Saturday 4th February 2016 Kickoff: 1500hrs Everton v Bournemouth Football – England – Premier League Everton and Bournemouth clash at Goodison Park on Saturday with the teams in contrasting form. The Toffees have enjoyed an excellent start to 2017 in the league whilst Bournemouth are just beginning to falter after a good first half of the campaign. It was the team from the south coast who were victorious when the two last met in September as a solitary strike from Junior Stanislas was enough to give them the spoils. It was their first win over Everton in the top flight and Saturday presents them with a chance to do the double.
Everton have not lost a league game since the Merseyside derby on the 19th of December. Since then Ronald Koeman’s men have won four and drawn two, a run that has seen them solidify their position in seventh and give them just a hint of catching Manchester United above them. The only blot on 2017 thus far was a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City in the FA Cup which brought an end to their hopes of silverware for another season. That said, the improvement in league form has been most welcome, in particular their two most recent home performances when beating Southampton 3-0 before inflicting a 4-0 thumping on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. With their next three games against teams in the bottom six, starting with this one, it’s a real opportunity for Everton to close the gap further on United ahead of the last third of the season.
Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace means Bournemouth have won only one of their last eight games in all competitions. That success was on the last day of 2016 and it seems a long time ago with three defeats and two draws since. It has been especially disappointing as other than the home game with Arsenal (where they had a three goal lead and ended drawing) it looked a like a run of games where they could all but guarantee safety and look to climb the table. A defeat to Hull as well as Palace and dropping points at home to Watford has just meant that Eddie Howe will be sitting slightly less comfortable than he was a few weeks ago. Sandwiched in between that set of league games was a humbling 3-0 loss away to lower league Milwall in the FA Cup when Howe decided to field a weakened team. That’s understandable when Premier League survival means so much to this club but it has heaped further pressure on the team who now have to find a return to winning ways.
Everton v Bournemouth Betting Tip
Everton are probably in the best stage of their season at the moment and come into this game with real confidence considering how they have performed in the last two games at Goodison. Liverpool remain the only visiting team to have won there this season which illustrates just how much of a test this will be for a struggling Bournemouth team. As ever with Everton, the key will be how Romelu Lukaku performs. With 12 league goals to his name he is far and away the main goal threat and has scored in each of his last three home games.
Such is the form of both sides at the moment it is difficult to argue anything other than a home win and I’m not about to start. Koeman is beginning to turn things around at Everton and Saturday looks like an ideal opportunity for his players to record their seventh win at home in the league this season.
Everton 8/11 @ Betfred