Saturday, 9 December 2017

What's the best way to get at Crystal Palace?

Bournemouth take on Crystal Palace knowing that a win could push the Cherries well up the table, and yet the Eagles know they have to improve their home record if they are to get out of their situation. Much of Palace's problems have been of their own making. But they are starting to get it together and under Roy Hodgson they are getting their belief back.
Is time up on Crystal Palace's Premier League journey?
The first thing Bournemouth will aim to do is stop Wilfried Zaha from terrorising them. He is the quality in Palace's team and keeping him quite is not going to be down to one Bournemouth player but several. But shackling Zaha alone won't be enough. Yohan Cabaye is another player who can find gas and the crosses of Townsend are just perfect for Christian Benteke if he times his runs well. The aerial battle is something that I expect Hodgson to target, and it is as well that Steve Cook is likely to come back into the Bournemouth side. Bournemouth will need all the height they have it's just a shame that Tyrone Mings is not ready yet to play. We know how good Scott Dann is in the air as well and even if Crystal Palace find it hard to play fluent football they will get set-pieces.

So Bournemouth have to defend well and this season we have seen them improve at keeping set-pieces out. The form of Nathan AkΓ© and the catching ability of Begovic has added some security, but even in recent games some of the defensive headed clearances went virtually know where in Bournemouth's own box. Clearing the lines was a problem all right and it led to Charlie Austin's equaliser, so the Cherries need to do some work on that.

I also believe that Bournemouth will get chances though against this Palace defence that has let in 25 goals from 15 games. But from their last five games, Palace have only conceded four goals. So, there is improvement there for the Eagles.

Meanwhile, AFCB are not scoring goals in any great quantities away from home. The best away result remains the 1-2 away win at Stoke. Getting a second goal in an away match has been a rare event and Bournemouth need to see a sharper and more aggressive desire to get goals than they have been showing if they want to win games.

Possible AFCB line up for Crystal Palace game.
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Simpson, Gosling, Ibe, Pugh, Afobe, C Wilson

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