Bournemouth have hit a bit of a rut following their stellar start to the Premier League season.
Looking to rebound from their latest top-flight setback, the Cherries host a somewhat resurgent Crystal Palace club on Monday night at Vitality Stadium.
Two straight wins and a draw through their first three league matches had Bournemouth (3-1-2) surprisingly sitting pretty with the best the top-flight has to offer. However, two losses in their last three Premier League contests now have the Cherries in a sour patch.
Losing 2-0 at Chelsea to begin September is nothing to hang a head about, and bouncing back to top Leicester City showed Bournemouth might be in for something special this season. But a 4-0 thrashing last weekend at the hands of a weary Burnley side that had yet to triumph in the league, could be viewed as concerning to some.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe doesn't seem to see it that way as his squad enter the weekend eighth in the table.
"That's football though, one week you can (be) from one extreme to another, but we have to maintain our consistency in our preparations," Howe told Bournemouth's official website.
Give the Cherries credit, they did pull off a 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers to move on in the League Cup this week.
But the focus still remains on the Premier League, where Bournemouth are likely to again be minus injured defender Charlie Daniels. A hamstring injury could also sideline newcomer Diego Rico for this match.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, however, knows his lads should be in for a serious test despite Bournemouth's showing versus Burnley.
"We have a good idea of what awaits us and the big question will be: 'Are we good enough to deal with the threats that (Bournemouth) pose,'" Hodgson told Palace's official website. "And then, of course, to make certain that our football poses enough threats to them, which will give us a chance to win the game."
Palace (2-1-3), meanwhile, find themselves in solid form of late with two victories and a draw in three matches over all competitions. More impressive about the Eagles, they've kept clean sheets in each of those games that featured a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town then a scoreless draw with Newcastle in the league before winning 3-0 at West Bromwich Albion this week in the League Cup.
"We are playing really well at the moment," Eagles midfielder James McArthur said. "We know we need to be more clinical in front of (the) goal but our performance level has been high. And if we keep that up and start scoring, we will go on a winning run of games and start moving up the table."
McArthur and the Eagles do have reason to feel they can at least earn a point from the trip to Bournemouth, where Crystal Palace are 1-2-0 in their last three Premier League games. Palace, who have scored just four goals during the league season, have tallied that same amount in their last two games at Bournemouth.