This weekend sees all of Sky’s Premier League games cover red vs blue teams.
First up is a local seaside derby between Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion in the first FNF this season.
Bournemouth are missing Junior Stanislas, who is back training after a groin injury.
Callum Wilson remains the only long term absentee from this squad.
Winger, Ryan Fraser will face a late test, having picked up an ankle injury at Arsenal.
Brighton expect to have captain, Bruno to be fully fit after he injured his back last weekend against West Bromwich Albion.
Chelsea loanee, Izzy Brown could be considered for a start, after overcoming a hamstring problem.
Seagulls’ manager, Chris Houghton is missing; Sam Baldock, Beram Kayal and Steve Sidwell to various injuries.
Bournemouth are yet to win this season in the league but led in their last home match to Manchester City before losing.
Brighton are however coming to Dean Court off the back of a 3-1 home victory over WBA.
That is their first league win, having drawn with Watford a fortnight beforehand after losing their first two games by 2-0 results.
Since the turn of the 21st century, Bournemouth have avoided defeat 11 times in 15 matches (W6, D5). Of their four defeats, three of them came on the Seagulls’ turf standing the Cherries in good stead here.
Their only home defeat in that period came nearly a decade ago when Bournemouth entered administration and were relegated to League Two.
The Cherries have scored 15 goals, which is a ratio of one goal per game this century. Brighton however have scored three more goals from those games, having amassed 18 goals.
Ultimately, momentum lies with Bournemouth, who have avoided defeat in this fixture’s last six meetings.
This is a crucial match for two teams who have struggled so far this season.
Defeat here will see Bournemouth lose their opening five league games of a league season. They have done that on two occasions (1983 & 94) yet survived the drop.
This would of course be the first time that they have lost their five consecutive Premier League games. Only three teams have started a top flight season with five losses with the latter two going on to be relegated that season (Sunderland 2005 & Portsmouth 2009).
Despite those stats, I think Eddie Howe will get them winning here, given that they have had a tough run of games.
Brighton have however defended strongly in every match with 12 shots on target altogether from their opening four matches.
It’s easy to say this will be a draw but with local pride and a rematch on Tuesday night in the Carabo Cup, I expect Brighton to save themselves for the cup game instead.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Jake predicts: Bournemouth 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
Result: Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion