In the wake of star man Arnaut Danjuma‘s proposed move to Villarreal, Scott Parker’s Bournemouth travel to St Andrew’s in pursuit of back to back away wins.
Both sides will be content on four points from their opening two games with Birmingham City yet to concede in their three outings thus far.
Philip Billing is in imperious form in attacking midfield for the Cherries, netting in every game so far carrying on from where he left off last season, thriving in a more advanced role he was introduced to by Jonathan Woodgate.
Livewire David Brooks was sent off for a second bookable offence in their 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest last time out, leaving Parker with much to ponder over his side’s midweek midlands excursion.
The Blues shared a fairly dry goalless draw with Stoke City on Saturday, with tricky Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong missing out through injury.
Here, then, we take a look at three curveballs Parker could throw at Bowyer in terms of his team selection for Wednesday evening’s encounter…
The unknown quantity that is Christian Saydee could make his full league debut for the Cherries on Wednesday evening, the bulky 19-year-old scored his first goal for the club in their League Cup first round 5-0 victory over Milton Keynes Dons, also making late second half substitute appearances in both Championship matches.
He could be preparing for his first start given the suspension of David Brooks off the right flank.
We have not seen enough of Saydee to pass any kind of judgement on the threat he poses, but in that unpredictability he could provide a wildcard selection for Bowyer’s backline to contend with.
Parker very rarely plays more than one central striker however with Brooks suspended and Junior Stanislas expected to be unavailable, should the manager not want to give Saydee the opportunity he could opt to push Jaidon Anthony closer to Dominic Solanke and bring in another central midfielder.
Kyle Taylor would appear to be next in the pecking order in terms of central midfield options.
Anthony has played through the middle in his career and with Solanke dropping deep to link play, his pace in behind could trouble the centre back pair of Marc Roberts and Harlee Dean, both aged 30 or above.
Another spanner in the mind of Lee Bowyer would be if Billing is deployed just off of Solanke, deeming the Blues boss’ preparation for the Danes threat in deeper areas redundant.
An underrated physical presence as well, Billing has been caressing the ball into the net with either foot but he stands at 6ft 4in so also provides an aerial threat should the Cherries have to chase the game at any point.
The 25-year-old achieved a career high of eight league goals last term, with two in two so far has him set to smash that record and testing his ability further forward as he continues to develop could be an option in Brooks’ absence.
With the newly restored home advantage and so far unbreakable rearguard, the Blues come in as narrow favourites for this encounter. However, Parker and his promotion pushing Cherries will be desperate to stamp their authority on the affair in front of the home faithful.