Another Championship fixture and another week without an AFC Bournemouth defeat passes by. When the season kicked off, it was universally accepted that Fulham and West Bromwich Albion were the clubs destined for promotion. 11 matches in and the Cherries look like the side that is most likely to finish in the Premier League places next May.
Unbeaten teams in the EFL…
Chez 🍒 pic.twitter.com/2Taxayl5gA
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) October 2, 2021
A lot of that is down to the 11-game unbeaten run that Scott Parker’s men find themselves on at the moment. Everything can change in football, but Bournemouth appears to be a solid promotion candidate for several reasons.
Grit & Determination
It’s not correct to say that Bournemouth’s season has been plain sailing. That’s far from the truth. However, the fact that the Cherries have bounced back shows the sort of grit clubs need to make it out of England’s second division. After all, it’s one of the most competitive leagues in the world, not just the country.
The game against Sheffield United is a prime example. One-nil down to a quality outfit at home, the players equalised almost instantaneously. Within nine minutes of going behind, Philip Billing put his side ahead. There are numerous examples, including a Monday night away victory against Cardiff and a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest with ten men.
These performances have resulted in the Championship betting odds for Bournemouth finishing in the top two to shorten to 6/4. The club is 7/2 to win the league outright. There’s plenty of football left to play yet grinding out victories is a healthy trait regardless of the time of year.
A Manager with Promotion Experience
Experience always helps in football because it gives players the confidence they need to go out onto the pitch and seize their opportunities. Sometimes it comes from the guys themselves, and sometimes it comes from the boss. In Scott Parker, Bournemouth has a gaffer who understands what it takes to climb out of the Championship.
The former midfielder’s managerial career has been short and sweet. However, his achievements are already stacking up, such as leading Fulham to the Premier League in his first full season as the Cottagers’ coach. Even better, he did it the hard way by winning the playoffs.
Bournemouth’s odds for automatic promotion are healthy, which is positive. Still, the club could end up in the top six. Indeed, the bookies quote the team as 2/7 third favourites. If this happens, Parker’s most recent memories of the competition could prove vital to the team’s success.
There must be a touch of class among the sheer hard work and determination to win since labouring to wins won’t work 100% of the time. When the going gets tough, Premier League contenders need to rely on their star players. Bournemouth has a few to call on.
Ryan Christie has transitioned extremely well after his move from Celtic, becoming a firm fan favourite. Philip Billing has proven he has an eye for goal, netting on five occasions in ten matches. And Dominic Solanke is a well-fancied 10/1 shot to end the season as the division’s top goalscorer. He’s in the top five and showing no signs of stopping.
All in all, Bournemouth has attacking players who will decide games when the entire team isn’t at the races. Currently, that’s more than Fulham and West Brom supporters can claim.
Even at this early stage, Bournemouth’s unbeaten run tells us that the Cherries will be in the promotion hunt in 2022.