BOURNEMOUTH welcome Crystal Palace to Dean Court for Monday Night Football. Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) previews the encounter, picking out his best bets.
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace | Monday 1st October 2018, 20:00 | Sky Sports
I’ve been impressed by Bournemouth so far this season. The Cherries enjoyed their best-ever start to a Premier League campaign when picking up seven points from their opening four fixtures (W2-D1-L1) and Eddie Howe admitted he was frustrated his side hadn’t actually picked up.
Having overcome Cardiff on the opening weekend, Bournemouth won away at West Ham before being held by Everton at home. Before the international break the Cherries went down 2-0 at Chelsea but the south coast club put in an usually strong and gritty defensive effort before conceding with 18 minutes to play.
Leicester were beaten 4-2 at Dean Court to cement their position inside the top-half, although last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Burnley wiped out Bournemouth’s positive goal difference. While the victory over the Foxes was kinder than the final score suggested, the Turf Moor reverse was harsh on the balance of play.
The Cherries fired in 18 attempts, landing six on-target in Lancashire. Nevertheless, the impressive front trio of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Josh King unusually lacked a cutting edge in the final-third. A return home should solve such issues with Bournemouth netting in 47/60 (78%) of games here since promotion.
Even so, the same defensive lapses continue to dog Howe’s charges. The hosts have conceded more than 60 goals in each of the past three seasons and have only silenced a toothless Cardiff outfit thus far. In fact, since the start of last season the home side have managed a paltry four shutouts from 22 on home soil.
Over 2.5 Goals appeals at the prices
Nevertheless, 15 (68%) of those fixtures paid out for Over 2.5 Goals backers and a repeat has to appeal at 4/5 (888) despite Crystal Palace’s consistently low-scoring encounters in 2018/19.
The Eagles have only once crossed the Over 2.5 Goals whitewash this season and produced just 10/22 (45%) profitable Overs selections on their travels since the beginning of last season. Roy Hodgson’s troops pitch up having silenced Huddersfield and Newcastle in their last two league outings.
Palace earned four points from those fixtures, and it should have been more following a dominant display against the Magpies last time out. Mamadou Sakho somehow contrived to miss an open goal at Selhurst Park, continuing an on-going theme of the Eagles underperforming in the final-third.
The visitors are still too reliant on star man Wilfried Zaha; the in-demand forward has scored three of the Eagles’ four Premier League goals. Even so, Palace should be confident of getting on the scoresheet on Monday night with Bournemouth boasting just three shutouts in 31 top-tier tussles.
Since promotion, 16/28 (57%) of Bournemouth’s home encounters with bottom-half have produced three or more goals, while last season’s meetings between the two clubs both ended 2-2. Meanwhile, in 2018/19 the duos collective contests are averaging 2.97 Expected Goals from open play, adding further weight to a goals-based bet.
Drama with Dean
Perennial twerp Mike Dean has been given the whistle for this and while he’s averaging 45 Bookings Points from his first four fixtures – and has dished out at least three cards in 21 (72%) of his past 29 Premier League games dating back to the start of last season – there’s not a huge amount of value to be gleaned.
Zaha has already been carded three times this season and will no doubt attract plenty of attention due to his theatrics. Looking at his record from 2014/15, the Ivorian international is averaging a card every 4.51 matches, which makes the 9/2 (Unibet) available reasonably appealing.
The 9/2 suggests there’s just an 18% chance he finds his way into Dean’s notebook, which ordinarily would appear fabulous value. However, being booked three times already this term means I’m less inclined to get involved.
I’m surprised to see Bournemouth centre-half Steve Cook as big as 6/1 (Bet365). The odds imply just a 14% chance of the skipper picking up a card; he’s yet to be yellow carded this term, but the Cherries defender has been booked at least five times in each of the past five seasons – averaging one every 6.46 outings – and will be up against Zaha's trickery. Perhaps he’s due.
David Brooks is as big as 4/1 (Betfred) is score at anytime. The Welsh starlet is yet to get off the mark for the Cherries but it’s not been for the will of trying. The former Sheffield United playmaker is averaging 2.84 shots per-game across his five starts, generating 1.83 xG.
Only Callum Wilson is averaging more attempts per-match and Brooks has already unleashed 12 strikes from open play. What’s more, the 21-year-old has taken on set-piece duties and so can be considered a serious threat from dead-ball situations outside of the penalty area.
With that in mind, it might be worth having a small interest poke on Brooks to score from outside the box at an outlandish quote when prices are available on Monday. But in the meantime, I’m happy to back the talented youngster to score at the 4/1 (Betfred) available, odds that imply just a 20% chance of success.