This has been a real ‘Jekyll and Hyde` start to our season with two poor performances and defeats against West Brom away and then Watford at home. The next game was at home against big spending Manchester City in front of the Sky cameras. Our team was unlucky to lose after putting up a good performance and looked as though they had turned a corner going into the International break. Back from the break and Eddie took his side up to the Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal who had had a bad run of results after their opening home win against Leicester, finishing up before the International break with a drubbing at Anfield from Liverpool. Our team went back to another poor performance ending up being beaten again, the confidence they showed against Manchester City had gone.
Dean Court is again going to feature live on Sky, this time with a Friday evening game at 8 pm against Brighton who were promoted as runners up from the Championship at the end of last season, Newcastle winning the title by one point. This game is an important one to win, not only because it will give the Cherries their first points on the table, but will give a big boost to the team`s confidence.
Chris Hughton joined Brighton in December 2014 as their manager in the Championship, it was also the season we were promoted as Champions and into the Premier League, Brighton finished in 20th place. In the 2015-16 season Brighton finished in 3rd place with the same number of points as Middlesbrough who were automatically promoted in 2nd place with a better GD. Brighton missed out in the play-offs and Hull City were promoted. The 2016-17 season saw Chris Hughton taking Brighton up into the Premiership, it`s 34-years since they were in the top flight. Brighton`s top scorer last season was our former player Glenn Murray with 23 goals.
Chris Hughton has made no fewer than eleven new signings to strengthen his squad during the Summer. Amongst them are record signing Jose Izquierdo, the Colombia winger signed from Club Brugge for £13.5 million. Dutch midfield player Davy Propper for £10 million from PSV Eindhoven. Matthew Ryan an Australian goalkeeper from Valencia for an undisclosed fee. Two players from German club Ingolstadt, Pascal Gross the German midfield player and Austrian left-back Markus Suttner, also Ezequiel Schelotto the Colombian right-back from Sporting Lisbon. Two players on loan are Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul from Newcastle and forward Isaiah Brown from Chelsea.
Brighton lost their first two games in the Premier League, at home against Manchester City and away at Leicester. They then drew at Watford and in their last game beat West Brom at home. So far they have 4 points on the board and lie in 14th place, 5 places above the Cherries in 19th with zero points.
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
Eddie Howe in his press conference said he wants the side to get back to basics and playing what they know.Eddie mentioned the poor results are not down to the attitude of the players but their performances on the day. He backs us to come through a bad spell. No further injury news, except Callum Wilson isn`t ready to come back yet and Junior Stanislas is back training. On a lighter note when asked between Brighton and Bournemouth beach which did he prefer, sand over stones wins for Eddie.
Player to watch: Jermain Defoe
This is a difficult one with so many players not on their game at the moment. It must be just a matter of time before Jermain Defoe opens his account for the Cherries, hopefully it will be against Brighton, after he hit the woodwork against Arsenal. He has been a regular scorer for Sunderland in the last two seasons and for former clubs plus his country, his experience could be invaluable for our club this season. Jermain, including and since his last time at our club back in the 2000-01 season, has opened his account at all those clubs in his first 3 games.
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:
Bruno their captain and right-back went off in the game against West Brom with a back injury, but according to their manager, Brighton haven`t got any new injury problems, so looks like he may play.
Player to watch: Pascal Gross
Pascal Gross the German midfield player who played the number 10 role, looked strong and scored two goals against a West Brom side who had only conceded one before in the league this season. He also gave the assist for the third goal with a firm pass into the penalty area from out wide which Hemed turned in. Anthony Knockaert will also be a threat, second leading scorer last season.
Match Facts & Stats
The last time we met Brighton was at their place in the season we won the Championship, the Cherries won, we also beat them at Dean Court.
In all our league meetings at Dean Court AFCB have Won 23 Drawn 17 & Lost 10.
In all competitions AFCB have Won 39 Drawn 28 & Lost 37.
Up to this match under Eddie and Jason, Brighton have never beaten us.