Bournemouth vs Everton: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Both sides head into this game on the back of shock EFL Cup defeats to Championship opposition. Whilst both managers expressed their disappointment at their sides’s early exits, it does at least provide them with an opportunity to direct all attentions towards the Premier League for now.
Bournemouth have started their campaign slowly, picking up just four points from their opening five games, however, they have already faced both Manchester clubs. Meanwhile, despite a less than satisfactory transfer window at Goodison Park, Everton’s magnificent start has surprised many and has left supporters wondering if they can maintain the form that has seen them rise to second in the league.
The Toffees have taken all three points from both of their away trips so far but will face tough opposition in the form of Cherries. The two sides drew 3-3 in the same fixture last season, when Junior Stanislas’s 98th minute strike rescued a point for Eddie Howe’s side. A repeat of such a scoreline is unlikely this weekend, though, with Everton having conceded just three times this season, whereas Bournemouth have only found the net on three occasions themselves.
Bournemouth began the season with two defeats, but finally got their points tally up and running after a crucial draw at Crystal Palace in late August. This was followed by a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, before last weekend’s humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s imperious Manchester City side. An extra-time defeat to Preston North End in Tuesday night’s EFL Cup Third round tie forced Eddie Howe to apologise to supporters for his side’s lacklustre performance, something that he will be keen to avoid a repeat of this weekend.
Everton’s early season form has come as a huge surprise to many. The appointment of Ronald Koeman this summer brought hope of an improvement on last season’s disappointing bottom half finish, but few on Merseyside could have predicted just how well things have gone. After opening with a 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur, the Toffees won their next four league games, leaving them among the division’s pace-setters. However, a midweek EFL Cup exit to Norwich City was the club’s first defeat under Koeman.
The Cherries lined up in a 4-5-1 formation against City last weekend, but are likely to return to a 4-4-2 on home turf. Jack Wilshere struggled to make make an impact at the Etihad Stadium, in what was his first start for the club, but is likely to be given another chance in a game where he should see much more of the ball. Expect Eddie Howe to go with pace up top as he attempts to exploit the limitations of Everton’s ageing centre-back pairing of Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka.
Meanwhile, Koeman is likely to keep faith in the same eleven that recorded convincing over Sunderland and Middlesbrough the past two weekends. Romelu Lukaku scored four times across the two games and is expected to lead the line again as he aims to find the net for a third consecutive game.
Bournemouth predicted starting XI Everton predicted starting XI
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Injuries and Suspensions
Bournemouth were handed a boost in midweek when long-term absentee Tyrone Mings made his first appearance in over a year against Preston. It would not be a surprise if the 23-year-old featured at some point on Saturday as he attempts to work his way back up to full fitness. Other than that, Eddie Howe has a full strength squad at his disposal.
As for Everton, they are still without James McCarthy, Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson, however, Romelu Lukaku is expected to feature despite sitting out Tuesday night’s game due to a toe injury.
Everton look like a real force to contend with this season, so Bournemouth will have to be at their best to get anything from this one. One of the more interesting individual battles taking place at Dean Court will be between Idrissa Gueye and Jack Wilshere. The England international has had a couple of weeks to adjust to his new surroundings after joining the Cherries on a season-long loan from Arsenal, and if he is at his best on Saturday then his side may well be able to pick up a result. It won’t be easy, though, and we predict that the Toffees will continue their excellent form with a 2-0 win in this one.