Bournemouth vs Brighton: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will be desperate for his side to record their first points of the season when they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Vitality Stadium for Friday Night Football.
Howe’s men have made a shocking start to the 2017/18 campaign, with only Crystal Palace below them in the table. Brighton will travel along the south coast in good spirits and be confident of building on last weekend’s 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
The inaugural Premier League meeting between the Cherries and the Seagulls promises to be a cracking encounter in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
With four defeats from as many matches, the alarm bells are already ringing at Bournemouth. Their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal last time out was arguably the poorest performance of the lot.
The Cherries have scored only one goal to date and have been unrecognisable from the team that served up free-flowing football en route to a ninth-placed finish last season.
Brighton took time to settle down upon their promotion from the Championship, but they are two games unbeaten after following a goalless draw against Huddersfield with their maiden top-flight victory.
Bournemouth have no fresh injury concerns, with winger Ryan Fraser expected to have shaken off an ankle knock in time to feature. Junior Stanislas has returned to training but it still some weeks from being considered for selection.
Seagulls boss Chris Hughton is sweating over the fitness of skipper Bruno, while on-loan Chelsea striker Isaiah Brown could feature. Steve Sidwell and Beram Kayal remain long-term absentees.
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Match prediction: Bournemouth 1-1 Brighton
There has always been an intense rivalry between these two teams, which could result in a feisty affair under the Vitality Stadium floodlights. With Bournemouth’s recent travails in mind, Brighton will fancy their chances of recording back-to-back victories.
However, the hosts are sure to come out with all guns blazing in an attempt to get their season off and running at the fifth attempt. The smart money would be on a draw.