The last meeting between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace came all the way back in 1989 as historians of both clubs will no doubt be aware, with the Cherries claiming an away win on that occasion to complete an Old Division Two double.
Since then, the Premier League has been formed, Germany has been reunified, and 18 of the players across both squads were born.
Although this two-and-a-half decade gap exists since the last clash, this Boxing Day 2015 collision is the 65th occurrence of the fixture and it’s actually the historically smaller club leading the way, with Bournemouth on 27 wins compared to the Eagles’ 22.
Given the length of time which has passed since battle last commenced, the case that the prior 65 meetings will have little bearing on this renewal, is quite simple to make.
However, under bright young boss Eddie Howe, bang-in-form Bournemouth will be quietly confident they can increase this head-to-head tally after stringing together three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time this season.
Victories over top-flight powerhouses Chelsea and Manchester United, followed by the defeat of West Brom on the road, are testament to the Dorset club’s resolve and skill after injuries threatened to drag their season into the mire.
Nevertheless, even this form cannot deflect from the difficulty of taking all the points off Palace at present.
Alan Pardew’s well-oiled counter attacking machine have earned the reputation as unwelcome guests in general this season, where the Eagles own the third best away record in the division.
Having picked up 13 of the last 18 points themselves, Palace will not hold much fear of Howe’s own slick-passing unit, making this a tough one to call.
With little to split the sides on form right now, it may be worth exploring other punting avenues.
With neither having troubles finding the net of late – they have done in a combined nine league games – both teams scoring at the Vitality Stadium looks worthy of some attention at 8/11.
Considering their prowess on the road meanwhile, 11/10 on Pardew’s mob with the draw excluded looks handsome too.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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