Bournemouth have enjoyed an excellent start to the Championship season and they head into the international break as the only side in the league yet to suffer a defeat.
Scott Parker has managed to get his side set up in the right fashion over the last few months after taking some time to find his strongest eleven.
While it also took some time to find the right formation to get the maximum out of the options he has available to him.
The Cherries have now managed to bed in their summer signings and their 2-1 win against Sheffield United on Saturday took them three points clear at the top of the Championship table.
Parker’s side have the joint-best defensive record in the division so far this season with them having conceded just eight goals in their opening 11 Championship games.
That is providing them with the foundation to win matches on a regular basis with the quality that they have within their squad at the attacking end of the pitch.
Finding that balance was always going to be crucial for Bournemouth this term. Parker seems like he is has managed to find that and that might make the difference between a top-six or a top-two finish.
With all of that in mind, we take a look at what Bournemouth’s strongest starting line-up looks like from what we’ve seen so far this term…
Parker has been getting some strong performances out of Bournemouth in recent weeks with a 4-3-3 formation.
That seems to be the strongest possible setup available to the Cherries with the options that they have got within their squad.
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Mark Travers is Bournemouth’s clear first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the campaign and the keeper has been showing that he can take his chance to establish himself as the club’s number one.
The 22-year-old has started ten of Bournemouth’s first 11 Championship games in which he has managed to average 2.4 saves per game whilst keeping four clean sheets.
At right-back, Adam Smith has made the position his own over the last few weeks. He is facing a strong challenge from Jack Stacey, but it seems as though the experienced defender has the spot in his line-up at the moment.
At the heart of Bournemouth’s defence, Gary Cahill has come into the side in recent weeks and the experienced former England international has made a real difference with his quality.
A real partnership is blossoming between him and Lloyd Kelly and the pair could be the bedrock of a promotion bid.
In the left-back position, Jordan Zemura is fully established as Bournemouth’s first choice and he has been a really consistent performer for them so far this campaign in what is his breakthrough season.
Bournemouth’s midfield three has been very strong in recent weeks with all of Ben Pearson, Phillip Billing and Jefferson Lerma contributing a lot to their performances. Those three seem to be the strongest options that they have in the middle of the park at the moment.
In the front three. Dominic Solanke is the Cherries’ go-to player for goals and to lead the line and he has already scored seven league goals so far this term.
While Ryan Christie has been a superb performer for Bournemouth in his opening six appearances following his late summer arrival from Celtic.
Jaidon Anthony has also been delivering excellent performances for the Cherries and he has been involved in five goals already this term. He has David Brooks pushing him for his place in the side, but at the moment the shirt needs to be his.