Written by Toby Foster (@TobyFost)
AFC Bournemouth face fellow Championship high-fliers Watford at Vicarage Road in the latest renewal of what was a Premier League fixture earlier this year.
With many apparent parallels between the two clubs – both being relegated on the final day of last season, both appointing new managers at the start of the current campaign, and both now thriving in the league table – the contest has an added air of intrigue.
Watford are sitting pretty in third place with an impressive 13 points from their first six matches, while unbeaten Bournemouth are snapping at their heels in fourth with a dozen points to their name thus far.
Both sides have successfully kept hold of key players during the summer transfer window. Ismalia Sarr continues to call Vicarage Road home despite reported strong interest from top Premier League sides, and the Cherries handily retained the services of Josh King and David Brooks.
A high-quality contest is to be expected between two sides who appear to be right in contention for automatic promotion back into the Premier League.
Watford continue to be without captain Troy Deeney, who continues his recovery from a knee injury, and striker Andre Gray, who is still out with a hamstring issue. Midfielder Will Hughes is back in training after an injury layoff but may not be ready to feature. Etienne Capoue played his first minutes of the season off the bench in the Hornets’ win over Blackburn in midweek and boss Vladimir Ivic could give him a starting berth this weekend.
Cherries manager Jason Tindall will welcome the likely return of Josh King, who has been struggling with a dead leg. Lloyd Kelly and David Brooks remain doubts.
Kick-off: 12.30pm, Saturday 24th October
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports. Nerve Sport will have live Twitter updates of the match, along with a match report, player ratings and manager reaction.
Form Guide: Bournemouth DWWDDW, Watford DWLWWW
Last Time Out: Cardiff 1 (Wilson) Bournemouth 1 (Solanke); Watford 3 (Pedro, Cleverley, Lenihan) Blackburn 1 (Brereton).
Previous meeting: Bournemouth 0 Watford 3 (Doucoure, Deeney, Pereyra) – 12th January 2020
Historical Record: Bournemouth 38 wins, Watford 41 wins, 38 draws
Toby Foster’s Prediction: Watford 3-1 AFC Bournemouth