Crystal Palace v Bournemouth: match preview and predicted line-ups
Although it is only early days, this match sees the Premier League’s bottom two come face-to-face at Selhurst Park. Neither side are favourites for the drop but both managers will be looking to pick up a victory to ensure that they avoid becoming stuck in a losing cycle which could see them dragged into a relegation fight later in the campaign.
Both sides may have lost their opening two fixtures but there should not be too much cause for concern on either behalf.
Crystal Palace opened with a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion before a late Victor Wanyama goal subjected Alan Pardew’s men to a second straight 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. A 2-0 win over League Two Blackpool in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night should have boosted the Eagles’s spirits slightly ahead of this one, though.
As for Bournemouth, they may have been comfortably beaten 3-1 by a rejuventated Manchester United on the opening weekend, but their performance against West Ham United last Sunday will provide them with some hope. The Hammers may have come out on top with a 1-0 victory, but it was only when Harry Arter was sent off in the 77th minute that Slaven Bilic’s side managed to eventually break down the Cherries. Eddie Howe’s side also managed to avoid a potential banana skin up at Morecambe on Wednesday night, triumphing 2-1 in their EFL Cup tie with the Shrimps thanks to goals from Max Gradel and new signing Marc Wilson.
Crystal Palace predicted starting XI Bournemouth predicted starting XI
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Christian Benteke is expected to make his Premier League debut for Palace after signing for a club record fee earlier in the week. Steve Mandanda and James Tomkins could also make their first league starts for the club after featuring against Blackpool on Tuesday night, but Fraizer Campbell (hamstring), Bakary Sako (thigh), Sullay Kaikai (knock) and Jonathan Williams (ankle) are all likely to miss out.
After his goal in midweek, new boy Marc Wilson could make his Premier League debut for Bournemouth following his move from Stoke City. Harry Arter will also be available for selection after his one-game suspension fortunately meant he would miss the Morecambe game instead of the trip to Selhurst Park, whilst Tyrone Mings (knee) and Junior Stanislas (groin) both remain sidelined with injuries.
On paper this one hardly looks like it is going to be a riveting thriller, with both sides having scored just one goal between them in their opening two fixtures. However, the game should feature plenty of talented, young attackers with blistering pace and the ability to counter-attack, so it would not be entirely surprising to see an end-to-end game on Saturday. Palace have only won twice in the league in 2016 and also possessed the third worst home record in the Premier League last season, whereas Bournemouth managed to pick up more points on the road than they did at Dean Court. Still, we predict that Alan Pardew’s men should possess enough quality to get their first win of the season in this one.