With this weekend reserved for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, no Premier League matches will take place. To help keep the top-flight season ticking over, we enjoy a midweek round of action from the top division of English football. 10 games will be played between Tuesday and Thursday.
Half of those 10 fixtures will be shown live on TV thanks to BT Sport. That’s great news for armchair fans and it will also catch the attention of those wishing to spice up their viewing with a bet. Bookmakers offer several markets on each match. Our team preview Bournemouth vs Brighton, looking at best odds before making our predictions and tips.
Cherries Struggling for Form
Bournemouth has struggled for form so far this season and entered 2020 down in the relegation zone, struggling to keep afloat. Having revisited their season goals earlier this year, Bournemouth’s coaching staff and board would have pinned avoiding relegation as their priority in the second half of the campaign. The Cherries must avoid the bottom three at all costs, holding onto their place in the top division. Premier League football is where the money is and that’s where the club must stay.
The hosts have struggled to put points on the board of late, suffering a dreadful run of form during the festive period and into the new year. 2020 began with a painful 4-0 beating by West Ham in East London, a result that caught many off-guard. The Hammers have been poor of late but had more than enough in reserve to hand out a convincing beating to Bournemouth.
The Cherries bounced back with a 4-0 home win over Luton in the FA Cup but were then on the wrong side of a 3-0 at the same venue when lowly Watford came calling. Another red flag result. The home win has been written off by traders, 17/10 served up by 888Sport. Punters stuck on the fence will enjoy the 5/2 – top price at Betfred – for a level finish.
Seagulls Shocked in the FA Cup
Brighton is higher in the league table than their hosts, but they aren’t too much better off in terms of recent form. The Seagulls have problems of their own and know if they can’t arrest the slump, they are stuck on they could be pulled down towards the relegation zone and quickly. If they can collect the three points, however, Brighton will put distance between themselves and the danger area. This is a match they will enter believing they are good enough to win.
The visitors lacked consistency during the festive period, but they did start the year with an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. They had been written off by just about everyone going into that game but battled hard and were fully deserving of the draw picked up the end of the contest. Chelsea had the better chances, but their young attackers failed to make them pay. Brighton proved, once again, a 1-0 lead is always fragile.
Brighton were then spotted returning to earth with a bump when knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday at home, beaten 1-0 by The Owls at the Third Round. They have bigger fish to fry in keeping their place in the Premier League, but fans were irate at exiting the competition so early and that would have also had a negative effect on the transfer budget available this winter and again in pre-season. The Seagulls lost again on their return to Premier League action, beaten 1-0 by Everton at Goodison Park despite turning in a strong display. The away win has been priced up as favourites with all major bookmakers. Traders at bet365 are the most generous of the bunch when offering a market best price of 8/5 when most of the competition are stuck around the 6/4 mark.
Both Score Draw
It is difficult to get too excited about the chances of either side in this match. Both Bournemouth and Brighton have been poor in recent weeks and we wouldn’t want to trust either with our stake money. Instead, we’re going to back the draw at 5/2 with Betfair.
That will work best as a super single, although there are bigger prices available to those happy to push their luck a little more. Fancy goals in a game featuring two weak defences? Back both teams to score and the draw at 10/3 (bet365).