CHERRIES face Chelsea this afternoon in the final game of the 2023/24 Premier League season – but which players will see the season out?

It has been a successful season for Andoni Iraola in his first year as AFC Bournemouth head coach, but the Basque boss has one final selection headache on his hands ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge (4pm).

Milos Kerkez has returned from a three-match suspension, whilst Romain Faivre and Chris Mepham could be available after spells with injury.

Based on Iraola’s comments in Friday’s press conference, here is our predicted XI to face Chelsea.

Goalkeeper and defence

Andoni Iraola has decided to use Cherries’ final games of the campaign to take a look at Mark Travers in between the sticks, and it seems that he will continue with the Irishman until the end of the season.

The backline also feels similarly settled – aside from left back, which has been plagued by injury issues throughout the back half of the season.

Lloyd Kelly, who seems set to leave at the end of his contract this summer, has started in the position during Kerkez’s time out with a ban.

However, the Hungarian’s attacking work-rate might be preferred as Cherries go all out to secure a top 10 finish with a win.

The rest of the defence will likely be unchanged; Adam Smith still preferred over Max Aarons at right-back with Illia Zabarnyi and Marcos Senesi well entrenched as a centre-back partnership.


The middle of the park feels similarly settled, with Lewis Cook and Ryan Christie impressing throughout the campaign at the six and eight, respectively.

Tyler Adams will want minutes to boost his fitness ahead of the Copa America with the USA, but expect to see the American off the bench.

With wingers returning from injury, we feel that Justin Kluivert will start at the 10.

Alex Scott has looked sharp when playing in the hole, but Kluivert has become such a clear candidate for the role it is hard to look past the Dutchman as the most advanced midfielder of the middle trio.

Wingers and striker

Kerkez’s aforementioned inclusion it based on Marcus Tavernier’s return. The winger was fit enough for a cameo appearance against Brentford last time out, and hopefully Tavernier will be 100 per cent to start against Chelsea.

Iraola has ranted and raved about the Leeds-born winger’s defensive work-rate. Despite his attacking prowess, Kerkez’s tracking back sometimes leaves a lot to be desired.

When combined with Tavernier on the left flank, Kerkez has more licence to get forward.

On the opposite side, Antoine Semenyo remains as threatening as ever – and is almost in the same ilk as Dominic Solanke when it comes to being undroppable.

However, Solanke is likely the first name on the team sheet at the moment, and will want one final opportunity to prove why he deserves to be on the plane with England this summer.

Predicted XI: Travers; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez; Cook, Christie, Kluivert; Semenyo, Tavernier, Solanke.


Who do you think should start this afternoon?