Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth Preview
Two sides close to each other will face off on the final day of the season when Crystal Palace host Bournemouth on Saturday.
Palace are in 12th place, a point and a spot above Bournemouth. It has been another satisfactory campaign for Roy Hodgson, and he will want to finish with a flourish. The Eagles were closer to the relegation zone at a stage, but now they have comfort. A top-half finish is still beyond them, however. But they could finish 11th if results go their way elsewhere. They would need West Ham to lose, as the Hammers are three points above them right now.
The Eagles have won three out of their last five Premier League games. Last week they traveled to face Cardiff City, who were on the brink of relegation. Palace won 3-2, and that result meant the end for Cardiff. Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi, and Andros Townsend got the goals for them. Interestingly, it was the fourth team Palace had relegated in the last three seasons. Stoke City, Hull City, and Huddersfield are the previous ones.Embed from Getty Images
Despite their recent form, Palace’s home record is far from impressive. It is the second-worst in the league, and only Huddersfield have been worse on their turf. Palace have won only four games at Selhurst Park. They have collected just 17 points out of the 54 on offer. Their defense has been great. Only the top five sides have conceded fewer home goals. The problem is their attack. Palace have scored only 14 home goals this season, which is the second-worst in the league. If they manage to open the scoring against Bournemouth, they would be confident of defending that lead.
Bournemouth are in 13th place, but the season promised a higher finish. The Cherries have been sub-par this calendar year, which has caused their drop in the table. Injuries to Callum Wilson and David Brooks severely hampered them, but they have looked better of late. Wilson is back in the side, and goals have flown in recent weeks. Bournemouth have scored nine goals in the last four matches.
They beat Tottenham 1-0 last week, courtesy of a late goal from Nathan Ake. Spurs were down to nine men that day, and the Cherries made hard work of the game. Eddie Howe will want to end the season on the high, as he completes his fourth consecutive season in the Premier League.Embed from Getty Images
Christian Benteke is an injury doubt for Palace, as he recovers from a head injury. Batshuayi should get the start if his compatriot fails to heal. Bournemouth have a host of absentees, but some of them can feature against Palace. David Brooks and Dan Gosling both will face a late fitness test before the game.
Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth Prediction
Games have been tight at Selhurst Park, as only 34 goals have been scored there in total. A similar theme should follow on Sunday. Expect the total goals in this one to be less than 2.5. Palace will be good defensively, and a low-scoring affair is expected.
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