Everton are riding high in second place and have recorded their best ever start to a Premier League season after 5 games Ronald Koeman’s era as manager being almost perfect. They will look to continue that impressive run of form against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.
Last season when these two sides met they played out one of the most dramatic games of the season as Ross Barkley’s 95th minute goal and what many thought was the winner was then cancelled out by Junior Stanislas’ 98th minute equaliser. It was results like this that set the wheels in motion for the end of Roberto Martinez’s time at the club and you would have to feel that Everton won’t be making the same mistakes this time around.
Both teams lost in the EFL Cup in midweek to Championship opposition. Bournemouth losing to Preston while Everton tasted their first defeat in all competitions to Alex Neil’s Norwich, so they will no doubt be looking to bounce back from that disappointment.
Koeman will probably feel the more aggrieved as a route into Europe next season has now been closed off but maybe he feels without that extra burden the full focus can go on not only earning a European place but aiming for the Top 4. Should the Toffees win on Saturday then everyone connected with the club will have good reason to be optimistic for the long season ahead.
Everton fared better in league action last weekend as they ran out 3-1 winners against Middlesbrough at Goodison Park. After going behind to a somewhat questionable own goal by Marten Stekelenburg they then turned in three first half goals to wrap the win and move up to second in the table.
Bournemouth didn’t have the same fortune as they were the latest side to be crushed by the all conquering machine which is Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The league leaders eased their way to a 4-0 in what was a long afternoon for The Cherries.
Eddie Howe’s side are hovering on just the right side of the relegation dotted line for now but with just one win so far this season, it seems as if they are also going up against the dreaded ‘Second Season Syndrome’ that so many sides have struggled with over the years.
Their home form is what by and large kept them up last season and they will have to look for more of the same this time around. But going up against an in form Everton is not going to be an easy task and I certainly can’t see a repeat of last seasons 6 goal thriller.
I think Everton will not only continue their unbeaten start to the season but will record a 5th consecutive win to solidify their second place in the table. More misery for Bournemouth as they become unstuck against The Toffees. An away win for me.