Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
Vitality Stadium is the venue as Bournemouth and Crystal Palace go head-to-head in a mid-table Premier League six-pointer.
Bournemouth’s hopes of avoiding getting sucked deeper into a Premier League relegation fight took a blow on Boxing Day as they lost 2-0 at Chelsea, marking their fifth defeat in six league matches (W1). With Gary O’Neil’s honeymoon period officially gone, the ‘Cherries’ will hope to end an underwhelming run of three consecutive top-flight H2H defeats against Crystal Palace and at least preserve a fragile three-point lead on 18th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. But after failing to find the net in four of their last seven Premier League home outings (W2, D2, L3), that could prove easier said than done. There’s still a silver lining because this fixture will take place on New Year’s Day, with Bournemouth being victorious in their last two league matches played on this day.
Meanwhile, two red cards played a massive role in Crystal Palace’s dreadful 3-0 home defeat to Fulham earlier this week, condemning Patrick Vieira’s men to back-to-back Premier League matches without a fashioning a shot on target (L2). Playing outside Selhurst Park may only amplify Vieira’s fears over his job security, with the ‘Eagles’ going winless on eight of their last nine Premier League travels (D4, L4). More importantly, Palace’s scoring woes have seen them draw a blank in four of their five most recent away league matches, casting doubt on their hopes of improving a decent Premier League H2H record against Bournemouth (W4, D4, L2). On the bright side, they have kept this opposition goalless in three of their five away encounters in the Premier League, a feat they’ve failed to accomplish on their last three top-flight travels.