Bournemouth v Cardiff: Fraser to fire Cherries to opening day win

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has a fine opportunity to kick off Bournemouth's season with a win
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Bournemouth, and Ryan Fraser in particular, can make it a miserable return to the Premier League for Cardiff on Saturday, according to Andy Schooler.

"A player with good dribbling ability and one possessing a decent shot, Ryan Fraser looks capable of making hay in what looks an area of the field which is a weakness for Cardiff."

1pt Fraser to score at any time at 11/4

Bournemouth v Cardiff
Saturday, 15:00 BST

Opening day trends point to Cardiff defeat

It's welcome back to the top flight to Cardiff City on Saturday when they head to the Vitality Stadium, a ground which still smacks of lower-league status.

Perhaps playing in such surroundings will help calm some of the nerves and excitement which must be nestling among the Welsh club's players.

Certainly their fans will hope that exuberance the players will be feeling at this point will help them get off to a flying start; that's exactly what Huddersfield did last season, winning their opener 3-0 at Crystal Palace and gaining some early momentum which essentially kept them up.

However, the Terriers' opening-day success was very much the exception to the rule when it comes to newly-promoted sides.

In the last five seasons, the 15 matchday-one games of the promoted teams have brought 10 defeats, three draws and just two wins (the other being Hull's upset of then-champions Leicester in 2016).

There have been no thrashings - four of the 10 losses have been by a single goal and six by two - but the stats show the arrival in a higher division has proved problematic for those coming up from the Championship.

As well as the actual results, eight of the 15 sides in the sample failed to score and only one (Huddersfield) kept a clean sheet.

Cardiff fans may be able to draw parallels with Huddersfield - the majority of pundits, including Betting.Betfair's Mike Norman in his team-by-team guide to the season, don't expect them to survive either and they are odds-on for relegation.

But the realistic way to look at this is they remain a side of Championship quality with even the players they have managed to sign in the summer having come out of that division, Bristol City goalscorer Bobby Reid and Norwich forward Josh Murphy being among them.

One may be sacrificed for their away-day start with manager Neil Warnock having to decide whether to stick with the 3-5-2 system which he used in last weekend's defeat to Real Betis or return to four at the back. He may be forced to opt for the later if Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson fails to shake off a knee injury.

After a lengthy chase, Bournemouth completed the club-record signing of Colombia's World Cup midfielder Jefferson Lerma this week - it is worth punters noting that he was the most-booked player in Europe's elite leagues last season, collecting 16 in 26 games for Levante in Spain.

The Bluebirds are [4.4] to buck the opening-day trend and win the game but the hosts are [1.99]. The draw can be backed at [3.6].

Cherries poor at the back

With Cardiff appearing to lack quality, it would be no surprise to see them exposed here, although it is certainly relevant that Bournemouth kept just six clean sheets last season.

They will hope defensive shield Lerma and new left-back Diego Rico can help improve that figure but it is a stat which makes the 10/3 about a Bournemouth win with both teams scoring look tempting.

Five of their eight home wins in 2017/18 came this way, including in games against Stoke and West Brom, both of whom were relegated.

Ryan mighty?

With goals predicted, it may also be worth a play on Ryan Fraser finding the net.

The Scottish international sparkled in Bournemouth's 5-2 win over Marseille last weekend, scoring one and assisting two more from his position on the left of the attack.

A player with good dribbling ability and possessing a decent shot, Fraser looks capable of making hay in what looks an area of the field which is a weakness for Cardiff. Certainly if they go 3-5-2, Fraser is capable of really hurting any right wing-back pushing too far forward.

Fraser's return of five goals from 26 appearances last season is far from special but at 11/4 to net at any time (7/1 for the first goal) he's worth taking a chance on.

Same Game Multi

This is a bit of a no-brainer given the selections already made, but Bournemouth to win, both teams to score and Ryan Fraser to score at anytime is worth rolling into a Same Game Multi. Boost the price by throwing in Jefferson Lerma to be shown a card, too, if you are after something really big - he attracted them like magnets last season.

Opta stat

Bournemouth have never lost a Premier League home game against a newly-promoted side, winning six and drawing two of their eight such matches.


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