By 90Min
April 06, 2018

This Saturday sees Bournemouth welcome Crystal Palace to the Vitality Stadium, in what is a crucial fixture for the Eagles' in their battle for survival. In dramatic circumstances, the reverse fixture ended with the two sides sharing the spoils after Christian Benteke missed a last minute spot kick, but both sides are considerably better than they were then. 

Eddie Howe's men have been excellent since the turn of the year after an inconsistent first half of the season, whereas Roy Hodgson's side have lost just one Premier League game against a side outside the top six (Everton) since 28th October 2017. This should be an enticing affair. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash between the Cherries and the Eagles:

Classic Encounter

Ian Walton/GettyImages

Back in 2016, Bournemouth marked their first ever Premier League appearance at Selhurst Park with their first ever win against the Eagles in the Premier League. 

The Cherries fell behind to a 27th minute Scott Dann strike, before hitting back almost instantly through Marc Pugh's excellent effort in the 34th minute. 

With the scores level as the hour mark approached, Eddie Howe's big money January signing in the form of Benik Afobe hit his third goal in as many matches to steal all three points from Alan Pardew's clutches. 

The loss was the Eagles' fifth in a row, and even the introduction of Palace's own January capture - Emmanuel Adebayor - could not salvage them a share of the spoils. 

Key Battle

Jordon Ibe vs Aaron Wan Bissaka

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The south Londoner's woes of late in terms of results have been eased slightly by the emergence of academy boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with the 20-year-old's performances in matches against the big boys proving impressive. 

However, while he has played brilliantly, his opponents in the shape of Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and co. are well documented, so the abilities of Jordon Ibe may not be as obvious to Wan-Bissaka. 

The former Liverpool man has been one of the Cherries' most improved players after a difficult debut season in red and black. The match up could be an interesting watch. 

Team News

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The Eagles should be boosted by the return of James Tomkins, who has performed admirably of late for Palace, while Julian Speroni may be fit again to make the bench. Having said that, it is touch and go whether anyone new returns from injury. 

Connor Wickham suffered a new setback in the form of a groin tweak after returning from his serious knee injury, whereas Hodgson will still be without Jeffrey Schlupp, Alexander Sorloth and Joel Ward. Long term absentees Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Bakary Sako are still out. Christian Benteke suffered a groin issue in training and will need to be assessed. 

Bournemouth are without a few key men of their own. Junior Stanislas is expected to miss this fixture through injury, but they will be boosted by the likely returns of Simon Francis and Lys Mousset. 

Adam Smith and Tyrone Mings will miss out once again. 


Henry Browne/GettyImages

At this stage of the season, motivation and drive plays a bigger part than usual in getting results. Where Bournemouth are sitting relatively comfortable in 10th place on 37 points, they may feel that they are all but safe. Palace, on the other hand, are seven points behind and just two points above the drop zone; perhaps giving the Eagles an added sense of urgency. 

Despite their lowly position, Palace have perhaps the best man for man starting XI in the bottom half, and if they all perform cohesively like they did at Huddersfield recently, the Cherries may not have an answer. 

Bournemouth 1-3 Crystal Palace 

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