Bournemouth is set to host Swansea City in the FA Cup fourth round at the Vitality Stadium on Thursday night.
The Cherries came back from two goals down to defeat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 in the third round of the competition earlier in January, while the Swans secured a comfortable 2-0 home win over Morecambe.
After their impressive victory against QPR to start the year, Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola decided not to take his team abroad for a warm-weather camp during the winter break, allowing his players to rest after an excellent run of form in the final two months of 2023.
However, Bournemouth lost 4-0 to Premier League leaders Liverpool last Sunday, bringing them back down to earth.
Despite competing well with Liverpool in the first half, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota each scored twice in the second half to secure a convincing victory for Liverpool.
Despite the result, Bournemouth remains in 12th place in the Premier League table, nine points above the relegation zone and only four points behind Newcastle United in 10th place.
Before their next league fixture against West Ham United on February 1, Bournemouth must focus on their FA Cup match as they aim to advance to the fifth round for just the third time in the last 35 years.
Swansea City, on the other hand, suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton in the Championship last weekend, ending their four-match unbeaten streak across all competitions.
Jamie Paterson scored Swansea’s only goal in the first half, but Flynn Downes quickly restored Southampton’s two-goal cushion before half-time.
Swansea manager Luke Williams will be looking for a response from his players, who are now fourteenth in the Championship table, nine points clear of the relegation zone, but face a tough challenge against Bournemouth.
The visitors have not won any of their previous 12 meetings with Bournemouth and have lost their last six FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition, conceding three goals or more in five of those defeats.
Bournemouth’s Max Aarons suffered a hamstring injury in their defeat to Liverpool and will miss the match, joining Tyler Adams, Ryan Fredericks, Milos Kerkez, Adam Smith, and Darren Randolph on the treatment table.
Antoine Semenyo and Dango Ouattara are also unavailable as they are playing for Ghana and Burkina Faso respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Emiliano Marcondes has joined Hibernian on loan.
Lloyd Kelly made his first appearance in nearly two months against Liverpool and could feature again on Thursday.
Swansea’s Sam Parker is set to remain sidelined due to a hamstring injury, while Josh Ginnelly, Liam Walsh, and Josh Key are also unavailable.
Ben Cabango is doubtful for the match, and his likely absence means that Harry Darling, Nathan Wood, and Bashir Humphreys will continue in defence.
Joe Allen and Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino will both be pushing for a start in midfield, while Yannick Bolasie and Jerry Yates will be hoping to force their way into the starting XI.
Hill, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kelly;
Brooks, Billing, Sinisterra;
Swansea City: (3-4-2-1)
Darling, Wood, Humphreys;
Ashby, Patino, Grimes, Tymon;
Prediction : Bournemouth 3-1 Swansea City
Bournemouth is expected to win the match, having won their only previous FA Cup meeting with Swansea City 24 years ago.
While Swansea has the potential to frustrate the Cherries and cause problems on the counter-attack, we predict a 3-1 victory for Bournemouth as they aim to advance to the fifth round.