There's a cracker in store at the Brentford Community Stadium tonight as we bring down the curtain on 2020. It's fourth vs third live on Sky as Jason Tindall's Cherries head to TW8. Tonight's victors will head into the New Year three points off top and we have all the build-up below.
After five years of smooth sailing in the Premier League, 2020 was a year of huge upheaval on the south coast.
It began when The Cherries dropped out of the top flight on the final day of the season; a 3-1 win over Everton was not enough as they finished a point behind Aston Villa in 18th. A week later Eddie Howe, who had guided The Cherries from the bottom of League Two to the top table, departed, ending a 26-year association with the Club as both player and manager.
Relegation also signalled exits for Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser [both Newcastle United], Aaron Ramsdale [Sheffield United], Nathan Ake [Manchester City], and Artur Boruc [Legia Warsaw].
However, against the backgdrop of that upheaval, The Cherries, under Howe's former assistant Jason Tindall, have started this campaign in hugely impressive fashion.
They have lost just two of their opening 20 Sky Bet Championship games, the best record in the division, are the league's second top scorers with 35, and pushed Manchester City all the way in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup before losing 2-1.
Top scorer Dominic Solanke has six goals in his last nine games while David Brooks (pictured above) has three goals and five assists in less than 1000 minutes of playing time this season.
A knock picked up against Newcastle United will keep Christian Norgaard out tonight. Mads Roerslev (foot) and Shandon Baptiste (knee) remain sidelined but other than that it's a fully fit squad Thomas Frank has to choose from.
A Covid outbreak in the Millwall squad saw AFC Bournemouth's Boxing Day clash with The Lions postponed. Only Arnaut Danjuma [hamstring] missed their game against Luton Town 11 days ago and he may be fit to return tonight.
Jason Tindall was perhaps a surprise appointment from within when he took over in the summer but his early record as Bournemouth boss appears to suggest he was a shrewd appointment.
Like Eddie Howe, who he was assistant to at Bournemouth, Burnley, and then Bournemouth again for 12 years, Tindall's association with The Cherries goes back more than 20 years. Released by Charlton, defender Tindall signed for Bournemouth in 1998. He went on to play 199 times for the Club in two spells, either side of a year as Player-Manager at Weymouth.
Initially appointed as Assistant Manager to Jimmy Quinn in 2008, Tindall remained in place when Howe was appointed the following January. As the youngest managerial team in the Football League, they saved The Cherries from relegation to the National League that season before three promotions in six years took the Club to the top flight for the first time in its history.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tonight's game is live on Sky Sports as well as iFollow for Season Ticket and Premium Seat Members.
Audio Match Passes to listen live are available to buy for £2.50