Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace preview: Palace look to pick off the Cherries to continue excellent run
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Amidst games being postponed all over Europe due to fears of the Coronavirus, Crystal Palace will be hoping their fixture against AFC Bournemouth will go ahead this weekend, as they look to build on their superb run of form that has seen the Eagles in pole position to make this a record-breaking season for the club in the Premier League.

Bournemouth, on the other hand, will be after much-needed points for Premier League survival after dropping into the dreaded drop-zone in recent weeks.

The Cherries have not picked up a win in the League in over five matches since they defeated Aston Villa 2-1 on February 1st.

They will be praying they can get their hands on three valuable points in their fight for survival, just as points become more sought after as the league heads into crunch time of the season.

The Eagles have not won at the Vitality Stadium in over three years and will be hoping to continue their flight up the table to boost their chances of a conceivable Europa League spot.

A win would potentially see Palace move back into the top half of the table and really cement their charge for European football.

Bournemouth, however, would make a gigantic leap towards a consecutive sixth season in the top flight if they were to pick up all three points, as they look to try and establish themselves as a team ready for the fight for survival.

Eddie Howe's side did pick up a very precious hard-fought point against Chelsea two weeks ago, proving they have enough to compete in the League and enough quality to score goals, which is priceless when trying to stay in the Premier League.

They also gave champions-in-waiting Liverpool a closely contested game in the last match, again proving that Bournemouth do have sufficient quality in the side to maintain a top-flight place.

Previous outing

In the last fixture between these two sides, a ten-man Palace side provided an extremely impressive defensive performance to keep Bournemouth at bay for the majority of the game.

After Mamadou Sakho was brandished a red card on the 19th minute for a somewhat careless challenge, which resulted in back-to-the-wall defending for Roy Hodgson's side for the majority for the game.

In spite of the extra man advantage, Bournemouth struggled to breach the Palace backline, and in the latter stages of the match, an excellent Jeffrey Schlupp solo run saw him burst past the Cherries defence and smash the ball past Aaron Ramsdale, making it 1-0 and sealing all three points for the Eagles.

Team News

Palace have reported a clean bill of health ahead of this weekends fixture. It is very likely they will start the same team for a fourth time in a row as unless late injuries prevent this occurring.

The squad welcomed back James Tomkins to contention this week as he has recovered from a hamstring strain, which has seen him sidelined for recent weeks.

In spite of this, his replacement, Scott Dann, who was almost let go in the January transfer window by the club, now finds himself indispensable to Hodgson, after forming a formidable partnership at the back with stalwart Gary Cahill

Palace could be fielding one of their strongest matchday squads this season, as they welcome back valued members of the squad which will give the whole team a boost, as they look to keep the pressure on those above them.  

Bournemouth welcomed back Wales international David Brooks to training this week after having not featured all season through an ankle problem which required multiple operations. 

Although this weekends fixture may have come too soon for the 22-year-old, the boost this would have given Eddie Howe's side may be evident already.

Last season his performances caught a vast amount of attention from the footballing world, and the midfielder will be asked to hit the ground running as he returns to full fitness, to help the Cherries in their bid for survival. 

Bournemouth also welcomed back Netherlands international Arnaut Danjuma, the winger who had been sidelined through a stress fracture on his foot.

His availability will prove a huge asset to Eddie Howe, as he looks for members of his squad to stand up and be counted for as they look to go to war for every point up from grabs.

Another returnee from the injury table could be Joshua King; the forward missed last week's game against Liverpool, however, is expected to return this weekend. That said, he might have to settle for a place on the bench. 

Furthermore, Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson comes back into contention for Howe, after the winger was unavailable to play last weekend through Bournemouth playing his parent club. 

Predicted line-ups

Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Stacey, S Cook, Ake, Smith; L Cook, Lerma, Billing;  H.Wilson, C.Wilson, Fraser.

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Dann, Cahill, Van Aanholt; McCarthy, McArthur, Kouyate; Ayew, Benteke, Zaha.