Everton welcome Bournemouth to Goodison Park for this weekend’s opening Super Sunday match.
With the Premier League midfield battle incredibly tight, victory here for either side could prove significant come May in the race for seventh and Europa League football.
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Everton have no fresh injury concerns but Ademola Lookman could start, after impressing against Lincoln City last weekend.
Bournemouth will hand four players late fitness tests ahead of the match, as Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson aim to return from thigh injuries.
Midfielder, Dan Gosling meanwhile could be available after recovering from a knee injury whilst Joshua King is back from a bout of illness.
Dominic Solanke (hamstring) and Adam Smith (knee) are both out for rest of this month but will be available from mid February.
Lewis Cook and Simon Francis are both sidelined for remainder of the season with knee injuries.
Everton enter this match in dire form with just two wins in their last six across all competitions, along with no clean sheets in eight matches.
At home, three of the Toffees’ last five goals have come before half-time with Richarlison scoring two of those goals.
Bournemouth however are in even dire form with just seven points from their last 11 league matches plus cup exits against Chelsea and Brighton to boot during that run.
Their away form is even worse with zero points from this period and have a losing goal aggregate margin of 16-3 from last five matches on the road.
- Everton are unbeaten in three of last five meetings with Bournemouth (W2, D1, L2).
- At Goodison Park, this league fixture is yet to see either side keep a clean sheet despite Everton winning all three meetings.
- A 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in August means that for the first time ever, Everton have gone two games without a win over the Cherries.
- Bournemouth’s Asmir Begovic has made one more clean sheet and save than Jordan Pickford of Everton.
- Jefferson Lerma has collected nine yellow cards for Bournemouth, more than what any other Premier League player has managed so far this season.
Given the dire form of both teams, I cannot see much excitement coming from this match.
Both teams however know how to score despite poor defending so am going for a score draw.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Bournemouth
Jake predicts: Everton 3-2 Bournemouth
Result: Everton 2-0 Bournemouth