CHERRIES are approaching the business end of the season in a healthy spot – but what will the final few months of the 2023/24 bring for Andoni Iraola’s side?

With 35 points on the board and a healthy gap to the bottom of the table Cherries are on track for a third-consecutive Premier League season, and will be looking up, rather than down, the league table.

But with just 10 games remaining, what can Cherries still achieve this season?

Looking up…

Let’s start by talking mathematically, abandoning a sense of reality.

Theoretically, Cherries could still lift the Premier League title.

It would require the collapse of multiple teams and a massive swing in goal difference, but there still exists a series of results that will see Cherries end the season on 65 points, level with title challengers Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City (and Aston Villa, who have to play all four teams in the run in).

Of course, the likelihood of this happening is so miniscule it barely merits inclusion, but we are covering all bases.

Now, after establishing that Cherries could still finish top it becomes apparent that they could also finish anywhere between first and their current position of 13th.

Even with the possibility that England will receive five spots in next season’s Champions League, thanks to coefficients, we will probably not be seeing Cherries amongst Europe’s elite next season.

A draw between Manchester City and Arsenal would leave Cherries unable to catch both sides' tally of 66 points, for example, highlighting just how soon Cherries’ chances of finishing above the big boys will dissipate.

Even looking at Europe’s secondary or tertiary competitions, the Europa League and Europa Conference League, it is a talk ask for Cherries to qualify.

Liverpool’s victory in the EFL Cup final, combined with their likely finish in a Champions League spot, means another side will take England’s Europa Conference League berth.

Although complicated by the inclusion of Chelsea and Championship Coventry City, the FA Cup could also produce another shot at the Europa League for a Premier League side.

After all is said and done there could be potentially eight spots that would reward qualification to European competition.

Cherries are currently seven points behind Brighton in eighth but do have to play the Seagulls again before the end of the season.

The points required to finish eighth in recent years have fluctuated between the 50 and 60 point marks.

Based on current points per game Brighton will finish on 59 points, indicating that if Cherries want to gate crash the European party they can ill afford to put a foot wrong.

We are not saying that you should not renew your passports, but a Cherries-centred trip to the continent may have to wait for another season.

…and looking down

It would be remiss to imply that Cherries’ safety is ironclad, but with 14 points and a game in hand separating them from third-bottom Nottingham Forest, the chances of going down seem remote.

As above, properly earmarking the number of required points, even at this late stage of the season, is a fool’s errand, what with the prospect of further points deductions and the fact that teams in the lower reaches of the table are set to play each other.

Looking historically, the last team to be relegated with 35 points was Burnley two seasons back, and in the past 10 years of the Premier League only three teams have gone down with 35 points or more.

Extrapolating the bottom three’s current points per game until the end of the season would leave them all quite some distance away from Cherries’ current points haul.

Record to be broken?

Bournemouth Echo: Marcus Tavernier started his career in Newcastle's youth ranksSo, unlikely to qualify for Europe, but also looking pretty safe – is it time for the old adage that Cherries are playing for pride?

After a strong December catapulted Cherries up the league table, head coach Iraola started receiving questions of setting a club record for points in a Premier League season.

That still feels attainable as we approach the run in.

In Cherries’ second Premier League season, they finished ninth with 46 points under Eddie Howe.

Whilst finishing ninth might be slightly beyond that points tally – current occupants Wolverhampton Wanderers already sit on 41 – it does feel that with a possible 30 on offer, Cherries could find 12 points to break that previous high.

Essentially, that boils down to four wins, and on Cherries current points per game, they are on track to achieve 47 points.

Improving on last season

Bournemouth Echo: This season’s tally is already just four points shy of last term’s total, Cherries ending the 2022/23 season on 39 points under Gary O’Neil.

With 10 games remaining Cherries were very much still involved in the relegation battle, although they had just escaped the bottom three with a 2-1 victory at home to Fulham at the start of April.

April proved to be a very productive month for the club, with five wins from seven games – a big enough points return to effectively wrap up safety with three games to spare.

Hopefully this April will see Cherries more than surpass last season’s exploits.

Pride – and prize money?

But it is not just pride Cherries are playing for, with the incentive of more prize money the higher they finish up the league table.

Earlier this week Cherries’ most recent accounts were announced, and when it comes to the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, they have a little breathing room.

However, any opportunity to increase revenue cannot be turned down – with each position gained in the final table worth an estimated £2.2million.

Competitive by nature, footballers will not need any further incentive to finish the season as strongly as possible.

Where do you think Cherries will finish this season? Will they break their points record? Let us know down below!