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Brighton vs. Bournemouth: Hosts ‘expected to dominate’ south coast clash

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Brighton and Bournemouth kick off the weekend’s Premier League action both in desperate need of a win to reduce their relegation fears.

After 18th-placed Aston Villa’s victory over Norwich on Boxing Day, the two south coast opponents both head into Saturday lunchtime’s meeting (12:30 GMT) only two points clear of the relegation zone.

Hosts Brighton are winless in their last four league matches, while visitors Bournemouth have won just one of their last six (albeit with the one win coming in impressive fashion against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge).

Surprisingly, despite the two sides being level on both points and goal difference, Brighton are odds-on favourites to take the three points here.

Graham Potter’s side are 4/5 to do so, with the draw 13/5.

Eddie Howe’s team are 10/3 to pick up a vital away win.

While Bournemouth have struggled for their trademark attacking fluency for much of this season, forwards Callum Wilson and Harry Wilson have returned from injury for Howe to call upon.

Full-back Diego Rico will also return from suspension to provide natural width down the left flank.

Lewis Dunk, meanwhile, missed Brighton’s last match with illness and is a doubt to recover in time to face Bournemouth.

While Brighton have undoubtedly played the purer football under Potter this season, there may actually be value in opposing them here, with Bournemouth to win or draw on the double chance market a healthy looking price at evens.

The aforementioned Harry Wilson is Bournemouth’s leading league goalscorer with six goals in just 905 minutes, which is a better goals-per-minute rate than superstars like Harry Kane, Sadio Mané and Raheem Sterling.

Should he receive the nod to start this one, he looks a great price to score anytime at 15/4.

Brighton’s Neal Maupay is also hard to ignore to do the same at 7/5, especially as he was rested from the start for the Boxing Day defeat at Tottenham.

The Frenchman is comfortably the hosts’ leading league goalscorer on seven goals.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter or contact me via email .

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