BOSS Eddie Howe tipped Benik Afobe to come to the fore in Cherries' hour of need.

Jermain Defoe and Joshua King are battling injuries ahead of tomorrow's trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City (3pm), with Afobe, Callum Wilson and Lys Mousset being Howe's remaining frontline options.

Former Arsenal youngster Afobe will hope to recover from a heel injury in time to feature, that problem having kept him out of the squad for the midweek Carabao Cup loss at Chelsea.

Howe said: "I'm confident Benik will be ready if called upon.

"He is a very good character. He has a really good mindset towards games and is a positive guy.

"He had a period of time at the start of the season where he was out of the team and had to be very patient and then played a huge part in us staying up at the back end of last season.

"He was really good and formed a really good partnership with Joshua King.

"We know what Benik is capable of and, given the opportunity, we back him to show that."

Afobe has made four top-flight starts this season but has been given game time in 12 of Cherries' 18 league fixtures.

The DR Congo international, who has been linked with £15million moves to West Brom and former club Wolves, has gone eight months without a league goal.

Howe has consistently stated his desire to keep the 24-year-old at Vitality Stadium.

The boss added: "Benik picked up an injury to his heel before the Chelsea game, which was disappointing for him and us.

"We're confident it's nothing serious so, hopefully, we will have him available for Saturday."