Crystal Palace vs AFC Bournemouth preview: Both sides improving with respective aims to stay away from bottom three

Crystal Palace vs AFC Bournemouth preview: Both sides improving with respective aims to stay away from bottom three

The two sides are in the bottom half and meet at Selhurst Park tomorrow

Samuel Smith

Both Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth are in improved form following their respective poor starts to the 2017/18 Premier League campaign and they meet tomorrow at Selhurst Park. 

Each side have lost just one of their previous five games but remain in the bottom half of the table following poor form in the opening weeks of the season.

The Eagles lost eight of their opening nine league games, with their only points and goals coming in the shock 2-1 victory against Chelsea in match week eight. They also sacked manager Frank de Boer after just four games but his replacement, Roy Hodgson, has had a positive effect in South London, lifting the club to 18th and within touching distance of safety. 

The Cherries also had a bad start, although not quite as catastrophic as their hosts tomorrow. Eddie Howe's men lost their opening four games before they came back from 1-0 down to beat south coast rivals Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 in match week five. 

Both sides will view Saturday's game as an opportunity to edge further to safety. A Palace victory and a West Bromwich Albion defeat to fellow strugglers Swansea City would put them level on points with the 17th-placed Baggies. Meanwhile, Bournemouth could move them eight points clear of their opponents with a win. 

They met at Selhurst in the third game of last season, a 1-1 draw in which Scott Dann scored a last minute equaliser for the Eagles. The latest meeting was on deadline day in January which Palace won 2-0, handing Sam Allardyce his first victory as Palace boss. 

Team News

The Eagles were forced to name just five substitutes in last weekend's 0-0 draw at West Brom due to an injury crisis. Defenders Dann and James Tomkins pulled out late on with injuries, while Wayne Hennessey suffered a back spasm in the warm-up and was replaced in the line-up by Julian Speroni. The Argentine goalkeeper is expected to keep his place in goal, while Tomkins could be back to partner Mamadou Sakho at centre-back. Yohan Cabaye also missed out last weekend but is expected to return. Connor Wickham and Damien Delaney are long-term absentees. 

Adam Smith's harsh booking for an alleged dive against Southampton last week was his fifth of the season, meaning he misses out for Bournemouth. Simon Francis could move to right-back, allowing Steve Cook to come into the side at centre-back, partnering Nathan Ake. Tyrone Mings, Adam Federici and Brad Smith are long-term absentees.