Bournemouth are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss at Burnley when they entertain goal-shy Crystal Palace on Monday at the Vitality Stadium.
Eddie Howe may still be wondering quite how his Cherries team ended up on the end of a 4-0 loss at Burnley last time out in the league.
The Bournemouth boss suggested afterwards that it was ‘not a 4-0 type of game’ and it is tough to disagree. His side had plenty of chances, running into an in-form Joe Hart, before they conceded a late brace of goals that rather flattered Burnley.
Since then Bournemouth, like Crystal Palace, have progressed in the Carabao Cup. The former came through 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers at home, while the Eagles impressed in dispatching another Championship side, West Brom, 3-0 at the Hawthorns.
That three-goal haul was at odds with the league form of Roy Hodgson‘s side. Palace have scored just four goals in their six Premier League games, firing blanks in three of the last four. They’ve been mean at the other end too, it must be said, conceding just six – a tally bettered only by Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Howe will be pleased with Bournemouth’s starts, that Turf Moor beating aside. They have won three of six games, scoring ten times, and could climb as high as sixth with victory here. They already look a solid proposition for a comfortable mid-table finish.
While Palace have struggled to score goals, they will fancy themselves in this one, given Bournemouth have shipped 11 goals in six games. In Wilfried Zaha, the visiting side have a lethal weapon on the breakaway and they may expect to at least get on the scoreboard at the Vitality.
The worry for Hodgson is what happens when Zaha is either quiet or well-marked. He has scored three of their four goals in the league, so if Bournemouth can keep him quiet they are half way to claiming all three points.
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