Premier League 18/19: Bournemouth vs Everton – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth look to maintain their 100% record when a rejuvenated Everton side visit the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
15:00 BST, Saturday 25th August, Vitality Stadium
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are one of six sides to have won their opening two games of the season, with victories over Cardiff City and West Ham United.
Marco Silva’s arrival at Goodison Park has given the atmosphere a much-needed lift and his Everton side are out to prove a point this season.
The Toffees were held to a 2-2 draw at newly promoted Wolves after being reduced to ten men in the first half, before overcoming Southampton on Merseyside last weekend.
Matches between these two sides rarely disappoint, with 15 goals scored in the last three meetings, including a nine-goal thriller two seasons ago.
Last Time Out
West Ham United 1-2 Bournemouth
Howe’s side earned their second win of the new campaign with a narrow 2-1 victory over a yet-to-settle West Ham United side at the London Stadium.
The Cherries showed an impressive fighting spirit to turn the game around after falling behind to a Marko Arnautovic penalty in the opening period.
Callum Wilson built upon his impressive showing on the opening weekend when he drew his side level after a mazy run through the West Ham lines, finishing smartly through the legs of Lukasz Fabianski.
Steve Cook completed the turnaround with a header from close range after the Hammers’ defence failed to deal with a ball into the box.
Everton 2-1 Southampton
Everton earned their first win of the campaign with a 2-1 triumph over Southampton at Goodison Park.
Silva’s side were ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour when Theo Walcott finished a training ground free-kick routine, stabbing home from close range.
The winger then dug out a cross after tenacious work on the Southampton by-line, and Brazilian Richarlison was on hand to head home, adding to his two strikes on the opening weekend.
Danny Ings had an impressive debut for his new side, scoring in the second period after a neat flick from Mario Lemina. Ings could have netted earlier in the game, but saw his follow-up on a Jordan Pickford error somehow saved by England’s new number one.
Eddie Howe will see no need to change a winning side and could name the same starting XI from the win over West Ham.
Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman look set to continue in midfield meaning Lewis Cook will have to continue to wait his turn.
King and Wilson will be eager to get at a depleted Everton central defence while Ryan Fraser and David Brooks will look to build on impressive starts to the season.
Silva will probably still be without new signing Yerry Mina in defence so Mason Holgate will continue to deputise.
Morgan Schneiderlin will be assessed ahead kick off but should he not be declared fit, Tom Davies could be called into the midfield alongside Idrissa Gueye.
Cenk Tosun will continue up front as he searches for his first goal of the season.
Key Battle: Adam Smith vs Richarlison
When Everton sealed a deal to bring Richarlison to Goodison Park for around £50 million, there were many raised eyebrows; it was big money for a player who hadn’t scored since November.
The Brazilian, though, thrives under boss Silva. He started brightly at Watford last time out when the pair were at Vicarage Road but it was no surprise to see his form drastically dip when the Hornets’ wheels came off behind the scenes once Silva left the club.
He’s started this season in fine form, scoring three goals in the opening two matches. Bournemouth have been as impressive though Everton’s attack could arguably give their defence the biggest test so far.
Richarlison and Walcott are slowly forming a potent attacking threat either side of Cenk Tosun and though the Turkish international is yet to get off the mark this campaign, the threat is constant.
Smith, though, passed a potentially tough test last weekend when West Ham’s Felipe Anderson and Anthony Masuaku opposed him. Richarlison will provide a more direct threat to the Bournemouth right flank, and how the defence – in particular Smith – deal with that could be an interesting spectacle.
Can Bournemouth keep up their bright start?
While most expected the Cherries to brush aside newly promoted Cardiff City on the opening day, a visit to the London Stadium would always provide a different, tougher task.
Howe’s men, though, came through it unscathed, showing lots of character to turn a 1-0 deficit around away from home.
Bournemouth have changed tack from last season and the Cherries are now deploying a traditional 4-4-2 formation with both Callum Wilson and Joshua King on the pitch at the same time.
So far, it’s paying off as they carry more threat going forward. David Brooks and Ryan Fraser have had positive starts to the season and Bournemouth look like a well balanced side with the duo playing.
That being said, can they stick to their new shape when they come up against the Manchester City’s and Liverpool’s of this league…?
Too soon to judge Everton?
After a flurry of deadline day signings, Everton’s squad depth looked impressive and the club’s actions showed an intent to make serious strides this season.
They have made a steady start, but is it too soon to judge just how far they can go this season? Losing Phil Jagielka in the first half of the opening day wasn’t ideal as the Toffees battled to a 2-2 draw against Wolves; a game that could have gone either way.
Going forward, they look slick and enjoyable to watch and with some aforementioned last minute signings yet to make an appearance, such as Bernard and Andre Gomes, are Everton destined for a high-flying season?
If they are to do any damage to the top six, though, they must tighten up defensively. Yerry Mina will give Silva a much-needed option at centre half, but conceding three goals in two games isn’t an overly impressive stat.
Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Everton
This has all the makings of a potential goal fest. Yerry Mina is still a doubt for the Toffees meaning Mason Holgate will probably continue alongside Michael Keane – King and Wilson could cause issues.
Tosun will be eager to get off the mark and with Richarlison and Walcott’s form, goals at both ends are in the offing. 2-2.
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