After an unlucky loss to Liverpool at Selhurst Park last weekend, Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are back in action this weekend, when they travel to The Vitality Stadium in a game that can go a long way in deciding the future of the club in the top flight. With just 30 points from 32 games, the Eagles are currently in the 17th place, just two points off the drop zone and cannot afford to drop points now.
The Cherries have been in decent form this season, and stand in the 10th place in the table, but have accumulated just seven points more than their immediate opponents. They are fresh from a 2-2 draw against Watford but playing at home, Eddie Howe will believe that his side has what it takes to steal all three points. Palace can move up to 14th if they beat Bournemouth and here is the predicted lineup Roy Hodgson might field for this tie:
In early team news, Palace are still without the services of Jeffery Schlupp, Joel Ward, Jason Puncheon, Scott Dann, Connor Wickham, Julian Speroni and Bakary Sako, all of who are out injured. Alexander Sorloth and James Tomkins are close to returning to training but might not be risked this weekend.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
With Speroni out injured, Wayne Hennessey remains the best option for Hodgson in goal. The English ace is expected to keep his place in the side with Mamadou Sakho and Martin Kelly starting in the CB roles. Both players will have to be at their best to keep the Cherries away from testing Hennessey.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka did not last the whole game against Liverpool but has been effective recently and should retain his place at right-back while Patrick van Aanholt is expected to keep his place at left-back against the Cherries.
Luka Milivojevic scored Palace’s only goal against Liverpool and will have to play a much better role in the middle of the park against Bournemouth. He will start at the heart of the midfield with James McArthur and Yohan Cabaye starting on either side.
The duo adds some mettle and creativity to this Palace side.
Belgian ace Christian Benteke remains the best striker at Hodgson’s disposal and he is expected to lead the Palace line at The Vitality. Wilfried Zaha will be the danger man, starting on the left flank while Andros Townsend will look to add some width to the attack on the right flank.
Here is how they might line up: