Premier League Preview – Bournemouth
With the home straight in sight and likely to be one that will stretch the nerves and patience of the most mild mannered of fans, the Eagles head to the South Coast for the final time this season.
An inconsistent but almost safe Bournemouth side are the opponents who will be looking to put paid to any lingering relegation fears.
For Palace, points are needed to stay out of the bottom three which will be the aim each week between now and the end of the season. There are suggestions that two wins will be good enough but as we know only too well, it will be far less stressful if more than enough points are secured.
While Roy Hodgson has bemoaned the lack of luck the club has had this season on the injury front, he knows only too well that there is a job to do regardless. This is where the squad plays its part and even though many have suggested that is an area of weakness for Palace, it is clear that with a number of first teamers missing, the players that have stepped in have done a job to get the club to this part of the season with more than a chance of surviving.
Who needs a season of mid-table obscurity anyway?
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Connor Wickham (groin), Jeffrey Schlupp (ankle), Joel Ward (muscle), Julian Speroni (knee), Bakary Sako (ankle), Scott Dann (knee), Jason Puncheon (knee) are all absent. James Tomkins (calf), Christian Benteke (groin) and Alexander Sorloth (hamstring) are all doubts.
BOURNEMOUTH – Junior Stanislas (knee), Adam Smith (knee) and Tyrone Mings (back) are all unavailable. Lys Mousset (illness) and Steve Francis (hamstring) are doubts.
The last time the two sides met on the South Coast was back in January 2017. It was the Eagles, under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce, that took the win. Scott Dann opened the scoring straight after the half time interval and Christian Benteke sealed the three points with a goal in injury time.
Who Scored man of the match – Christian Benteke (8.4)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 09/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
- 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;
- 31/03/2018 Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
- 17/03/2018 Huddersfield Town 0-2 Crystal Palace
- 10/03/2018 Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace
- 05/03/2018 Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United
- 25/02/2018 Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Last FIVE results for Bournemouth;
- 31/03/2018 Watford 2-2 Bournemouth
- 17/03/2018 Bournemouth 2-1 West Bromwich Albion
- 11/03/2018 Bournemouth 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur
- 03/03/2018 Leicester City 1-1 Bournemouth
- 24/02/2018 Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- James Tomkins 7.23
- Wilfried Zaha 7.18
- Steve Francis 6.96
- Nathan Ake 6.92
ONE TO WATCH
Career map – Senrab, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Bournemouth (loan), Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth (loan), Tottenham Hotspur, Toronto FC, Tottenham Hotspur (loan), Sunderland, Bournemouth.
The obvious choice as the one to watch after his double against Palace earlier in the season. Always a dangerous opponent and while his stint at Bournemouth this season has not been as successful as he expected, his natural eye for goal has seen him triumphant since making his professional debut for West Ham United in 1999. The striker made well over 250 appearances for Spurs in what turned out to be three separate spells in North London where he scored a little under 100 times.
The 35-year-old has appeared for England at under 16, under 18 and under 21 levels before making his full debut in 2004 against Sweden.
Final league position – 13th
The South Coast outfit have done well to pull themselves clear of the bottom three after a poor start to season, worsened only by the Eagles. Points are still needed just to be sure of another season in the top flight but form suggests that the Cherries will finish comfortably above the drop zone and with that, consider the season a relative success even if a little inconsistent.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Cherry Chimes prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – draw
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 7/5
- Draw – 12/5
- Away – 15/8
- Both teams to score – 4/6