By 90Min
December 08, 2017

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth travel to south London this Saturday to face a resurgent Crystal Palace side who find themselves off the foot of the Premier League table for the first time this season, with the Cherries looking for a win having gone three games without. 

The Eagles are four games unbeaten at home under Hodgson, having not lost a game at Selhurst Park since the 70-year-old's arrival, impressively scoring two goals in each tie after not netting in any of their first seven league matches. 

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Bournemouth have been slightly underwhelming so far this campaign and find themselves in 14th place, despite recruiting well in the summer, with the majority of the club's fans under the impression that their season hasn't really caught fire yet. 

Anyhow, both sides possess exciting individual players coupled with unsure backlines, which should supply all the ingredients for a tasty affair in south London this weekend. 

Here's everything you need to know about Saturday's encounter... 


Classic Encounter 

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Apart from an enthralling 3-2 win for Bournemouth over the Eagles back in 1989, a game in which literally no information can be found online, a historic encounter back in 2015 saw the Cherries and the Eagles face off for the first time ever in the Premier League. 

The game itself wasn't quite as entertaining as the one back in 1989, but nevertheless was an eventful encounter which saw Crystal Palace sat in fifth place on Boxing Day following their point at Dean Court, above the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool.

In reality, this game was a turning point for Palace in the worst possible way as the wheels began to fall off in the charge for Europe and eventually led to the south Londoners earning the unwanted record of the worst team in all of England for 2016 the following year.


Key Battle  

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Callum Wilson vs Mamadou Sakho 

This creaking Palace backline does not enjoy coming up against rapid players, and in Callum Wilson, Bournemouth have one of the quickest in the league. 

Apart from Jeffrey Schlupp, the likes of Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins and Scott Dann do not possess blistering pace or exceptional balance, meaning Wilson could quite easily find himself with a few chances in this weekend's encounter. 

Additionally, after scoring four goals in five games this season - including a hat-trick against Huddersfield -  Wilson is in decent form. 

Sakho will have to be at his imperious best to read the game against the Bournemouth forward, as if he allows him in behind, there's no catching him. 


Team News 

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After being without Yohan Cabaye, James Tomkins, Scott Dann and Wayne Hennessey for the draw at West Brom last week, Roy Hodgson will be hoping all four will be fit for the clash against Bournemouth. 

Hennessey limped out of the warm up at the Hawthorns with a back spasm but returned to training on Thursday and is in contention. 

Joel Ward is a doubt for Saturday due to a slight groin niggle felt in training, whilst James McArthur suffered a virus early in the week but has since returned to training. 

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Cabaye has trained all week and looks to have recovered from his knock, as has Dann from illness, although Tomkins still remains a doubt. Connor Wickham and Lee Chung-Yong are also absent. 

Adam Smith misses this game for the Cherries after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Southampton, whilst Howe will also be without Adam Federici, Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings through injury. 


Prediction


Given the fact that the Eagles are unbeaten under Hodgson at Selhurst Park, coupled with the Bournemouth winning just once away in the league this season, the odds point in favour of a home win this weekend. 

Palace will be within two points of the Cherries with a win, so their motivation to catch the pack in front of them after their abysmal start should be extremely high, whilst Bournemouth find themselves languishing with inconsistency.

Oh, and Jermain Defoe is currently sitting on 199 league goals, so you just know he'll notch against Palace; a team notorious for gifting people records or ending barren spells. 


Crystal Palace 2-1 Bournemouth

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