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Premier League | Gameweek 19
Dec 26, 2023 at 3pm UK
Vitality Stadium
FL

Bournemouth
3 - 0
Fulham

Kluivert (44'), Solanke (62' pen.), Sinisterra (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Pereira (62'), Leno (62')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bournemouth vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

A new chapter of club history could be written for Bournemouth when they host Fulham at the Vitality Stadium in their Premier League Boxing Day fixture.

The Cherries marched to their third successive win in astonishing circumstances at the weekend, sinking 10-man Nottingham Forest 3-2, while the Cottagers left a lot to be desired in a 2-0 home loss to Fulham.


Match preview

Vilified referee Rob Jones gifted Bournemouth the best kind of early Christmas present at the City Ground on Saturday, as Forest defender Willy Boly was questionably dismissed for two bookable offences inside the opening 25 minutes of Nuno Espirito Santo's Tricky Trees debut.

Nevertheless, the spirited Garibaldi fought valiantly with 10 men on the pitch as Anthony Elanga and Chris Wood both breached the Cherries' backline, but Dominic Solanke had already struck twice by the time Wood headed home, and the Bournemouth marksman flaunted his aerial excellence with another brilliant header deep into added time.

As newly-appointed Forest boss Santo was left to rue the officiating performance, hat-trick hero Solanke conducted the unbridled Cherries celebrations as Bournemouth enhanced their mid-table credentials, shooting up to 12th place in the standings, behind Wolverhampton Wanderers on goal difference following their Christmas Eve beating of Chelsea.

Boasting a phenomenal 16 points from the last 18 on offer in the top flight, Andoni Iraola's crop are now just 90 minutes away from marching to four successive Premier League wins, something which Bournemouth have never done before in a single top-flight campaign.

The Cherries did enjoy a quartet of consecutive top-flight successes in 2018, but those victories were spread across two separate seasons, and Iraola's footballing philosophy has now been firmly instilled into the hosts, who have scored at least twice in each of their last six contests.

Fulham could do with an attacking pointer or two from their hosts on Boxing Day, as Marco Silva's men failed to make their 19 shots and 66% possession count for anything worthwhile against Burnley, who surprisingly left Craven Cottage with a two-goal success to their name.

Just two minutes after the second half commenced, Wilson Odobert beat Bernd Leno all ends up with a fabulous curling strike into the top corner, before turning provider for Sander Berge to complete the job with a well-placed low effort 19 minutes later.

Silva conceded that his side were made to pay for their glut of missed opportunities in West London, which leaves Fulham in an unlucky 13th place in the Premier League table, albeit with just one-point deficits to make up to Chelsea, Wolves and their imminent hosts.

Defeat to Vincent Kompany's basement battlers was a rude awakening for Fulham after their progression to the EFL Cup semi-finals, and the Cottagers are yet to rediscover the formula for success on the road, losing their last three Premier League away fixtures and going winless in their last eight such battles since narrowly overcoming Everton on the opening weekend.

Even the most ardent Cottager will admit that their Goodison Park success in August was fortuitous, and their trip to the Vitality in April ended in a 2-1 loss to Bournemouth, who have only been beaten in one of their last 12 meetings with their capital counterparts.


Team News

Bournemouth did not emerge unscathed from their five-goal spectacular with Nottingham Forest, as midfielder Lewis Cook was withdrawn on the 29-minute mark with a groin injury and is facing a race against time to recover for the Boxing Day battle.

Adam Smith should be fine despite a heavy blow to the head on Saturday, having apparently escaped a concussion, but Hamed Traore (illness), Max Aarons (thigh), Tyler Adams (thigh), Lloyd Kelly (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf) and Emiliano Marcondes (foot) are all still missing.

Late checks will also need to be conducted on Milos Kerkez (ankle) and Darren Randolph (illness), but Iraola allayed fears of another injury to Alex Scott, who replaced the stricken Cook against Forest but was then taken off himself in the second half.

Iraola explained that he withdrew Scott due to his booking, and the Cherries boss also picked up a milestone yellow card at the weekend, meaning that he will not be barking orders from the touchline on Tuesday.

As far as Fulham are concerned, Raul Jimenez will serve the third and final game of his three-match domestic ban this week, while Adama Traore (hamstring) and Tim Ream (calf) are also not expected back until their New Year's Eve battle with Arsenal.

No fresh concerns arose from their loss to Burnley, though, and Silva will undoubtedly ponder a few alterations on the back of that forgettable performance, where Rodrigo Muniz was given the nod up front in place of the suspended Jimenez.

However, having failed to make an impact during his 64 minutes on the field, Muniz could now drop out for Carlos Vinicius, while ex-Cherries loanee Harry Wilson - who spent the 2019-20 season at the Vitality - is at risk of losing his spot to Bobby Decordova-Reid.


Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Ouattara; Christie, Scott; Kluivert, Billing, Tavernier; Solanke

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Tete, Adarabioyo, Bassey, Robinson; Palhinha, Reed; Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Willian; Vinicius


We say: Bournemouth 2-1 Fulham

Bournemouth have never won a Premier League Boxing Day fixture in five previous attempts - only Grimsby Town (eight) have a worse winless streak on December 26 in English top-flight history - and it will be fascinating to see how the Cherries cope in the absence of Iraola.

The suspended Spaniard will likely be celebrating come full-time, though, as the Cherries' attacking firepower remains too hot for many teams to handle, and Fulham have struggled to perform on the road all season long.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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