PREMIER LEAGUE boff Daniel McCulloch (@danmcc84) delivers his verdict from Friday night's televised encounter from the south coast.
Bournemouth v Brighton | Friday 15th September 2017, 20:00 | Sky Sports
On paper it looked like Bournemouth had a very good transfer window with Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermaine Defoe all joining the Dorset side. Sadly, they are yet to click into gear and after four games, they find themselves pointless and having found the net just once.
More alarmingly their performances in three of those four matches were not of the required standard. When losing games, managers seek positives but the Manchester City game aside it is hard to find many for Eddie Howe’s side.
They created very little against West Brom, Watford and Arsenal and but for some fine saves from Begovic, could have lost all three more handsomely.
On Friday they face south coast rivals, Brighton, who will be buoyant after securing their first Premier League win against West Bromwich Albion last week.
Given Bournemouth’s poor start to the season, I expect a tense atmosphere at Dean Court and given that Brighton boss Chris Hughton generally sets his sides up cautiously away from home, it is hard to envisage a goalfest.
The 41/50 Marathon are 0ffering on Under 2.5 Goals is bigger than I expected but I generally back 2/1+ shots, so my eyes were immediately drawn to the 7/1 William Hill are offering on a 1-0 victory to the home side.
Bournemouth won by this margin at home on three occasions last term and without wishing to offend Brighton fans, I imagine that this will be one of the weakest attacks they face this season.
If the Seagulls do stay up, I expect that it will be largely thanks to their defensive record, as I do not see too many goals in their side.
Jermaine Defoe is yet to get on the scoresheet this term but he did hit the woodwork in last weekend’s loss to Arsenal. Marathon believe there is just a 36% chance of the England striker finding the net on Friday evening and I think that is very kind of them.
To put it bluntly, if Defoe starts games against all of the bottom 11 sides (I believe Brighton will be one of them) I would be shocked if he does not find the net in more than four of those matches. Consequently, I am very happy to take the 7/4 they are offering on him finding the net at any point here.
Bournemouth v Brighton – Bournemouth to win 1-0 (7/1 William Hill)
Bournemouth v Brighton – Jermaine Defoe to score anytime (7/4 Marathon)