Bournemouth keen to avoid sticky Toffees as they host Everton


Everton and Bournemouth clash horns in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday, with both sides desperate to claim maximum points.

The two sides could not be any closer in the league standings if they tried. Everton sit above the Cherries on just goal difference as they head into the tie; however, with an identical record of one win and one draw in their previous six league fixtures, both sides will see this meeting as an opportunity to kick start their season.

Even when it comes down to their managers the two sides are virtually inseparable. Cherries boss Eddie Howe has written himself into Bournemouth folklore as a result of his triumphs of taking the South coast club from near desperation to the Premier League; however, just when rumours of a move to a higher profile club come knocking the 41-year-old suffers an unfortunate twist in form.

Equally, it’s been a topsy-turvy rollercoaster ride for Toffees boss Marco Silva. The Spaniard is under pressure at Goodison Park following a run of just two wins in their previous ten league fixtures – excluding last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Lincoln City in the Emirates FA Cup.

The Toffee’s last league victory came in a 5-1 defeat of Burnley on Boxing Day, but the Merseysiders are without a win at their Goodison Park base in fifty-one days.

Despite being two teams who have rarely threatened at either end of the table, previous meetings between Everton and Bournemouth have led to incredibly entertaining fixtures. Four goals were scored in a frantic final ten minutes in Hampshire back in November 2015 as the two sides were forced to settle for a point from a 3-3 draw.

The Toffees’ 2-1 win over Bournemouth in April 2016 ended up being Roberto Martinez’ final match as Everton boss at Goodison Park as, despite a routine win for the Merseysiders, the Spaniard was sacked two defeats later.

Everton stormed to a 6-3 win over the Cherries in February 2017 as the two sides were once again involved in an entertaining meeting, before the show continued into this August’s meeting which ended 2-2.

Team news

Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe faces a selection dilemma due to several injuries to key players. Jermain Defoe recently completed a loan-switch to Rangers; while Nathaniel Clyne could make his debut for the south coast side having completed a loan move to the Vitality Stadium earlier this month.

Howe will also be without recent signing Dominic Solanke (hamstring) while Callum Wilson (hamstring) and Joshua King (flu) sat out the FA Cup defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. Scottish winger Ryan Fraser (hamstring) also reported an injury after the cup exit. Simon Francis and Adam Smith (both knee) continue to be long-term absentees.

Silva, however, has no fresh injury concerns. Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes and Richarlison were all rested for last Saturday’s FA Cup victory over Lincoln City and could return to the starting eleven.

From the camps

The two sides are separated by such small margins and, taking their 2-2 draw with the Toffees in August into consideration, Howe is expecting an entertaining affair on Merseyside.

“It’s two teams that want to attack and implement their attacking play on the other team,” said the Bournemouth boss.

“We did really well to come from back from two goals against them earlier this season.”

Regarding his selection woes, Howe anticipated having to make late decisions about his chosen matchday squad:

“We have a couple of knocks with players nursing injury and illness.

“There are a few players to assess and check and we will wait and see whether they are fit and available.”

Ahead of the Cherries’ trip to Goodison park, Everton boss Marco Silva described Eddie Howe’s side as a team with “good style and good players”.

“Before December, we had a fantastic run, with good performances, the team was playing really well and everyone was enjoying what we were doing… everyone happy with the results we achieved,” he said.

“The recent form wasn’t what we wanted but we are here to turn the results.

“Bournemouth will be a tough game but we are playing at home and will do everything we can to win the match.”


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