Verdict: Everton win
Best Odds: 6/5
Knowing that nothing short of three points and some luck will help them extend on their Premier League status, Bournemouth will make the trip to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, while Everton’s performances since making a return from the enforced break might have started to worry some around Goodison Park, the Toffees did pick up a shock victory earlier in the week. Landing a deserved 1-0 win away at surprise package Sheffield United on Tuesday evening, Carlo Ancelotti’s players are still trying to prove their place under the former Napoli boss. While Richarlison might have bagged his third post-lockdown strike at Bramall Lane in midweek, fans around the blue half of Merseyside have seen their squad struggle with some inconsistencies in the final third. Needing an 88th-minute equalizer to scrape a 1-1 draw off of relegation scrappers Aston Villa last week, Everton have now failed to bag more than a single strike in any of their last five contests on the bounce. Even more concerning for Sunday’s hosts, the Toffees have recorded under 1.5 goals in nine of their previous 10 top-flight contests. If Ancelotti’s side are to secure back-to-back wins for just the third time this season, then the Italian will be hoping for his side to make some much-needed alterations on home soil. Including their stalemate against Villa last week, Everton have now drawn four of their last five contests at Goodison.
Striker Moise Kean has recovered from an ankle injury and could be given only his sixth start of the season in Sunday’s Premier League farewell.
Elsewhere, starlet Jarrad Branthwaite looks set to continue in defence, while Seamus Coleman could replace Djibril Sidibe at right-back.
As for the visitors, watching South Coast rivals Southampton pick up a 2-0 win at the Vitality last weekend, Bournemouth are hanging onto their Premier League status by a thread. Sat three points adrift of top-flight safety and in need of a miracle if they’re to find a route out of the bottom-three this week, Eddie Howe’s side have failed to build off of their eye-catching displays against Leicester and Manchester City. With it appearing that their stunning comeback against the Foxes earlier in the month was just a minor bounce, the Cherries have managed to win just one of their last 12 top-flight appearances, a run that stems back to February 1st. Collecting just four points out of a possible 36 since their victory over Aston Villa almost six months ago, Bournemouth have also continued on what has been a woeful record while on their travels. The Cherries have now lost their last their nine away Premier League matches, conceding 22 goals in the process. With just a single domestic clean sheet to their name since the middle of December, it appears that Bournemouth’s Premier League stay is all but over.
Missing out against Southampton last week, Bournemouth look set to once again be without defensive talisman Nathan Ake on Sunday afternoon.
However, Adam Smith has recovered from a head injury sustained against Tottenham and has been given the green light to make a return.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off at the Vitality earlier in the season, Bournemouth picked up a 3-1 victory.
- However, the Cherries have failed to win any of their last their nine away Premier League matches, conceding 22 goals in the process.
- Four of Everton’s last five Premier League matchups at Goodison have ended in a draw.
- The Blues have failed to record more than a single goal in nine of their last 10 Premier League appearances.
- Richarlison has scored 26 Premier League goals since joining Everton – among Brazilian players in the top five European leagues, only Neymar (28) has more in that time.
While Bournemouth might have managed to pick up a rare victory when they faced off against Everton earlier in the season, the Cherries know that they are in need of a miracle this weekend. Hit with a 2-0 defeat against Southampton last time out, Eddie Howe’s men have also continued to struggle with some rather glaring issues on the road. Although the Toffees might be struggling to find their best form under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, Sunday’s hosts should be smelling a golden opportunity at Goodison. With Bournemouth now losing each of their last nine Premier League contests away from the Vitality, it could be a cruel Premier League goodbye this weekend.
Verdict: Everton win
Best Odds: 6/5
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!