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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BOURNEMOUTH V ALBION

13 September 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Tomer Hemed training with his team-mates during the week.

Brighton & Hove Albion will look to record back-to-back victories in the Premier League on Friday evening, when they travel to the Vitality Stadium to play AFC Bournemouth, kick-off 8pm.

The Seagulls took all three points when West Bromwich Albion visited the Amex last weekend, while the Cherries are yet to get off the mark, after losing their opening four fixtures.

Pascal Gross scored the club’s first-ever Premier League goal against the Baggies, before adding another, and Tomer Hemed notched a third as the game finished 3-1 on the south coast.

Albion manager Chris Hughton confimed there are no fresh injury concerns ahead of Friday's game, however Izzy Brown trained yesterday [Tuesday] after returning from Chelsea.

Steve Sidwell (back), Sam Baldock (calf) and Beram Kayal (fibula) all remain unavailable for selection, as they continue their recoveries from injury.

Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser is doubtful for Friday’s game after coming off with an ankle injury against Arsenal last weekend.

Simon Francis (hamstring) will be pushing for a starting position after playing the second half at the Emirates Stadium, however striker Callum Wilson (cruciate ligament damage) remains sidelined.

FORM:

ALBION: Goals from Pascal Gross (2) and Tomer Hemed secured Albion’s first-ever Premier League victory last weekend, as Chris Hughton’s team gave an impressive performance at the Amex.

The 3-1 victory came after the season’s first international break, which started after Albion picked up their opening point of the campaign, in a goalless draw against Watford at Vicarage Road.

The season began with back-to-back 2-0 defeats for the Seagulls, firstly against Manchester City at the Amex, before Leicester City sealed a comfortable win at the King Power Stadium.

Hughton’s side also progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 victory against Barnet, which set up a third-round meeting with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium next Tuesday.

BOURNEMOUTH: The Cherries have played against three of the same teams that Albion have met after just four games, beginning with West Brom at the Hawthorns, where they were edged out 1-0 on the opening day of the season.

Eddie Howe’s team returned home in their following fixture, but Watford sealed a 2-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium, before the Dorset club progressed to the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 away win against Birmingham City.

After taking the lead against Manchester City, Gabriel Jesus equalised for Pep Guardiola’s team, before Raheem Sterling scored a dramatic 97th-minute winner on the south coast.

Arsenal were next to condemn Bournemouth to another defeat, as they secured a comfortable 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION





ALBION 3
Gross 45, 48
Hemed 63

WEST BROM

Morrison 77

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno (Rosenior 62), Duffy, Dunk, Suttner; Knockaert, Propper, Stephens, March; Gross; Hemed (Murray 83).

Subs not used: Maenpaa, Huenemeier, Izquierdo, Murphy, Skalak.


LAST TIME OUT: BOURNEMOUTH




ARSENAL 3
Welbeck 6, 50
Lacazette 27


BOURNEMOUTH 0


Bournemouth line-up: Begovic; A Smith, S.Cook, Ake, Mings (Francis 46), Daniels; Arter, Gosling; Fraser (Ibe 39), Defoe (Mousset 71), King.

Subs not used: Boruc (GK), L.Cook, Pugh, Surman.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Jermain Defoe



The clinical striker signed for the Cherries this summer, adding firepower to Eddie Howe’s options in the attacking third, following a spell at Sunderland last season.

Known for his sharpness in front of goal and pace in behind opposition defences, Defoe currently occupies seventh position in the all-time Premier League goalscoring table, with 158 goals for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Sunderland.

The 34-year-old is yet to get off the mark for the Cherries, but his experience and knowhow in the Premier League will surely mean that it’s just a matter of time until he finds the back of the net.

The forward has also scored 20 goals in 57 international appearances for England, with his strike against Slovenia in 2010 sealing qualification to the knockout stages of the World Cup in South Africa.


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