Bournemouth and Crystal Palace is a gorgeous match-up for those who are staunch stylists when it comes to footballing approaches.
Either Bournemouth come out of this having slapped Palace around for an hour and a half or Palace have soaked up the Eddie Howe pass count and caught them on the break, only for the pundits at the end to claim Bournemouth deserved nothing because they weren’t incisive enough in the final third.
It feels like we get this every single time two teams like these meet. Let me tell you now – more often than not, it’s the latter that transpires.
Roy Hodgson has had a tough career because of his approach. Bar his spell at England, what really has gone wrong for him bar that blooper of an interview he did a few years ago where he swore at the poor journalist?
This is such a typical Premier League clash that has us all craving a narrative and simplified formula of the team who passes the ball more should win the game.
Well, sadly for the purists, football can be nothing more than a roll of a dice and the inconsistency it brings to our lives is actually what makes us love it even more.
And believe me, Roy Hodgson is the ringleader here, too. With home advantage gone, it seems as though Bournemouth’s miniscule setting won’t come to their aid in what’s otherwise quite an intimidating place to play.
You fancy Palace, don’t you?
The disparity between a penalty being awarded and scored is too big for me to pass on the larger price here.
For all their stylistic differences, the two things that these two sides have in common are forward players with quick feet and heavy-footed defenders.
When you combine the two, you end up with stupid challenges going in around the penalty area. So with the price available for the simple awarding of a spot-kick, I’m fairly happy to take an extra slice of risk to hit in this market.
Jordan Ayew is a goal away from being the most impactful striker at the club since Andy Johnson and there’s a reason for that – he’s playing below himself and revelling in it.
What Ayew has in abundance is composure and pace, which will be ideal given how many one-on-ones that high line of Bournemouth’s seems to hand opposing strikers on a weekly basis.
While the Ghanaian doesn’t spring to mind when you consider the top-end talent at the position in the Premier League, he’s not too many rungs below that upon review of the bigger picture.
The eight goals in 28 doesn’t exactly scream top class, but if you examine the goals and when they were scored, he’s more often than not the difference-maker when the Palace trap, spearheaded by the wily veteran in Roy Hodgson, comes off.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
- All the latest football previews from across the Premier League and Europe are just a click away
- Gunner Go: David Luiz odds-on never to play again in England following City work of art