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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V AFC BOURNEMOUTH

1 January 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion play their second match in the space of just three days when they welcome AFC Bournemouth to the Amex this afternoon, kick-off 12.30pm.

TEAM NEWS:

Albion have no fresh injury concerns heading into the game, with Steve Sidwell (back) the only long-term absentee.

For Bournemouth, Jermain Defoe (broken ankle), Junior Stanislas (hamsting), Ben Smith (hip) and Tyrone Mings (back) are all ruled out. Joshua King is also a major doubt for the game after picking up a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Everton.

REVERSE FIXTURE:

Anthony Knockaert in action against Bournemouth

The Seagulls succumbed to a third league defeat of the season after a narrow 2-1 loss to the Cherries in Dorset in September.

Albion took a well-deserved lead in the match through Solly March, who headed home from a Pascal Gross cross, following some brilliant link-up play with Anthony Knockaert.

But Bournemouth struck back twice to seal all three points, as Andrew Surman latched onto Jordan Ibe’s back-heeled assist and fired his shot past Mathew Ryan.

Ibe then claimed another assist to play Defoe through on goal, and the latter produced a clinical low, driven finish to give the hosts a 2-1 win.

FORM:

ALBION: Chris Hughton’s men have claimed one win, one defeat and one draw in their last three games, following a 1-0 victory over Watford, a 2-0 loss to Chelsea and a goalless stalemate with Newcastle United.

The point secured at St James’ Park ensured Chris Hughton’s men ended a run of three consecutive defeats on the road, after they were also beaten 2-0 by Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur during December.

The win over Watford just before Christmas means the Seagulls head into today’s game searching for back-to-back home victories for the first time since September, when West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle were dispatched 3-1 and 1-0 respectively at the Amex.


AFC BOURNEMOUTH: Bournemouth head into the game following a 2-1 victory over Everton on Saturday, a result which ended a run of eight league matches without a win and moved the Cherries out of the bottom three into 14th.

The Cherries had endured a tough festive period before Saturday; a thrilling 3-3 draw with fellow relegation rivals West Ham United came after two heavy 4-0 defeats away at Manchester City and at home to Liverpool.

Despite an impressive performance against Manchester United, Eddie Howe’s men still left the north west empty handed with a 1-0 defeat. The month of December began with 2-2 and 1-1 draws against Crystal Palace and Southampton respectively.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

NEWCASTLE 0

ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross; Murray (Hemed 60).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Goldson, Schelotto, Kayal, Izquierdo, Baldock.

LAST TIME OUT: AFC BOURNEMOUTH

Ryan Fraser celebrates scoring the first of his two goals.

LAST TIME OUT: AFC BOURNEMOUTH

AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2
Fraser 33, 88

EVERTON 1
Gueye 57

Bournemouth line-up: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Smith; Ibe, Cook (Arter 78), Gosling, Fraser; King (Afobe 39); Wilson (Mousset 85).

Subs not used: Boruc (GK), Pugh, Daniels, Simpson.


PLAYER TO WATCH: Callum Wilson

Callum Wilson

Following a tough ten-month spell on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Wilson made his first start in the side back in October, scoring in a 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup.

Since then, the 25-year-old has not looked back, with the highlight so far being his hat-trick in a 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Huddersfield back in November.

Wilson came to the Cherries’ rescue again on Boxing Day, when his last-minute strike ensured a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw with West Ham at the Vitality Stadium.

With Defoe ruled out for the foreseeable future with a broken ankle, Wilson is likely to lead the line for the match at the Amex.


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