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Jermain Defoe set for Cherries start

Jermain Defoe set for Cherries start

Jermain Defoe will make his first start for Bournemouth in a much-changed line-up for the Carabao Cup tie against Birmingham.

The England forward has been named amongst the substitutes for the first two matches of the season due to him lacking match fitness but will be in the starting XI at St Andrew's on Tuesday.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe confirmed he would rotate the team for the second round tie so the likes of defender Tyrone Mings, midfielders Dan Gosling and Marc Pugh could come into contention for a start, along with French forward Lys Mousset.

Captain Simon Francis, however, is not expected to feature until after the international break as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Forwards Junior Stanislas (groin) and Callum Wilson (knee) also continue their rehabilitation.

Howe says Tuesday's clash at Birmingham is a great chance for some of his fringe players to stake a claim for a starting berth in the Premier League as he looks to freshen up the squad after back-to-back defeats to West Brom and Watford.

He told the Daily Echo: "We have always viewed this competition as a chance to see some different players and to see how the younger players are developing.

"At this stage of the season, to give them a game is key but also with the view to winning the game.

"We don't want to go out of the competition. I have made that very clear in previous years.

"The ideal thing is that the young players, or whichever players you bring into the game come in and leave an impression that then forces them closer to the Premier League team."

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