Friday 10th April 2015, Amex Stadium, Live on Sky Sports 1. Kick-off 7:45pm.
Just five game separate Bournemouth with a debut Premier League campaign after sitting top of the league heading into the final stretch.
Eddie Howe’s side hold a one-point lead over the chasing pack and will be aiming to continue their push for promotion against fellow South-coast outfit Brighton and Hove Albion in Friday’s 7:45pm start.
The Cherries are riding an eight-game unbeaten run having downed Birmingham City in their last outing. Despite going two goals behind, strikes from Steve Cook, Callum Wilson, Charlie Daniels and a Yann Kermorgant penalty secured a 4-2 success that kept them in top spot.
Following the win, manager Howe expressed he is pleased with his side’s position heading into the final five games.
“We are pleased with where we are,” he told BBC Radio Solent.
“It’s five games to go and we want to win all five. I know it’s a cliche but we do need to take the next game as the most important one and we’ll look forward to it.”
Despite great form, Bournemouth’s best results have come on home soil while they have won just two of their last eight games on the road.
Meanwhile, Brighton have managed just 10 wins this term to 19th in the Championship table.
Last season’s playoff semi-finalists suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats over the Easter period against Norwich City and Rotherham United.
Chris Hughton took the Seagulls’ reign at the turn of the year and has managed seven wins from his 19 games to sit nine-points clear of 22nd-placed Millwall. The former Norwich boss is frustrated that his side didn’t manage to take any points from their last two games but has his eyes on finishing the campaign strong.
The 56-year-old told Sky Sports ; “I’m annoyed because we had a real opportunity to increase that gap and what we don’t want to do is keep looking behind us.
“We don’t want to be thinking about the other teams below us. We’ve got five more games left and we want to try to finish this season in the best way we can.”
Despite Hughton’s battle cry, Friday’s encounter will be a tough one for Brighton to take anything from. Bournemouth are flying high and should have enough to see off a Brighton outfit who have all-but-secured their Championship status for next term. Boylesports is offering a good price of 10/11 for a Bournemouth success.
Bournemouth to win 10/11 (Boylesports)