Two teams that find themselves safe in the Premier League in the top half of the table clash on Sunday as both Everton and Bournemouth look to end poor runs in the division at Goodison Park.
Group EPL Goodison Park , Liverpool, England
Key Stat: Goals has typically rained in during this tie, with only one of the seven matches played in the PL between them ending with one side not scoring a goal. On average, over four goals have been scored per match in the league.
Expert Verdict: This one is very tough to call, as neither side are playing very well at all. Just when they do play well, a lack of consistency creeps in. So with that said, the only thing we should be sure of is goals here. The Cherries give up bundles of them on the road, and both sides have fared well in the goal department when they have met before. Because of that, and Bournemouth's poor away record recently, Everton should do enough to win it.
Marco Silva looks to just about have a full strength side to pick from for this match as winger Ademola Lookman and center midfielder James McCarthy, who has been out almost a year, are each closing in on returns.
As Everton goes so, too, does Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. The pair of them have been by far the two best players in the side, with the two pulling away from all others in the goal department. Richarlison leads the side with nine goals thus far as he has been shuttled between the wing and the front line. Sigurdsson, who is also tasked with creative duties, has eight goals and has a further three assists.
Everton have two wins and three losses in their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Lincoln City (FA Cup)
0-1 home loss vs Leicester
1-0 loss at Brighton
1-5 win at Burnley
2-6 home loss vs Tottenham
Defenders:Kenny, Keane, Zouma, Digne
Defensive Midfielders:Gomes, Gueye
Attacking Midfielders:Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison
Eddie Howe has injuries at the moment to center midfielder Lewis Cook and to right backs Simon Francis and Adam Smith. Because of the latter injuries, a move to loan Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne means they now have him available. Dominic Solanke, another signing from the Reds, is set to miss out as he is still recovering from injury himself.
Ryan Fraser comes into this match in form having score in the draw against Watford at home last time out in the league. That took his goals tally to five, and along with nine assists, makes him one of the most potent dual threats in the division. He also scored twice in their last home match against the Toffees. Joshua King also has a nice record against Everton as he has netted four goals in the last four fixtures against the Merseysiders.
Bournemouth have three losses, a draw, and a win in their last five matches:
1-3 home loss vs Brighton (FA Cup)
3-3 home draw vs Watford
4-1 loss at Manchester United
5-0 loss at Tottenham
2-0 home win vs Brighton
Defenders:Clyne, Cook, Ake, Daniels
Midfielders:Brooks, Gosling, Lerma, Fraser
Everton have faced the Cherries just eight times in the past, and so far they have led the way with four wins and two draws against them.
Here's a look at the last five results:
Aug 25, 2018: Bournemouth 2-2 Everton
Dec 30, 2017: Bournemouth 2-1 Everton
Sep 23, 2017: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth
Feb 4, 2017: Everton 6-3 Bournemouth
Sep 24, 2016: Bournemouth 1-0 Everton
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Everton are at 8/11 to win, a draw is at 13/5, and a Bournemouth win is 15/4.
Ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, Everton and Bournemouth will come into this match in very similar positions. Both had started very well this season, but they have each ran out of steam recently and are now in the bottom half of the table. Each of them have 27 points as it stands, though it is Everton that have a slightly better goal difference and thus are in 11th place. The Cherries are a place beneath them in 12th. Everton have lost four of their last five matches and have only three points in that span, while their visitors have just four points from their last five. Neither is in the best spot, but they each seem to be safe barring a major implosion in the closing months.
The Toffees enter this match with a home record that includes five wins and three draws in 11 outings. That has yielded them 18 points at Goodison Park so far, good enough for the ninth best record currently at home. They have struggled mightily recently, though, dropping points in four straight matches and only picking up two in that time. Two losses in a row there will see the home faithful in the mood for a win to turn around their fortunes. The Cherries, meanwhile, have been far from solid away from home. In ten trips so far, they have just nine points via three wins and seven losses. In each of their last five away trips, they have lost. Perhaps the scariest part is that they have been outscored 23 to 10 in those ten matches. Only bottom side Fulham have conceded more on the road so far.
King to score anytime is set at 14/5 via Ladbrokes.
Both teams scoring is at 1.65 at Betfair.
Both teams should definitely score here, but it will be Everton that take the most advantage. Bournemouth just let in too many goals, and the Toffees have the players to press and harass them into giving up a few more.