Match Preview | Bournemouth (H)
Jeckel and Hyde
The Everton experience under Marco Silva has been an experience carrying with it soaring highs and head-splitting lows, leaving many wondering what is the ceiling for the Blues in year 1? Is it pushing the top 6, is it getting back to Europe, or could it simply be mid table in the first year of the rebuild? The blues come off a win against 4th tier table toppers Lincoln City, a game that the imps kept far closer than most expected, and one that did not inspire the confidence Marco Silva was more than likely looking for. But, Bournemouth come to town on Sunday, and it could be one of the most important games yet.
Bournemouth come to Goodison on Sunday tied on points with Everton but behind on goal differential, with both teams vying for the coveted best of the rest, 7th place. It is a race that looks to be tight as 5 teams all sit within two points of 8th, while Leicester sit on 31 its at 7th place. Bournemouth have found themselves on a streak of poor form, with no wins in the league since the 22nd in a 2-0 home victory against Brighton. Bournemouth have been busy in the January window as well, looking to improve (?) their side as they attempt to keep from sliding down the table. Defoe goes out on loan to Rangers and Dominic Solanke comes in on a 19 million pound deal from Liverpool. Whether the move improves their strike force or not remains to be seen, but the Cherries could be caught looking ahead come Sunday as rumors of Callum Wilson’s departure swirls, with Everton right in the thick of the talks.
Everton’s matchups against Bournemouth in recent memories have brought about exciting finishes, recently Richarlison’s controversial sending off in Everton’s 2 goal collapse earlier in the year, and further back Oumar Niasse’s second half brace last September to thump the Blues past the Cherries at Goodison under Koeman. However, with Oumar more than likely on the way out his heroics and subpar footballing quality will be absent and Everton will look to the new faces, and stars of the team. The rumors surrounding Idrissa Gueye are inconclusive and as of Friday, nothing official has come from either side. As an integral part of the team, unless a deal of 40 mil plus were to come along, expect Idrissa to be a blue at least for the near future. Him and Gomes should partner in the midfield, while Keane Digne and Coleman are sure fire starters at the back. The mystery seems to be Zouma or Mina, and what combination of wingers to play up top. Richarlison will most definitely feature, and where he plays will go a long way in determining the 11. Expect Bernard and Walcott if Richy is the striker, and expect Bernard or Walcott to sit if DCL finds his way back into the
Match Prediction: Bournemouth come into the game with huge injury concerns, with big names such as Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser looking to be sidelined, and Solanke not set to feature until February, this is a game Everton should be winning. Fielding the right 11 will be key for Silva and whatever pair of wingers it is that gets the nod will need to play up to par. Gomes should shine against the depleted midfield, and getting Richy in behind will be a key for the Blues. I’m Expecting Everton to come out firing with a sense of urgency, and pick up a huge 3 points in the race to get back to Europe.
Everton 3-1 Bournemouth