Sheffield United: Everything you need to know about the Blades' Premier League opening day opponents Bournemouth
Sheffield United have learned their fate and now know that they will play Bournemouth on the opening day of the Premier League campaign.
But what faces Chris Wilder’s men when they line up against the Cherries on August 10? Here’s everything you need to know…
Manager, key players, new players
Eddie Howe has been the man at the helm for Bournemouth’s rise to the Premier League. He took over when Bournemouth were circling the drain in League Two in 2008, with the club in administration and ten points adrift of safety after a points deduction.
Howe became the youngest manager in the Football League at the age of 31, and spearheaded Bournemouth’s rise through the leagues as they were promoted to the top flight in 2015.
In recent seasons, Ryan Fraser has been a key creative outlet for Bournemouth along with Callum Wilson and Josh King.
The Blades will line up against a familiar face in their opening match – David Brooks moved to the south coast in last summer’s transfer window and has had an impressive impact since then.
In January they signed Dominic Solanke and Chris Mepham on permanent deals and brought Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne to Dean Court on loan.
Time in the Premier League, last season’s results
Bournemouth have been in the Prem since 2015 and have enjoyed relative success during their time in the top tier – finishing 16th, 9th, 12th and 14th.
This season will be the Cherries’ fifth Premier League campaign in a row.
The target for Bournemouth is always going to be Premier League safety in the first instance, but an improvement on 14th place will be in their sights.
After their second-season high of 9th place they have shown they are capable of a top-half finish, although they’ve slumped lower in their last two seasons.
The gap between the top six and the rest is always growing in the Premier League so it’ll be a big achievement if Bournemouth are able to outmuscle the clubs looking for a top half finish who have plenty of money behind them.