Premier League Countdown: Bournemouth boosted for Wembley date

Few Premier League fans will be looking forward to the upcoming season more than fans of AFC Bournemouth.

The Cherries have spent big over the summer and there seems to be a real sense of anticipation around the side as they prepare for their maiden season with the big boys.

Excitement around the upcoming campaign isn’t just confined to the south coast though, here at Ladbrokes we are getting geed up for the big kick-off on August 8.

But today’s countdown boost isn’t solely league related, with Eddie Howe’s men boosted to a chunky 18/1 to reach either the FA Cup or League Cup final in 2015-16.

Now, that may sound like a big ask with the Dean Court outfit likely to be focused on ensuring survival first and foremost, but it can be done.

OK, the last side to win one of the competitions on their first season in the top-flight was Leicester’s League Cup success under Martin O’Neill in 1997, but a day out at Wembley is a day out at Wembley.

Nevertheless three sides have reached a final on their first season up from the Championship since.

Hull City managed to combine a 16th place finish in the Premier League (a position many Cherries fans will no doubt accept) and a place in the FA Cup final in 2014 under Steve Bruce.

Even more impressively, back in 2006 two of the promoted sides contested a cup decider, but both succumbed to final heartbreak.

Firstly Wigan were taken apart 4-0 by Manchester United in the Carling Cup final in February, before West Ham saw the FA Cup slip out of their grasp at the expense of Steven Gerrard and Liverpool.

What’s even more encouraging for Bournemouth fans tempted by our latest offer is that both the Latics and the Hammers secured a top-half finish in that season.

The signings of Tyrone Mings, Christian Atsu, Sylvain Distin and Josh King have no doubt bolstered their squad, and with the personnel in place, there is no reason they cannot deliver our latest Premier League countdown boost.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.