After contrasting fortunes at the weekend, 11th-placed Crystal Palace welcome 12th-placed AFC Bournemouth to Selhurst Park in the Premier League.
Group EPL Selhurst Park, London, England
Key Stat: Crystal Palace have scored two goals in each of their last five matches against AFC Bournemouth.
Expert Verdict: Crystal Palace recorded an impressive win against Burnley last weekend to end their three-match losing streak, but Bournemouth's defeat to Tottenham means it is now them on a run of three straight losses. Palace are favourites, with home advantage, and can pull away from the Cherries by securing all three points.
Joel Ward is set to miss ‘a number of weeks’ with a knee injury, while Scott Dann is a doubt too after being taken off injured last weekend. The two join Gary Cahill on the sidelines, with the former England defender also recovering from a knee injury. Mamadou Sakho is likely to start at centre-back as a result, with Martin Kelly continuing at right-back.
Jordan Ayew – Three of his four goals this season have come in Crystal Palace victories, with the exception being the 2-2 away draw with Arsenal.
Luka Milivojevic – The captain and set-piece specialist has been tenacious in the middle this season too as Palace look to dominate the midfield battle.
Wilfried Zaha – Back on form with two goals in the last two games, and looking back to his old self in recent weeks too.
Crystal Palace ended a run of three straight defeats, from tricky matches against Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, by beating Burnley away last weekend. After scoring their goal in a 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool, Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring for Palace at Turf Moor and Jeffrey Schlupp sealed victory late on.
Defenders:Martin Kelly, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt
Midfielders:Cheikh Kouyate, Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur
Forwards:Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew, Jeffrey Schlupp
Andrew Surman and Josh King remain sidelined – both are more likely to be back next weekend, but Lloyd Kelly and Adam Smith are targeting a return. David Brooks is also still absent for Bournemouth, however, joining Junior Stanislas on the sidelines. Simon Francis is back from suspension, however.
Harry Wilson – The Liverpool loanee scored two late goals against Tottenham as Bournemouth made Spurs’ sweat late on despite having been 3-0 up.
Callum Wilson – Overtaken in the Premier League goals charts by his namesake, but the England striker still has five for the season.
Ryan Fraser – The Scottish winger’s partnership and link-up with Callum Wilson last season was central to Bournemouth’s success and they need to click again to end this losing streak.
AFC Bournemouth have not won since Josh King’s goal earned a 1-0 victory against Manchester United. They have lost all three games since – a 2-1 away to Newcastle and at home to Wolves and then, last weekend, 3-2 at Spurs despite Harry Wilson pulling two goals back against Jose Mourinho’s side.
Defenders:Steve Cook, Simon Francis Nathan Ake
Midfielders:Adam Smith, Lewis Cook, Jefferson Lerma, Diego Rico
Forwards:Harry Wilson, Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser
The last time these two teams met, on the final day of last season, there were eight goals at Selhurst Park. Michy Batshuayi’s double and a Jack Simpson own goal put Palace well in front, but Jefferson Lerma and Jordan Ibe pulled goals back. Patrick van Aanholt added Palace’s fourth, but Josh King pulled the Cherries back to within one, only for Andros Townsend to seal a 5-3 Palace win. Bournemouth had won their home game back in October, and both teams have now won two of their eight meetings since the Cherries’ Premier League promotion.
Here are the results of their last five matches:
May 12, 2019: Crystal Palace 5-3 AFC Bournemouth
Oct 01, 2018: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace
Apr 07, 2018: AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace
Dec 09, 2017: Crystal Palace 2-2 AFC Bournemouth
Jan 31, 2017: AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace’s victory away to Burnley last weekend gives them a chance to pull away from the bottom half of the table now.
A gap is starting to open up now between the top 11 or 12 and those below, and a Palace victory in this game for either team will keep them the right side of that split.
Palace’s form looks better, however – their four defeats in five matches all came against the current top four – against ‘the rest’ they have been in good form this season.
That was proved by last weekend’s win, in which Wilfried Zaha’s return to form continued – Palace’s star man is firing again and Roy Hodgson’s side step up a level when he is.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, with a lengthy injury list to contend with, have lost their last three games and suffered a more comprehensive defeat to Spurs than the scoreline suggested.
Harry Wilson scored two late goals, but Spurs were 3-0 before that point and held on to win.
Defeat away to Tottenham is nothing to be ashamed of, but the Cherries’ general form has dipped since their win against Manchester United.
Injuries to Josh King and David Brooks, as well as several defenders at different points, do not help Eddie Howe’s cause either.
It all points to Palace continuing to rebuild momentum with a home win – certainly if Zaha maintains his resurgent form, that will be likely.
Crystal Palace have home advantage and come into this match on the back of win. They are a best price of 6/5 favourites with Betway to win as a result.
This fixture tends to produce goals, and over 2.5 goals will return 11/10 with Betfair, while both teams to score has been set at 4/5 with Bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power, 10Bet and 888sport.
Palace to win and both teams to score has been set at 7/2 with Betfair and 888sport.
Wilfried Zaha is back in form for the hosts and, after goals in the last two matches, he is a best price of 3/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair to score at any time.
Crystal Palace got back to winning ways at the weekend and can continue to build their momentum back up with a win in this fixture too.