The Sky Blues travel to Dorset this Saturday to face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.
Name: AFC Bournemouth
Stadium: Vitality Stadium (Opened as Dean Court in 1910)
Nickname: The Cherries
Address: Kings Park, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 7AF
Pitch Size: 114.8 x 74.4 yards
AFC Bournemouth are hoping it’s second time lucky this season after missing out on an instant return to the Premier League after losing to Brentford in the Play-Offs in May following a 6th place finish.
Since then Scott Parker has replaced Jonathan Woodgate in the dugout and the former Fulham boss lead the South Coast club to the best start to a season ever made in the Championship.
The likes of Jack Wilshere and Asmir Begovic departed along with the £21.3m transfer of 15 goal forward Arnaut Danjuma to Villarreal with Parker bringing in eight new faces including Gary Cahill, Ryan Christie, Jamal Lowe and Robbie Brady.
Opening the Championship season with a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion, the Cherries only dropped eight points from their opening 15 Championship games with further draws against Blackpool, Hull City and Peterborough United with the Dorset club having been in the top two since mid September.
Top scorer Dominic Solanke scored for the third successive match last time out to earn a draw at Millwall with that strike being his 16th of the season, netting doubles against the Tangerines, Huddersfield Town and Swansea City. Philip Billing is next with seven strikes, including three winners against Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City and Sheffield United with youngster Jaidon Anthony enjoying a fine start to his first season of regular first team football with five strikes.
Lambeth-born Scott Parker enjoyed a two-decade-long playing career, making his professional debut for Charlton Athletic against Bury in the First Division in August 1997.
With the Addicks promoted to the Premier League at the end of that season, Parker joined Norwich City on loan in October 2000 for two months to get some first-team experience, scoring once against Sheffield Wednesday. After his return to The Valley, Parker was called into the first team to replace injured skipper Mark Kinsella.
His fine form for Charlton earned him a call-up to the national team, he made his debut by replacing Wayne Rooney in a 3-2 defeat against Denmark.
Parker crossed London to join Chelsea for a fee of £13 million, however, he did not get enough chances in his preferred position and scored his only goal for the Blues in a 2-0 win over Portsmouth.
After winning the Premier League with Chelsea in 2004/05, Parker secured a move to Newcastle United in the hunt of regular minutes, he went on to score 6 goals in 73 appearances for The Magpies.
Parker was signed by West Ham United for a fee of £9 Million in 2007, during his time at the Club he was shortlisted for the prestigious PFA Players’ Player of the Year award. He didn't win the PFA award, but he did win the FWA Footballer of the Year honour in 2010/11 despite being relegated.
That summer Parker moved to Tottenham Hotspur, making him the only player to represent clubs from East, West, South, and North London in the Premier League.
During his time at White Hart Lane, he established himself as an England regular, captaining the side for the first time against the Netherlands in February 2012 before starting all four of England’s games at that summer’s European Championships, with his final cap coming the following March against San Marino.
At the end of that season he departed White Hart Lane, having made 63 appearances for the North London side over two seasons without finding the net, joining Martin Jol’s Fulham.
He would play under three different managers in his first season at Craven Cottage which would see Parker suffer his third top flight relegation before featuring 90 times in three Championship seasons before hanging up his boots at the age of 36 in 2017.
Having gained experience coaching Tottenham’s Under 18 side he once again left the Lilywhites for Fulham in 2018 to become first team coach, working under Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri before taking charge in a caretaker capacity following the Italian’s dismissal in February 2019 with the West London side struggling on their return to the Premier League.
In his first full season as a manager Parker led Fulham to a fourth place finish in the Championship and despite finishing two points behind West Bromwich Albion he successfully navigated the Play Offs, earning promotion at Wembley with a 2-1 victory over Brentford.
Once again, the Cottagers struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and despite some impressive wins at Leicester City, Everton, Liverpool and 1-1 draws at Arsenal and Old Trafford, Parker’s side returned to the Championship at the end of the 2020/21 season.
At the end of June 2021 Parker departed for Bournemouth and he got off to an impressive start to his time on the South Coast with not losing a league game until the 16th Matchday, with the Cherries firmly in the automatic promotion hunt.
During time at the Vitality Stadium, Parker has overseen 21 matches, winning 13, drawing 5 and losing on just three occasions so far.
Last Six Games
Draw – Millwall 1-1 AFC Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Derby County 3–2 AFC Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – AFC Bournemouth 4-0 Swansea City (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Preston North End (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – Reading 0-2 AFC Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)
Last Time We Met
The two sides last met in April 2021 at the Vitality Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship, with the home side taking the points in a 4-1 defeat for the Sky Blues.
AFC Bournemouth took the lead within the opening minute from a right footed strike from Arnaut Danjuma however City got back on level terms just two minutes later with a Matty James free kick.
Danjuma restored the Cherries lead just before the half hour mark, after a one two with Dominic Solanke, and squeezed the ball into the net from a tight angle.
City went closest to equalising for a second time ten minutes before the break when Josh Eccles cross met the head of Kyle McFadzean however the defender’s effort bounced wide of the post.
Tyler Walker went close with two efforts in the second half, with his first blocked before he dragged a shot wide of Asmir Begovic’s goal.
The lively Danjuma turned provider when his cross was converted by David Brooks to give Jonathan Woodgate’s side a two goal cushion.
With the Sky Blues looking to get themselves back into the game, unfortunately it would be the Dorset side that would wrap the game up in injury time with Solanke deflecting Ben Pearson’s strike into the net.
Sky Blues XI: Marko Marosi (GK), Josh Pask (Jordon Thompson 61’), Kyle McFadzean, Leo Ostigard, Josh Eccles, Liam Kelly (C) (Gus Hamer 79’), Matty James, Sam McCallum, Callum O’Hare (Jamie Allen 90+4), Matty Godden (Viktor Gyökeres 79’) Tyler Walker (Amadou Bakayoko 90+4).
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Julien Dacosta, Jordan Shipley, Max Biamou.
Sky Blues Wins – 23
Draws – 10
AFC Bournemouth Wins – 18
Coventry born Callum Wilson came through the ranks at Coventry City, scoring 23 goals in his 55 appearances before departing in 2014 for a six year spell with AFC Bournemouth where he played 187 times and found the back of the net on 67 occasions.
Joining the City academy at 14, he made his first debut as a substitute in a 1-0 home defeat to Hartlepool United in the League Cup in August 2009.
A league debut followed the next season against Queens Park Rangers before spending the second half of 2010/11 on loan Kettering Town, scoring the winner in a 4-3 over Histon that March.
A short loan spell at Tamworth in January 2012 where he netted one in three appearances, finally breaking into the Coventry side in early 2013, he ended 2012/13 with 12 appearances, scoring his first goal in Sky Blue colours in a 2-2 draw with Colchester United that March.
The next season proved to be Wilson’s most prolific for City, featuring 41 times and scoring 22 goals as he finished as the club’s top goal scorer.
Highlights for the forward included netting doubles on four occasions, including in the 5-4 victory over Bristol City, and scoring in five successive games in March 2014
Wilson joined Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth that summer and his 20 league goals played no small part in the Dorset side capturing the Championship title at the end of the season, giving Wilson his first chance of Premier League football.
On his third top flight appearance Wilson netted a memorable hat trick in a 4-3 win at the Boleyn Ground against West Ham United, also netting against Champions elect Leicester City and Sunderland before he suffered an anterior cruciate injury to his right knee at Stoke that saw him miss six months of the campaign.
After eight goals in the first five months of 2016/17 Wilson then suffered the same injury in his left knee although his goals did help Bournemouth achieve their highest ever league finish of 9th.
A goalscoring return against Middlesbrough in the League Cup in October 2017 was the first of nine goals that included a hat trick in a 4-0 home win over Huddersfield.
Seven goals at the start of 2018/19 earned Wilson his first call up to the England squad and he became the first Cherries player to score for his country when scoring the final goal in a 3-0 win over the USA under the Arch on his debut.
To date this season was Wilson’s most prolific in the top flight with 14 strikes however the following season saw Eddie Howe’s side relegated on the final day of the season.
Wilson’s desire to keep playing in the Premier League saw him join Newcastle United in September 2020 and 12 goals in his first season on Tyneside aided Steve Bruce’s team in their ultimately successful battle against the drop.
So far this season Wilson has scored four goals for the Magpies which also matches his current international caps tally.
The EFL have confirmed David Coote will be the man in the middle for the clash on the South Coast.
This match will be the first Coote has officiated involving the Sky Blues for almost three years, since a 2-1 defeat at Walsall in December 2018.
So far this season, Coote has shown 34 yellow cards and two red cards across 8 fixtures in the Premier League, Sky Bet Championship and EFL Cup.
Coote will be assisted by Marc Perry and Daniel Leach whilst Carl Brook will act as the fourth official.