Bournemouth captain ‘buzzing to be back’ in Cherries line-up

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Bournemouth may have re-signed defender Rhoys Wiggins on transfer deadline day but it is the return of another stopper that has given the club a timely boost ahead of tonight’s trip to Selhurst Park.

The Cherries are likely to re-insert captain Tommy Elphick to the back four against Crystal Palace after the centre back came through unscathed against Portsmouth in his first outing since injuring his ankle three months ago.

Elphick played 75 minutes in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Pompey and is “buzzing” to be back in the mix as the Dean Court outfit fight to preserve their top flight status.

“For me personally, I’m absolutely buzzing to be back. Ideally I would’ve liked one more game before such a competitive game but it was great, a proper workout against a very good side,” he said.

‘I felt good fitness wise, my legs were cramping up a little bit which is why I went off. It was the right precaution to come off and I’m happy with what I’ve done. I’m fully training now and played in a real competitive game today, another step to getting Premier League ready.”

Bournemouth head to south London having lost just one of their last six games in all competitions but go into this fixture as 2/1 outsiders.

The Eagles can be backed at 7/5 to pick up all three points, while a repeat of the draw when the sides met earlier this season is available at 21/10.

While Wiggins and Elphick will be in contention to feature in the Cherries’ rearguard, however, it is new attacking signing Benik Afobe who is likely to court most attention for the Seasiders.

The former Wolves and Arsenal man has bagged two goals in the opening three games of his Cherries career and is deemed the man most likely for the visitors here.

The Bournemouth hit man can be backed at 6/1 to open the scoring at Selhurst Park, with Palace new boy Emmanuel Adebayor the favourite at 5/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.