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Preview: Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, including team news and predicted lineups.

Crystal Palace will be looking for their fourth straight Premier League victory when they travel to struggling Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles have risen into 11th position in the table courtesy of three straight wins, while Bournemouth occupy 18th spot, level on points with 17th-placed Watford ahead of this weekend's fixtures.

Match preview

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe on February 1, 2020© Reuters

There is no question that Bournemouth have performed above expectations since earning promotion to the Premier League for the 2015-16 campaign, and they actually finished ninth at the end of 2016-17.

The Cherries have struggled for consistency this term, though, picking up just 27 points from their 29 matches to occupy 18th position in the table with nine games left.

Eddie Howe's side are level on points with 17th-placed Watford but are very much locked in a relegation battle and have lost three of their last four matches in England's top flight.

They performed well against Liverpool last weekend but left Anfield with zero points, while Sheffield United and Burnley have also beaten them since a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on February 1.

Bournemouth have also only won one of their last seven Premier League matches with Palace although that victory came when they last met at the Vitality Stadium in October 2018.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Palace were in trouble themselves a month ago when a 3-1 defeat at Everton made it nine games without a victory in England's top flight.

The Eagles have recorded 1-0 victories in each of their last three matches, though, overcoming Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford to move out of trouble.

Roy Hodgson's side will perhaps now be looking up the table rather than down as they sit 11th, 12 points clear of the relegation zone and just four points off Sheffield United in seventh.

Palace are only six points off fifth-placed Manchester United, meanwhile, and will fancy their chances of putting a fourth straight victory on the board on Saturday afternoon.

Bournemouth Premier League form: WWLLDL
Bournemouth form (all competitions): LWLLDL

Palace Premier League form: LLLWWW

Team News

Crystal Palace's Mamadou Sakho looks dejected as he leaves the pitch after being shown a red card on December 3, 2019© Reuters

Bournemouth still have a lengthy injury list with Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham and Lloyd Kelly all still on the sidelines.

The match will also come too soon for David Brooks despite the Welshman recently returning to training following a long-term ankle injury, while Joshua King remains a doubt having missed out against Liverpool with a hamstring problem.

Simon Francis could also miss out with a knee injury, but Philip Billing should shake off a back problem to feature for the Cherries in the middle of the park.

Harry Wilson was not eligible to face his parent club last weekend but should start for the hosts here.

Palace have also had their fair share of injuries this season, but Hodgson has had a full group training this week.

Indeed, James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho have now all returned from injury, but it seems unlikely that alterations will be made from the win over Watford.

As a result, Scott Dann should continue alongside Gary Cahill in central defence, while Christian Benteke is again expected to lead the line with support from Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Stacey, Simpson, Ake, Smith; Cook, Lerma, Billing; Fraser, C Wilson, H Wilson

Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Dann, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Ayew, Kouyate, McCarthy, McArthur, Zaha; Benteke

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We say: Bournemouth 1-1 Palace

We are finding it difficult to separate the two teams this weekend. Palace have certainly been in the better form in recent weeks, but we fancy Bournemouth to secure a share of the spoils on home soil.

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Gary Cahill in action for Crystal Palace against former side Chelsea on November 9, 2019
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