WITH all but six of their previous 48 league meetings having taken place in the bottom two divisions, today’s clash on the south coast serves as a reminder of just how far Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth have come in recent years.
The Cherries are in just their third top-flight season while the Terriers had not been at this level for 45 years before taking on Crystal Palace back in August.
Both, therefore, can look back with pride on a rise so rapid that it is just over six years since they met in the League One play-off semi-finals.
The task facing Town, who prevailed on penalties only to lose the 2011 final, is to emulate Bournemouth in establishing their place among the elite.
“This is our aim, and I can see this is possible,” said head coach David Wagner about following Bournemouth counterpart Eddie Howe’s lead.
“I cannot guarantee it, but we will work as hard as we can. We have a chance. We focus only on the next game, take it step by step, be brave, confident and humble. We have a chance to stay up, that is for sure.
“Bournemouth are a good team with a great manager. They like to play football on the grass, but I think we are prepared. We will try to give them a difficult match and show we are able to get points away (from home).”
Wagner, however, insists this desire to emulate today’s hosts is where the similarities end between their respective rises.
“Everyone has done it in their own way,” he said. “Bournemouth did it differently. They have a Russian owner with a lot of money. We have a local owner (Dean Hoyle). We have done it our way and in our style.
“Both ways were successful and now I am very happy to meet Bournemouth for the first time. I like their football, but we want to beat them in this game.”