Defoe pushing for Bournemouth start against Watford

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The former Tottenham and Sunderland striker could make his full debut for the Cherries against the Hornets this weekend

Jermain Defoe is in contention to make his first Bournemouth start in the Premier League against Watford on Saturday.

Eddie Howe's men are at home for the visit of the Hornets as they look to avoid a second consecutive defeat to start the new season.

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Bournemouth lost 1-0 at West Brom last week, a match in which new signing Defoe only appeared as a second-half substitute, but the England striker is now likely to start.

"Jermain didn't have a knock but he felt a tightness in his groin after the Valencia pre-season game," said Howe.

"He felt it until before the West Bromwich Albion game but he came on in that game and is in contention to start this weekend."

Howe comes up against Marco Silva for the second time this year on Saturday having lost to the Portuguese in his first league match in charge of Hull City in January.

The Cherries boss was full of praise for the Watford boss and the way he has adapted to life in England.

"Marco Silva is very friendly, very knowledgeable and did his research on the Premier League so he's got a very bright future," said the Bournemouth boss.

"We have had some really good battles with Watford over the years. 

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"We have won some and they have won some. It is very competitive. We need to get our momentum going and get our tempo going and if we can do that then hopefully we will get a result."

Howe also confirmed he is a fan of Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, who was reportedly subject of a rejected £20 million bid from Bournemouth earlier in the transfer window.

"I made it very clear previously when Demarai was at Birmingham that we did like the player but he's very much a Leicester player now," he said.

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