With the Premier League making its return to action from behind closed doors this week, Crystal Palace will be hoping to carry on from where they left off in March when they travel to the Vitality on Saturday night.
Last seen prior to the break picking up their third consecutive 1-0 win thanks to a victory against Watford at Selhurst Park, the Eagles previously found themselves in the midst of a three-match top-flight winning run.
On the flip side, while Roy Hodgson’s men might be looking up the table, Bournemouth find themselves in a far more worrying situation at the other end of the Premier League standings.
Marking their return still sat in the bottom-three and failing to record a win in any of their last four top-flight appearances, Saturday’s hosts should also be concerned by their side’s most recent meetings against the Eagles.
With Palace picking up a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, the Londoners have landed back-to-back wins against the Cherries and a similar outcome this weekend can be found priced at 15/8 with Ladbrokes.
Howe demanding defensive resolve
Although they may have put in a much-needed performance at Anfield prior to the break, Bournemouth could only watch champions-elect Liverpool come from behind and snatch a 2-1 win on Merseyside.
Still sat in the bottom-three thanks to their goal difference and recording just a pair of Premier League victories since the middle of December, there is no doubt that Eddie Howe would have been most concerned by his side’s continued issues at the back.
Including what was a woeful trio of thumping defeats against Burnley, Watford, and West Ham since opening 2020, the Cherries have remarkably failed to land a single top-flight clean sheet in any of their last 13 appearances on the bounce.
In fact, shipping at least a pair of goals in each of their previous four contests before the break, including a dreadful 3-0 blitz away at Turf Moor, Bournemouth can be found priced at 7/4 with Bet365 to once again ship over 1.5 goals on their return to action.
Elsewhere, on a more positive note for fans around the South Coast, attacking star David Brooks looks set to make his return this weekend after almost a year on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Palace on the charge?
Last seen back in March when picking up their third consecutive 1-0 victory against another relegation scrapper in Watford, the mood around Selhurst Park was certainly on the rise prior to the enforced break.
Also snatching back-to-back wins off of Newcastle and Brighton, Roy Hodgson’s men sit within touching distance of reclaiming their spot in the top half, and some around South London have even started to whisper about a late top-six charge.
While the former England boss would have been glad to see Jordan Ayew enjoying a stunning run of form prior to the interruption, Hodgson would have undoubtedly been most impressed by his side’s continued performances at the other end of the pitch.
Palace had previously won three consecutive Premier League games without conceding a single for the first time since March 2017.
Also recording a clean sheet in another 1-0 win against the Cherries earlier in the season, Saturday’s guests can be found priced at 12/5 with Betfair to leave the Vitality unscathed this weekend.
Elsewhere, with it being confirmed that nine substitutes will be allowed on the bench for the remainder of the season, academy graduates Brandon Pierrick, Nya Kirby and Tyrick Mitchell are among those expected to travel with the first-team squad.