Both of these clubs have been safe in the Premier League for two seasons, a scenario few of them would have foreseen when they first won promotion in 2015.
In fact, Bournemouth finished ninth last term, scoring 55 goals, more than Manchester United. As a result, his striking game in last week’s opener against West Brom was surprisingly slow and disjointed.
Bournemouth had 71% possession at the Hawthorns, but only one shot on target, when, without much power, Nathan Ake headed a right corner to the goalkeeper. His efforts in the Black Country were generally gentle and capricious.
The partnership between Josh King and Benik Afobe clicked at times last season, but it was based on the mobility of the former. King is not at the stage you would expect in terms of the sharpness of the game, but he is the only striker with pace because Jermain Defoe is more of an advanced poacher.
Whatever eye-catching combination starts for the West Country team this weekend, you can expect to find more space in the forward areas. While West Brom’s back line fell deep, Watford’s rearguard played high up the pitch against a quick Liverpool strike, which partly cost them a victory.
Younes Kaboul suffered a minor muscle issue in this match, so the man Marco Silva chooses to accompany Miguel Britos will tell us a lot about Sebastian Prodl’s position.
The Austrian, widely regarded as the Hornets’ most complete defender last term, was surprisingly on the bench for the opener. It may be, with rumors that he is leaving this month, that Silva is not the biggest fan of Prodl, but his alternative options do not inspire great confidence.
Defensively, there are question marks over Watford, but they are playing with more determination now than they had under previous regimes. After sharing the opinions last season, Stefano Okaka had an excellent first game, causing problems with pace and power after returning home the first game. Abdoulaye Doucoure capped a strong midfield performance with a goal and Britos netted the equaliser with the second of two goals from corners.
That will be a concern for the Cherries, who struggled to cope with finishers and long throws last time out, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic the only one to avoid further penalties. On Saturday, the Bosnian could have his work cut out for him again.