Eddie Howe to put faith in Max Gradel in survival race

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Eddie Howe is set to put his faith in Max Gradel’s instincts as AFC Bournemouth look to secure their top flight status over the coming weeks.

The Cherries are on the brink of survival having taken seven points from three games against Watford, Southampton and Newcastle and much of this is down to the return from injury of the Ivorian star.

The winger missed six months of the campaign with a knee problem but has returned in fine fettle in recent weeks.

Howe is clearly glad to have the man he spent £8m on back in the fold but the Cherries boss says he will have to listen to the man himself about how well his knee can stand up to the pressures of the season’s run-in.

“It is a difficult one because we have so few games to go and they are big games for the future of the club, for everybody,” he told the Daily Echo.

“Ultimately, you are guided by the player. He has been through this injury before and knows his body. He knows how he feels in himself, how his knee feels and whether he is fit enough to do himself justice at this level.”

Bournemouth are next in action at home to Swansea in a game that sees Howe’s men priced up as 10/11 favourites.

The Swans can be backed at 16/5, with the draw in at 23/10, but with Gradel hitting the ground running on his return the 7/1 suggesting the 28-year-old opens the scoring could be the way to go.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.

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