Bournemouth and Everton have been two of the quick starters in the Premier League and the sides meet at the Vitality Stadium this weekend. Eddie Howe’s men are keeping pace with the big boys at this early stage of the campaign, picking up maximum points from their opening two games. A routine 2-0 win over Cardiff was followed up by an impressive comeback win against big-spending West Ham United last week and everyone connected with the Cherries will want to build on that, starting against a very good Everton side.
The Marco Silva era has started well for the Toffees, after they picked up a creditable draw at newly-promoted Wolves on the opening day despite playing with ten men for a large period of the game. They followed that up with a 2-1 success over Southampton last time out, playing the attack-minded, creative football that Silva demands and the fans crave. And, they’ve done this without their big deadline day arrivals, with Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes two big additions to this squad. Another positive is the form of mega-money summer signing Richarlison who has scored three goals in two games and looks as though he has transformed the Blues attack.
With both sides in good form, both keen on playing quick, attacking football and with a host of quality players on the pitch, this should be a game that is a fine watch for the neutral and could have a lot of goals in.
Bournemouth vs Everton Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Everton
Given that, we have gone for a high-scoring draw when the two sides meet. Firstly, you have to recognise that Eddie Howe’s team are very capable on their own patch. It’s a tight ground, the players use the fans to their advantage and it’s a tough place to go for the visitors, so Bournemouth will fancy their chances of making it three from three.
Yet, even in just two games, you get the feeling this is a very different Everton. The atmosphere away from the pitch has improved significantly, with the fans firmly behind the players, whilst they are delivering and playing how Silva will want. They have enough quality going forward to trouble any defence, with the attacking trio of Theo Walcott, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison a very, very dangerous combination. Therefore, we don’t expect Everton to lose and they would probably take another point on the road.
Our recommended tip: Both teams to score
This isn’t the bravest of calls as the odds reflect, however it’s a selection that we feel will stand a very good chance when the two sides meet. Both teams to score has landed in both Everton games, whilst Bournemouth have only kept out Cardiff so far this season – a side who are weak going forward.
As mentioned, that’s not the case with Everton, they are packed with talent, whilst Bournemouth look to take any side on when they are at home. That combines to make this a very exciting game and you should certainly expect bothe keepers to be busy and ultimately both to be beaten at some point in the afternoon.
This will just be the 11th meeting between the sides, which isn’t surprising when you look at the history of the two teams. Everton are top-flight regulars, whereas the Cherries had spent much of their history outside the top division. So, whilst they had the very rare cup game, the majority of these games have come in the past few years as Bournemouth look to establish themselves in the highest division.
Despite that, there have been a few memorable moments and one game will standout for both sides. They shared a 3-3 draw on the coast back in 2015, with two very, very late stoppage time goals, the latter coming from the hosts to rescue a point. Meanwhile, Everton will have fond memories of their 6-3 win against Howe’s men in February 2017. As you can see, there have been many high-scoring games involving the sides over the years.
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Players to watch: Callum Wilson & Richarlison
The Bournemouth striker’s talent is undoubted, his issues over the years have been staying fit as he has been halted by several serious injuries. However, he is fit and available now and has started the season very well, scoring two goals in two games. Despite those setbacks, he is still lightning quick and that pace in behind is a massive positive for the Cherries who are always looking to play him in. Everton will have to be wary of that and stopping Wilson will be crucial for Silva’s men if they are to get anything out of this game.
For the visitors, the star man is obvious. Many were shocked at the fee Richarlison cost, believed to be up to £50m, from Watford this summer but he is already beginning to pay it back. He is extremely powerful, has good pace and technique. Yet, most importantly, he is capable of scoring goals. Whether it’s a deft, smart finish like his second at Wolves, a poacher’s effort like his first at Molineux or using his strength to beat off his man as he did against Southampton, he scores all types. Already he has given the Blues a different dimension going forward and is fast becoming a fans favourite to the Goodison Park faithful.