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Brighton vs Bournemouth : The Cherries have lost their last four Premier League games without scoring a single goal and have picked up just four points from their last 12 matches, Bournemouth vs Brighton leaving them stranded down in 19th place.
Brighton have struggled for form themselves recently, though, winning just one of their last nine games across all competitions and slipping to 15th in the table.
Can Bournemouth keep in touch with the rest of the Premier League or will Brighton pull away from the bottom three, cutting off the Cherries further? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and more.
Brighton and Hove Albion returned to winning ways with a 2–0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
The Seagulls made seven changes going into the game, including a first Premier League start of the season for Alireza Jahanbakhsh who gave Brighton the lead.
Dan Burn thought he had put the Seagulls 2–0 up after an hour but saw his goal ruled out by VAR for the slimmest of VAR margins.
Brighton did eventually get a second through Aaron Mooy to move further away from the relegation zone, condemning Bournemouth to a seventh defeat in their past nine Premier League games.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored his first Brighton goal in his 27th appearance across all competitions.In doing so he also became just the third Iranian to score in the Premier League, joining Andranik Teymourian and Ashkan Dejagah.
It was also his first league goal for 601 days, previous scoring for AZ Alkmaar vs PEC Zwolle.Brighton have had 11 different goalscorers in the Premier League this season, only Liverpool (16) have had more.Brighton beat Bournemouth for the first time in 11 league games, a run which included a 5–0 defeat in this fixture last season.
Bournemouth have lost seven of their past nine Premier League games, winning once.The win over Bournemouth was Brighton’s sixth of the season and moves them up to 13th, at least until Saturday’s other games are played. But the big test for Brighton now is whether they can build on the victory.
The Seagulls have strung together consecutive league wins just once this season, following a 3–2 win over Everton with a 2–0 victory against Norwich City. But that preceded a three-game losing streak, albeit against Manchester United, Leicester City and Liverpool.
Prior to Saturday, Brighton’s last win came against Arsenal at the start of December, a victory that should have been used to gain momentum but two draws and then two defeats followed. But this could be Brighton’s best chance of stringing a positive run together. Up next is Chelsea at the Amex, with the Blues not in good form at all — regardless of their result against Arsenal on Sunday. If Brighton play without fear the can become the latest team to shock Frank Lampard’s side to start the new decade on a high.
There’s no denying that Eddie Howe has done an excellent job at Bournemouth. When he started his second managerial spell with the Cherries in October 2012 they were 17th in League One, but ended the year second and gained promotion to the Championship; two seasons later, the Premier League.
Bournemouth’s first season in the Premier League was a tough one as they finished 16th but credit was given to Howe for his positive style of play and the promise the Cherries were showing. This was realised the following season as they finished in the top half of the table, scoring 55 goals — only bettered by six of the top seven that year.
Howe’s work saw him linked with a move away from Bournemouth, with Arsenal the most frequently tipped location though he always stayed put on the south coast. However, things have got tougher for Bournemouth as the years passed. In 2017/18 they had dropped down 12th and the following season, their fourth in the Premier League, brought further regression to 14th.
And now, 20 games into the 2019/20 campaign, Bournemouth currently sit 16th, just two points above the relegation zone and could be in the bottom three by the end of Saturday evening. The Cherries have won just five games so far this season, losing 10 with only Norwich and Aston Villa being beaten more in the top flight.