Bournemouth v Brighton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 18, 2018
Vitality Stadium - Premier League
It's a south-coast derby as Bournemouth host Brighton in the Premier League this weekend, with both sides in desperate need of three points. Both sides have lost their last two league games, and with tricky fixtures ahead, Saturday's game is vital.
This tie has provided plenty of entertainment last season, with the most recent meeting between the two sides ending in a 2-2 draw. Anthony Knockhart took the lead for his side within the opening five minutes, before a strike by Steve Cook made it all square at half-time. Once again, Brighton started strongly from the whistle, scoring through Glenn Murray, only for Callum Wilson to earn a point for his side towards the end of the game.
Eddie Howe will revert back to a full strength side, having rested a number of key players in the mid-week cup fixture. This should see the likes of Josh King and Ryan Fraser return for the Cherries, who are with Adam Smith, Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling through injury.
In good news for Chris Hughton, both Jose Izquierdo and Alireza Jahanbakhsh should be fit to feature on Saturday. Both wide players have missed the past few weeks through injury, and their returns will be a welcome boost for Brighton, with a busy festive period on the horizon.
Bournemouth v Brighton Preview and Predictions
A win on Saturday against Brighton could not be more needed for Bournemouth, with their early-season form grinding to a half in recent weeks. Eddie Howe's side have won just one game in their past seven, losing the other six, and subsequently have slipped further and further down the league table. They do go into the game as 47/50 favourites, though.
For Brighton, the first half of the season has be blighted by inconsistency, with a six match spell without a win followed by three on the bounce. December has provided little more clarity for Chris Hughton, who has seen his team win two, but also lose to the struggling Burnley, and get thoroughly outclassed by Chelsea.
This must be frustrating for a manager who has ensured his side's rapid upwards trajectory over the past few seasons, and Hughton will be desperate to discover how to build on impressive performances such as their win over Manchester United. To his advantage, Brighton's lack of a mid-week fixture will allow for a few extra days of preparation, exactly what they need. They go to Bournemouth at around 7/2.
This week's Carabao Cup game could not have come at a worse time for Bournemouth, who need to focus on rediscovering their attacking threat - after two games without scoring. Instead, the Cherries play against a Chelsea side that are unlikely to give the away side much of a sniff, forcing Howe into preparing defensive drills this week.
One small advantage could be the opportunity to rotate his squad. The coach has been relying on a relatively small number of players in the league this season, and if the likes of Jermaine Defoe or Marc Pugh impress on Wednesday, they could feature more heavily.
Overall, Saturday's match should be a relatively even affair, with both sides possessing similar quality and in similar form. As points are a vital commodity for the two sides at the moment, we should be in for an interesting game.
Callum Wilson to score first at 4/1
Despite going off the boil a little, Wilson has been in strong form this season and will pose a threat up top.
A 2-2 draw at 16/1
History could well repeat itself with the teams looking evenly matched.