they are ranked fourth in the Premier League with a 13.2% chance conversion.
Our full backs need to be aware of their speed down the flanks to get in-behind in to these short crossing positions. Therefore, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose should be the first choice pairing. The Tottenham tactics will use their pace and quickness to cover these areas in Bournemouth vs Spurs on Saturday.
Bournemouth vs Spurs outlook
On a good run at home, Bournemouth are undefeated at the Vitality Stadium since opening day. Tottenham will be coming back from another Champions League away game and may be leggy from a tiring match against Bayer Leverkusen.
Spurs need to be wary of the Cherries’ chance creation and also our own finishing in front of goal. This has been lacking in recent matches. Opportunities will present themselves to teams that attack the Bournemouth left back zone and make third man runs through their centre backs. However, our 8.8% chance conversion, 5th worst in the Premier League this season, is well down on where it should be.
Harry Kane, who scored five of our eight goals against Bournemouth last season, continues to be a big miss. However, this may just be the game that Vincent Janssen has been waiting for.
Bournemouth vs Spurs prediction: Bournemouth 1-2 Spurs.