Premier League Preview – AFC Bournemouth
The Eagles welcome a Bournemouth side to Selhurst Park this weekend who ended last season in esteemed company having finished in the top ten of the Premier League.
Their start to this campaign has been markedly different having struggled to escape the bottom three until only recently. In that time there has been little talk about the future of boss Eddie Howe which perhaps suggests the excellent job he had done for the Cherries in recent years.
They travel to South London after just one defeat in the last five games which has seen them move up the table to fifteenth place and five points above the bottom three.
In contrast, Palace enter the match up with one defeat in the last six which has seen them make up the gap at the bottom of the table and haul themselves above both Swansea City and West Ham United.
Many plaudits have been passed Roy Hodgson’s way since he arrived and there has been a visable difference to the playing style but much should be said of the players too. They have taken on the former England manager’s views and opinions and put them into action on the pitch which has seen them invigorated which is making teams above them look over their shoulders.
The predicament that Palace found themselves in at such an early stage in the season looked a tough one to recover from. It remains to be seen if that poor start will continue to be a hindrance but Hodgson said upon his arrival that the club needed to catch the teams ahead of them by the January transfer window so that appropriate reinforcements can be brought in to help continue the fight.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Both Scott Dann (illness) and Yohan Cabaye (knock) are doubts while Wayne Hennessey (back), James Tomkins (knock), Chung-yong Lee (muscle) or Connor Wickham (knee) are expected to feature.
BOURNEMOUTH – Brad Smith (hip) and Tyrone Mings (back) will both miss out.
The last time the two sides met was at the Vitality Stadium in January where the Eagles ran out 2-0 wins courtesy of goals from Scott Dann and Christian Benteke.
Who Scored man of the match – Christian Benteke (8.4)
Last FOUR meetings between the two sides;
- 31/01/2017 Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
- 27/08/2016 Crystal Palace 1-1 Bournemouth
- 02/02/2016 Crystal Palace 1-2 Bournemouth
- 26/12/2015 Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 02/12/2017 West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 28/11/2017 Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 25/11/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Stoke City
- 18/11/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
- 05/11/2017 Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Bournemouth;
- 03/12/2017 Bournemouth 1-1 Southampton
- 29/11/2017 Bournemouth 1-2 Burnley
- 25/11/2017 Swansea City 0-0 Bournemouth
- 18/11/2017 Bournemouth 4-0 Huddersfield Town
- 04/11/2017 Newcastle United 0-1 Bournemouth
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.08
- Andrew Surman 7.05
- Josh King 7.03
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 7.03
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Southampton, Walsall (loan), Bournemouth (loan), Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City
The Johannesburg born midfielder began his career in the youth set up at Southampton. He made his professional debut in 2004 and went on to make over a century of appearances for the South Coast side as well as a couple of loan stints at Walsall and Bournemouth.
A move to Wolves took place in 2009 following their promotion to the Premier League but he struggled to secure a regular first team spot and ended up signing for Norwich City in 2010. After a second successful loan spell with the Cherries, he signed for them in 2014 and has made over a hundred appearances to date.
Final league position – 16th
It has been a tough start in a season that looks like being pretty close among the bottom half the relegation places could be available to any number of teams the closer the end of the season gets. It is unlikely that Eddie Howe’s men will replicate or even improve on last seasons top ten finish and he will have to use all of his managerial talents to keep the South Coast from the drop. They should have enough to avoid a dramatic end to the season but a poor run of form or injuries could have quite an impact for any side above the drop zone.
- TEB prediction – home win
- Cherry Chimes prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – home win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – evens
- Draw – 12/5
- Away – 11/4
- Both teams to score – 4/5