Friday night football returns later this evening as Bournemouth play host to Brighton at The Vitality Stadium. This will be the first ever meeting between the two top flight and this local derby of sorts certainly takes increased importance for the home side.
Eddie Howe’s men are yet to get off the mark this season with four straight defeats, a run of results which has only seen the Cherries score just a solitary goal. In fairness it was quite the strike as Charlie Daniels fizzed a volley past Ederson but it would end up being all in vein as Manchester City would snatch a dramatic winner thanks to Raheem Sterling.
Last weekend they were soundly beaten by Arsenal and questions have been continunally asked as to what is happening with a side that settled into their first two seasons of Premier League action very admirably. They managed to brush aside any worries that ‘Second Season Syndrome’ may have produce but maybe those symptoms have been delayed by a few months.
It is almost imperitive that Bournemouth find some sort of positive result, there is absolutely no suggestion that Eddie Howe is in danger of losing his job but five defeats in a row will certainly be a difficuly pill to swallow and the opposition they face tonight will have their tails up after earning a first win of their own last week.
Brighton may have got off the mark before the international break with a draw away at Watford but they were still without their first goals of the Premier League campaign. That barren run finally came to an end at home to West Brom when they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in front of their own fans.
It is that home form that is going to be pivotal to their success, success that is ultimately defined by staying this up. Chris Hughton and his backroom staff will look to Bournemouth’s model over the past couple of the seasons as something that they want to emulate and eventually establish themselves in the top flight.
That said Brighton cannot only rely on just picking up points at home and they will have identified this evening as a fixture that they can certainly get something from especially as Bournemouth’s form is non existent at the start of the campaign.
Jermaine Defoe has yet to open his account for his new club and the longer that goes on the more frustration will have set in for the former Tottenham forward. He is yet to find anywhere near the form that gave Sunderland even a glimmer of hope in what was a miserable campaign last season and the longer the drought continues any flickering hopes of getting to Russia next summer will have surely extinguished.
Whether it is a must win game for Bournemouth can be argued but what is unquestionable is that it has become a must not lose tie. There is very little to split the two sides at present, the home side will have the bigger names on paper but those names are yet to have earned any points. I hava feeling this one may well end up with both teams picking up a share of the points.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
Time for some early weekend 'Scientific Polls'
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 13, 2017