Bournemouth v Crystal Palace – BBC Sport

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side face Bournemouth in the first English top-flight men’s game televised live on the BBC since March 1988

TEAM NEWS

Ryan Fraser has played his last game for Bournemouth after rejecting a short-term contract extension.

However, David Brooks, Steve Cook, Arnaut Danjuma and Lloyd Kelly are all fit, while Charlie Daniels is nearing a return from a long-term knee injury.

Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho is available for the first time since New Year’s Day after a hamstring problem.

Jeffrey Schlupp, Martin Kelly and James Tomkins have all been confirmed as injury absentees.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Wilsonfooty: Crystal Palace’s three successive 1-0 wins just before the pause in the Premier League surely guaranteed them a seventh consecutive season in the top flight, something they have never previously achieved.

Now Roy Hodgson’s hope will be to guide them to a highest league finish since 1991 – anything better than 10th place would do that.

Bournemouth’s immediate future is much less secure. Just 11 points from their past 18 league games has left them in a precarious position. It would have been hard to fathom that when they beat Manchester United in early November – a result which took the Cherries to seventh place.

Six consecutive defeats over the turn of the year seemed to leave Eddie Howe troubled and introspective. But the break and a struggle with home schooling might have helped clear his mind for the task ahead – one which will now be completed without Ryan Fraser after the Scot refused to sign a short-term contract extension beyond its 30 June expiry date.

However, having been in 91st place and broke when Howe first took the manager’s job, Bournemouth have faced more existential crises than this and come through.

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

This game is live on the BBC and I think it is a great example of why this first full set of games is so hard to predict.

Palace are known for making life difficult for teams, but will they do that if this feels like a pre-season friendly? Also, the Eagles are basically safe in mid-table so they are not going to be scrapping for points like Bournemouth will be.

All it takes is one or two of their players to be thinking ‘let’s just get these games out of the way’ for the whole team’s level to drop off. I would not expect that to happen with Roy Hodgson in charge but you cannot be completely sure until you see them play.

As for the Cherries, well they tend to go on very good – or very bad – runs of results but who knows how they will start this mini-season.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro’s full predictions v Sports Team drummer Al Greenwood

Ayew’s eight league goals have been worth 14 points to Palace this season

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Palace are looking to complete a league double over Bournemouth for only the third time. This is the 37th season they’ve been in the same league.
  • The Eagles have won only four of their previous 36 away league visits to Bournemouth (D10, L22).

Bournemouth

  • Bournemouth’s tally of eight points from the past 12 games is the lowest in the division during that period (W2, D2, L8).
  • Eddie Howe’s men have conceded at least once in 12 successive league matches, the longest current run in the division.
  • The Cherries have kept a league-low four clean sheets.
  • They are the only side yet to score in the final 10 minutes of a home league fixture this term.
  • Bournemouth are averaging their lowest possession (44.3%), passing accuracy (75.9%), shots on target per game (3.4) and highest shots on target faced per game (5.3) in any of their five Premier League campaigns.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace can equal the club top-flight record of four successive clean sheets, set from August to September 1970.
  • The Eagles haven’t scored more than twice in any of their 29 Premier League games since a 5-3 win over Bournemouth on the final day of the 2018-19 season.
  • All but 11 of Palace’s 39 points have come against fellow sides in the bottom half of the table (W8, D5, L3).
  • Jordan Ayew has scored the winning goal in five Premier League matches this season, a joint-high alongside Sadio Mane.

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