Scouting report: Bournemouth

We've taken a closer look at Bournemouth, as we prepare to welcome the Cherries to Stamford Bridge...

MANAGER

Eddie Howe. The Bournemouth boss has spearheaded their meteoric rise from the bottom of League Two up into the top flight of English football and is the Premier League’s longest serving manager behind Arsene Wenger. Now seen as one of the brightest young English coaches, Howe sets his side up to play an attractive passing game with extensive use of the wide areas. The Cherries boss did have a brief spell in charge of Burnley in 2011 but returned to Bournemouth the following year citing ‘personal reasons’ for his departure. 

KEY PLAYER

Joshua King. A livewire frontman who is capable of playing as a leading striker or on either wing. King joined Bournemouth in 2015 after departing Blackburn Rovers at the end of his contract and has proven to be a shrewd bit of business, netting 14 Premier League goals last term. Signed a new four-year deal in August and is a full international with Norway. The 25 year-old began his career at Manchester United and has had loan spells with Preston, Borussia Monchengladbach and Hull City.

Recent form 

The Cherries head into this clash in decent form, following creditable away draws with Brighton and West Ham, as well as an impressive home win over Arsenal. However Eddie Howe's side were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan earlier this month in a replay, with the Latics winning 3-0 at the DW Stadium. We have had the better of our fixtures with Bournemouth so far this term, winning on the south coast in the league and also defeating Howe's men in the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge back in December.  

One to watch

Ryan Fraser. He may be small in stature, but the wideman has developed into a big player for the Cherries, comfortable at operating on either flank. The Scotland international helped Bournemouth earn promotion to the top flight in 2015, but then spent their first season in the Premier League on loan at Ipswich Town. That move proved successful and Fraser returned to the south coast ready to feature in Eddie Howe's squad. Has been a regular starter so far this term and is likely to be invovled this evening at the Bridge.  

WORN BOTH BADGES

Ryan Bertrand. Our former left-back, who lifted the Champions League with us in 2012, spent two spells on loan with the Cherries earlier in his career. He remains on the south coast today, at neighbouring Southampton, where he remains a key component of their defence. In the current Bournemouth side are two former Chelsea players who were part of our title winning side of last year, defender, Nathan Ake and goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic.