This weekend’s Premier League action kicks off at the American Express Stadium where Brighton host Bournemouth in the south coast derby during the packed Christmas schedule.
Both teams have struggled in recent weeks and wins have been very rare for both, so it really is a must-win tie here for the two teams.
Bournemouth had a solid draw home to Arsenal on Thursday, while Brighton put it up to Spurs with an especially weakened team for a good portion of the game.
Both teams have just one win in their last five league matches, so you can see why this really is a very important game for both Graham Potter and Eddie Howe.
One player that has stood out for me is Neal Maupay, he gets a lot of chances every game and already has three goals to his name this month.
On top of this, he was rested on Thursday against Tottenham and only featured for 20 minutes from the bench, so he will be nice and fresh for Saturday’s against Bournemouth.
This will really stand to him during a busy and tiring period for a lot of players where games are coming thick and fast.
Add into the equation that Bournemouth have the second most clearances in the league, behind only Newcastle, so Maupay should get a lot of chances in this game to find the net first.
Best Bet: Neal Maupay to score first – 3/1
In the past few weeks Bournemouth have picked up a lot of injuries, they have a total of eight players currently missing, including the likes of David Brooks, Nathan Ake and Jordan Ibe.
Coming into this busy Christmas period they only have a 48-hour break between games, along with playing three games in the space of seven days. This is a lot for any team, but especially tough for a very slim Cherries team who are missing so many squad players.
You must think they really be a very tired squad as they haven’t had the chance to rotate players, unlike The Seagulls who made several changes in their game at Spurs on Thursday.
A win here for Brighton will end their three-match winless streak at home and will put them a precious three points ahead of Bournemouth in the Premier League table.
Taking all that into consideration it’s hard to look past a Brighton win in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Best Bet: Brighton Win – 4/5
* All odds correct at time of posting.