Francis adds to Cherries injury worries
Bournemouth will be missing four players, including Simon Francis, when they travel to take on Manchester United on Sunday.
The Cherries have confirmed captain Francis suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Boxing Day loss at Tottenham and will spend up to nine months on the sidelines.
“It’s a huge blow for us, Simon, everyone connected with the club,” said manager Eddie Howe. “He’s been our leader on the pitch and a role model and a big miss in the dressing room. As a team it’s a big loss and a big gap to fill."
Francis joins Adam Smith, Dan Gosling and Lewis Cook in being unavailable to Howe as he prepares to take his squad to the north-west to face a resurgent Manchester United team.
After the heavy defeat to Spurs, Howe could opt to make changes for Sunday's encounter with Diego Rico set to come in for Francis, while Jordon Ibe and Joshua King could also be handed recalls.
“It’s a tough game and we’re going to need to rise to that challenge,” Howe added.
“They’ve had two really good results and two good performances. We look forward to going there, we always have done, and we look forward to a good game.”
Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.