Back

Brighton must be wary of perfect October in Cherries’ orchard

A perfect five wins in all competitions, with just two goals conceded, in October have transformed Bournemouth into Championship promotion contenders (11/4 to go up with Coral). They host a Brighton and Hove Albion side that starts the weekend just above the drop zone (8/1 outsiders to be relegated) following a period of freefall.

Sami Hyypia’s Seagulls last recorded a league win in mid-August and saw their Capital One Cup run ended by Spurs in midweek. Their last five goals have all been scored by defenders, which explains their current plight. Brighton are thus 10/3 outsiders to win along the south coast at the Cherries.

Three of the last four meetings between these sides have finished with honours even, all with the same scoreline of 1-1. Albion are among the division’s draw specialists with seven, so odds of 5/2 say they shall share the spoils at Bournemouth again. A repeat result of their meeting in January, meanwhile, is 11/2.

Eddie Howe and the Cherries, meanwhile, are odds-on at 5/6 to keep up their sensational autumn form and record a sixth straight win. Goals may be an issue for the Seagulls, but not for Bournemouth, who put eight past Birmingham City in their last league outing.

Callum Wilson is in a real purple patch, scoring six in five appearances across all competitions in October. Odds of 5/4 say he will net again anytime. Cherries stalwarts Brett Pitman (7/4) and Marc Pugh (9/4) have both previously got goals against Albion, and the latter hit a hat-trick in the rout of Birmingham.

What defensive stability Brighton had seems to have gone when Matt Upson was lost to Leicester City. Highly-rated centre back Lewis Dunk, who grabbed away goals at Huddersfield and Watford recently, may be their best chance of scoring at 13/2.

Summer signings Sam Baldock, Adrian Colunga and Chris O’Grady have all failed to make any impact in attack for former Finland and Liverpool sweeper Hyypia. Seagulls striker Craig Mackail-Smith, who is not long back from a serious knee injury, is behind leading marksman Dunk in the charts with three and comes in at 5/2 for a goal anytime.

Anything other than a home win here is just not likely. Albion’s wretched form contrasts sharply with the irrepressible Cherries, and a handsome victory, say a repeat of the 3-0 win over Reading, is worth a punt at 66/1. Beating Brighton to nil is a safer 12/5 bet on Bournemouth for punters in search of real value.