PREVIEW | BOURNEMOUTH VS EVERTON
Well, here we go again.
Evertonians are still licking their wounds after a humiliating Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Bournemouth on Tuesday and are now facing another trip to the Vitality Stadium this time in the league.
It is Everton’s final match before the World Cup and the Toffees will probably feel the break can’t come soon enough after two dismal results in the past week.
Jordan Pickford and Conor Coady were called up to the England squad in the week and will understandably be under the microscope on the South coast.
But for now, they will be focused on helping Everton try and go into the break on a high note.
One to watch – Nathan Patterson
One of the few redeeming elements of the Blues’ disastrous 4-1 defeat to the Cherries on Tuesday was the performance of Nathan Patterson.
In his first start back, the right-back looked every bit the player he’d been before suffering an injury on international duty with Scotland that put him out for five weeks.
His energy going forward was one of the biggest positives for the Toffees going forward and despite a poor mistake for Bournemouth’s fourth, he was definitely a candidate for Everton’s best player on the day.
It is imperative Frank Lampard starts him again in the league fixture.
One to watch – Philip Billing
Similarly to Everton, Gary O’Neill put out a weaker side for the Carabao Cup tie meaning Everton fans won’t have as clear an idea who Bournemouth’s danger men as they would like.
Philip Billing potentially takes that crown as the Cherries’ top scorer this season, frequently playing on the right side of the midfield.
The 26-year-old Dane has scored four times in the league this season, including in Bournemouth’s last league match: a 4-3 defeat away to Leeds United.
He also has history with the Toffees too with his first ever Premier League strike coming in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park between Everton and Huddersfield Town in September 2018.
As touched on before, the Toffees are desperate to end the first part of the season with three points, particularly against another potential relegation candidate.
But Bournemouth won’t make easy work of it, in the middle of a stronger season than many would have anticipated.
Their ground is also not an historically kind one to Everton, with Tuesday’s trip resulting in their fourth defeat in their last five visits.
Frank Lampard will need something a lot more special than he received that night if he is going to even slightly alleviate some of the rapidly growing pressure upon him.