With Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion both having what you might call a seesaw season this year – which predictably has landed them roughly in the centre of the Premier League standings – there’s a sense that this one really could go either way and have a big impact on the mid-range of the league table. With mere points between these teams, every match counts, so we’ll be hoping to get a fiery performance from both for some quality football.
A lot of this though does depend on Bournemouth getting out of their recent rut. The team has lost all but one of their last eight matches. Meanwhile, Brighton has retained the kind of consistency we’ve seen in their excellent victories against Crystal Palace and Wolves, and even in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea. But if both bring their A-game, we could be onto an excellent match up.
Bournemouth vs Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction: Bournemouth 1-0 Brighton
When we look at both of these teams in terms of their recent performances and results, you could certainly make the argument that Brighton have looked better. However, seasons aren’t won or lost in a month and overall, Bournemouth have been more impressive on the pitch. Admittedly, they haven’t shone in every game and Brighton certainly have a decent chance here, but in terms of what they bring to the field on your average match, Bournemouth do seem to edge ahead.
With that in mind, we’re going to agree with the consensus here and say that Bournemouth are most likely to walk away with the victory. However, we think it will be tough going, and a 1-0 scoreline is all they will manage.
Our recommended tip: Bournemouth win to nil
Despite Brighton having their reasons to remain cautiously optimistic, the odds do make them the underdogs here. They go into this contest with a 23% win probability to Bournemouth’s 50%. At Ladbrokes, the home side enjoy good match odds of 20/23, with Brighton presenting a much more high-risk wager with 16/5 odds of a win. However, we recommend that those wanting to back the favourites go slightly higher risk with their wager and bet that they will win to nil for a higher potential ROI with odds of 11/5 on this result.
These two have battled in a little over 100 matches dating back to 1923. In that time, the amount of games that separates their overall winning percentage is just three in favour of Bournemouth. That is next to nothing considering that timeframe.
On the other hand though – and likely a factor in the home team’s position as favourites – is that despite their last match in 2018 going to a 2-2 draw, Bournemouth managed four straight victories in a row before that. You have to go back a decade to League One to find a Brighton win. History may look upon them as equals overall but in recent matches, there’s little doubt who holds the advantage.
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Players to watch: Callum Wilson & Solly March
Bournemouth: Callum Wilson
Looking to the sunnier days of Bournemouth’s season, one name stands out above the rest, and that’s the consistently impressive Callum Wilson. It’s no coincidence that he was responsible for the last time they did manage to hit the back of the net. With rumours of his sale in January being dismissed, we can now look forward to seeing what Wilson is capable of in this match and beyond.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Solly March
Many Brighton & Hove Albion fans have been guilty of underestimating Solly March, who has been criticised often without anywhere near enough justification. March may have scored his first goal of the season but it’s his assists which really make him stand out from the crowd, with a wonderful example of this being is his role in both goals in their recent 2-1 win over Huddersfield. Keep an eye on March to appreciate just how valuable an asset he is to the Brighton squad.