Preview: Bournemouth v Southampton

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Bournemouth have a chance to consolidate their place in the top half of the Premier League when they host Southampton on Sunday.

The Cherries moved up to 10th position after a 1-0 win over defending league champions Leicester City on Tuesday and could leap up to seventh with a victory over the Saints.

Eddie Howe's side have won three of their last five games and will look to build on that form as they move into the crunch Christmas period.

"We are back to 10th now and the motivation for us is to try to keep moving up the league," Howe said at a press conference.

"The challenge for me is to improve the team and I have made that very clear all year, our target was to improve on last season.

"I haven't for a second thought about Europe, just about Southampton because we are trying to win this game."

The hosts should have Callum Wilson available again on Sunday, after the forward was substituted in the second half of the Leicester game.

Meanwhile, the Saints have lost only once over the last six fixtures and are unbeaten in their last three. Their most recent result was a goalless draw at Stoke City in midweek.

Claude Puel's charges are ninth in the standings, only above Bournemouth on goal difference, and are also targeting seventh position.

Southampton will be without star player Charlie Austin for up to four months with a dislocated shoulder, and Puel admitted his teammates will need to step up to fill the void.

"It is important all the players take (responsibility) without Charlie. All the players can take his place," Puel said in a press conference.

"Of course it is difficult to play without Charlie because he scores a lot of goals for us. It is important now to look forward with other players."

Austin has scored six league goals for the Saints this season, double the amount of second-highest scorer Nathan Redmond.

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