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Howe hoping for fitness boost as Bournemouth host Watford

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe hopes to see his injury crisis ease ahead of Sunday’s clash against fellow relegation battlers Watford.

The Cherries boss revealed a couple of players were “getting really close” after the first-team squad were hit by a string of fitness problems, with striker Sam Surridge recalled from a loan spell at Swansea as cover.

Nathan Ake (hamstring), Adam Smith (foot), Callum Wilson (thigh), David Brooks (ankle), Joshua King (hamstring), Jack Stacey (thigh), Arnaut Groeneveld (foot), Charlie Daniels (knee) and Lloyd Kelly (thigh) have all been battling injuries.

Nathaniel Chalobah has shaken off a knock and will be available for Watford’s trip to the south coast.

Chalobah was withdrawn at half-time during last Saturday’s 3-3 draw FA Cup draw against Tranmere, but has trained this week.

Craig Cathcart is also set to feature, but Kiko Femenia (hamstring), Christian Kabasele (suspended), Sebastian Prodl (shin), Daryl Janmaat (knee), Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Tom Cleverley (foot) are all sidelined

Bournemouth provisional squad: Ramsdale, Francis, S Cook, Rico, Mepham, Gosling, Lerma, L Cook, H Wilson, Solanke, C Wilson, Boruc, Simpson, Surman, Stanislas, Fraser, Billing, Dobre, Surridge.

Watford provisional squad: Foster, Cathcart, Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Deulofeu, Deeney, Sarr, Gomes, Dawson, Masina, Foulquier, Chalobah, Pereyra, Quina, Gray, Success.

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