Gary O’Neil wants Bournemouth to be the best version of themselves at Leicester

The fight for survival at the bottom of the Premier League table is heating up with a point separating 14th place from the relegation zone, where the Cherries are currently third from bottom.

After beating Fulham last Saturday, south coast rivals Brighton handed them a 2-0 defeat in midweek, but O’Neil is confident his team can cause Leicester some problems on Saturday.

“We need to be the best version of ourselves, which we have shown recently,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“We’ve had a very tough run of games, six games in a row against top 10 teams.

“We have faced them, we have scored points in them and in those that we have not scored points we have done well.

Same thing again tomorrow – if we’re a really good version of ourselves and we’re full speed, front foot and well organized then I’m sure we can cause Leicester some trouble as I’m sure they’re thinking the same of us.

“Our approach and what we need to be, we can be the best version of ourselves, go there and have a good game against Leicester and cause them some problems.”

Leicester are also struggling for survival in the Premier League and are two points behind the Cherries in 19th place.

Poor results led to Brendan Rodgers leaving last week, but O’Neil still expects a tough test when his team visits the Foxes.

“Leicester have very good players, they perform well in a lot of the games I’ve seen,” he said.

“James Maddison is obviously an England international, Harvey Barnes is a fantastic talent. They have caused some problems for teams, they scored four against Aston Villa and Tottenham not too long ago.

“Obviously they’ve had a bit of a rough run, but the Premier League is like that, you just need to drop your levels a bit and you can get punished.

“We have had bad runs ourselves and you find a way to bounce back, fight back and end it, and Leicester will look to do the same.

“I see them as really dangerous at the moment, it’s obviously a dangerous game, they’re a Premier League team that’s been a Premier League team for a long time and they’re going through a difficult period.

“That doesn’t mean they can’t show up on Saturday and put on a really good performance, they definitely can. We are preparing for the best version of Leicester and making sure we are ready.”

O’Neil confirmed that Marcos Senesi has a “slight hamstring problem” and will review his fitness after the centre-half was substituted in the midweek loss to Brighton.

Illia Zabarnyi will also be reviewed, while Marcus Tavernier is closing in on a start for the Cherries.


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