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Bournemouth have only picked up one point from their last two league matches, losing at West Bromwich Albion on April 6 before playing out a goalless draw with Sheffield United three days later.
The Cherries are in a strong position to secure a return to the Premier League, though, as they sit second in the table, four points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield with two games in hand, so a victory on Friday would put them in a strong position heading into their final six matches.
Scott Parker‘s side have the fourth-best home record in the Championship this season, picking up 38 points from 19 matches, and they will be welcoming a Boro side that have found it difficult to show consistency on their travels, collecting 24 points from 20 matches.
Bournemouth actually lost 1-0 to Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium earlier this term, but they recorded a 3-1 victory when the pair locked horns in the corresponding match last season, and Parker’s team will be eyeing another huge three points ahead of a busy end to the month.
Indeed, the Cherries still have Boro, Coventry City, Fulham, Swansea City and Blackburn Rovers to face before the end of April, while they will take on Nottingham Forest and Millwall in back-to-back home fixtures in May.
Bournemouth will again be missing Kieffer Moore, Junior Stanislas and David Brooks for this match, while Jordan Zemura is out with the hamstring problem that he picked up against Sheffield United.
Zemura’s absence is likely to open the door for Robbie Brady to come into the starting side, while there could be a change in the final third, with Jaidon Anthony potentially replacing Siriki Dembele.
Dominic Solanke has scored 24 Championship goals this season and will again lead the line, while the midfield three should remain unchanged, with Jefferson Lerma being joined by Lewis Cook and Philip Billing.
As for Middlesbrough, Dael Fry will miss the match through injury, which is likely to open the door for the experienced Sol Bamba to feature in the middle of the defence.
Neil Taylor and Isaiah Jones are also fitness doubts for the visitors, who are set to continue in a 3-5-2 formation, with Aaron Connolly featuring in the final third of the field.
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Duncan Watmore and Josh Coburn are also pushing for starting roles, having featured off the bench in the defeat to Hull last time out, but Folarin Balogun should retain his spot in the XI.
Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Brady; Billing, Cook, Lerma; Christie, Solanke, Anthony
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Dijksteel, Bamba, McNair; Tavernier, Crooks, Howson, Bola; McGree; Connolly, Balogun