Jermain Defoe returns to Bournemouth with Sunderland tomorrow – and home boss Eddie Howe believes he will provide the toughest challenge to the Cherries’ defence.
Bournemouth shipped three goals in last week’s disappointing defeat at Norwich, so are determined to bounce back.
But Howe warned his men of the threat the former Tottenham striker offers, saying: “I’ve never seen a better finisher. Our biggest challenge is keeping him quiet.”
Howe was a Bournemouth player when Defoe had a productive loan stint on the south coast at the start of his professional career at West Ham.
And he added: “I remember one of his first training sessions where everythiing he hit found the bottom corner.
“The different type of goals he scored made him special.”
Bournemouth have a win on the board, away to West Ham, and sit on four points, two better off than Sunderland.
Howe added: “We need to be aggressive on and off the ball to get that first (home) win.
“Sunderland were strong last week, very unlucky to lose their last game against Tottenham.”
“We’re under no illusions, these are big games for us.”