Our writer previews the English Premier League contest between Bournemouth and Everton.
Bournemouth host Everton in what could be an intriguing contest. Ostensibly, Everton look the clear favourites. The Toffees have been reinvigorated under Ronald Koeman, playing with the swagger that was always promised under Roberto Martinez, but rarely delivered. Everton’s defeat to Championship side Norwich in the League Cup did, however, reflect some issues of depth for the Merseyside outfit.
Bournemouth were humbled by City at the weekend, but Eddie Howe will be astute enough to know that there will be other sides that are left jaded by Guardiola’s City. They have pace in their side and play with a fluency at home; enough to suggest Koeman will have a tougher time than many expect this weekend.
Bournemouth v Everton | Saturday 24 September | Dean Court | 16:00
To Win (90 mins)
Bournemouth 49/20 | Draw 24/10 | Everton 11/10
Jack Wilshere has been brought in to electrify the midfield area. If you look at the likes of Andrew Surman and Harry Arter, there is plenty of industry and determination. There is, however, a lack of genuine class.
Wilshere should thrive in home games, where they are likely to enjoy a greater deal of possession. He will also look at Everton’s holding players - James McCarthy and Gareth Barry - and think that he could slyly colonize that area. As ever, Bournemouth have plenty of pace in their side - with the likes of Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanislas able to penetrate from deeper positions.
This is where Bournemouth could have an edge over Everton. Yes, Everton have the technical superiority, but Bournemouth are more than a match where speed and pure athleticism are considered. If Bournemouth are able to start well and perhaps score the first goal, the emboldened home support will make it more uncomfortable for Everton.
Ibe and Callum Wilson will look to ignite a potentially lethal strike partnership. The latter will obviously play in a wider role, but should be encouraged to get inside more often. Ibe needs to have more conviction in that final third; He tends to run into a mental block when the time comes to pull the trigger.
The Koeman revolution really materialised out of nothing. Their transfer activity was scant, though, the last minute acquisition of Yannick Bolasie could prove pivotal in maintaining Everton’s upward mobility. Koeman seems to have motivated a group of sleeping giants.
Kevin Mirallas has come back from dormancy, while Ross Barkley has shaken off a listless start to show signs of his best form. Bolasie has brought something that they desperately needed: energy. Koeman, upon signing for the club, publicly stated that his side seemed unfit by Premier League standards. Bolasie is the standard bearer of Koeman’s vision of the new Everton.
Romelu Lukaku has managed to soldier on and buy into Koeman’s vision for the club. He will likely have Miralles and Bolasie on the flanks. Koeman’s side will no doubt offer a threat, but they do have vulnerabilities.
The defensive midfield could be exposed by Bournemouth’s athletic frontline. Furthermore, Wilshere’s ‘genius’ could provide them with a foothold in the midfield area. Coleman will also have to check his forays forward with the livewire Charlie Daniels hugging the left-hand touchline.
Verdict: Draw + Both Teams To Score (Yes) - (31/10)
I think that this is going to be a far tougher match than most pundits would anticipate. While I stop short of saying Bournemouth will defeat Everton, I think that the home side’s cavalier approach will threaten Everton’s more tactically adept approach. I think a score draw at 31/10 is the way to go.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets