CHERRIES face a tough assignment this afternoon, hitting the road to face Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa (3pm).

Unai Emery’s side sit fourth in the Premier League table and progressed into the Europa Conference League semi-finals on Thursday night.

Cherries themselves have slim European hopes still to chase, as well as the more realistic club record Premier League points target and a spot in the top half.

Andoni Iraola is still without a host of players due to injury, but does have some selection headaches.

Goalkeeper and defence

There was little Neto could do to prevent Manchester United scoring twice last weekend and talk around his position has calmed in recent weeks.

The Brazilian will keep his place again, with Mark Travers on the bench.

Illia Zabarnyi and Marcos Senesi’s reunited partnership also looks set to continue, while Adam Smith should keep his spot at right-back. With another game in midweek, away at Wolves, that could be a chance for Max Aarons to get some more minutes.

Left-back will be an interesting call and largely based on availability elsewhere. Iraola was impressed by the performance of Milos Kerkez against United and he should get the chance to continue that form at Villa Park.


Regardless of the fitness of Tyler Adams, Lewis Cook and Ryan Christie again highlighted their credentials as a pairing with brilliant individual displays last weekend.

They should retain their places in the middle of the park. Justin Kluivert also impressed just ahead of them. His minutes may have to be managed with two games in a short space of time, but it would be a surprise were he not to start this one.

Wingers and striker

Options are rather limited due to injury. Dango Ouattara has done enough in recent weeks to warrant a start.

Antoine Semenyo is available again after a calf issue. If he is fully fit, he should come straight back in. If not, Kerkez could push forwards with Lloyd Kelly an option to slot in at left-back.

Dominic Solanke, chasing the Premier League golden boot, will again lead the line.

Predicted Cherries XI: Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez; Cook, Christie; Semenyo, Kluivert, Ouattara; Solanke.