Everton travel to the south coast to face AFC Bournemouth, looking to preserve their unbeaten record in the Premier League. The game represents a real test for Ronald Koeman, can he get his team to bounce back after a disappointing midweek loss.
The Blues sit second in the league table, two points behind the so far perfect Manchester City. The Cherries have already seen just how good City can be and will also be looking to bounce back. Eddie Howe’s side haven’t started this season too poorly, they’ve just been unlucky when it comes to picking up points.
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Eddie Howe’s side haven’t started this season too poorly, they’ve just been unlucky when it comes to picking up points.
Last season, this fixture made for one of the Premier League’s best. Everton believed to have won the game in the dying embers only to concede moments later. The game finished 3-3 and was truly a game for the neutrals. We’ll get into that game further just a little later.
Everton are looking to go one better this time around and take all three points back with them to Goodison Park.
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Both sides are looking to bounce back this week.
It’s also another chance for Ronald Koeman’s side to showcase their intentions, are they going to be serious contenders this season or fall away quickly?
Bournemouth were taken to extra time by Preston North End where they were beaten by a Simon Makienok hat-trick. They also haven’t won in the Premier League for two weeks, last picking up a home win against West Bromwich Albion.
Everton, as it’s already been covered, were knocked out by Norwich City in a very disappointing manner at Goodison Park on Tuesday night. Now, the League Cup can be seen as a distraction but to Everton, it represents a trophy they have never won.
The team was rotated and it won’t be the same team that plays on Saturday, but the squad still has something to prove.
Koeman does not like to lose and does not want to suffer back to back losses this early on in the season.
HALEWOOD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Ronald Koeman watches his players during the Everton FC training session at Finch Farm on September 22, 2016, in Halewood, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)
In a game that can be best described as frantic, Everton took an early 2-0 lead through Ramiro Funes Mori and Romelu Lukaku. Just like so many times last season, the Blues were in the driving seat and through the result away. Goals from Adam Smith and Josh King brought Bournemouth level but it wasn’t until the last few moments that the game really turned on its head.
Everton sent the ball forward, looking to win the game with the final kick of the game. A goal mouth scramble saw Ross Barkley poke the ball home and the Blues celebrated what they thought was the winning goal. Yet, instead of letting the referee blow his whistle to end the game, Roberto Martinez made a substitution.
A substitution adds time onto the game and it was a game that was all set to be over. In time added on by the sub, Junior Stanislas was able to nod home a cross from Josh King to secure a point. for the hosts.
Just like last season, Bournemouth will be aiming to use this fixture for their season. Last campaign they were able to go on a run that kept them in the Premier League.
Everton will be without Mo Besic, James McCarthy and Darron Gibson for this trip. The Blues will also hand a late fitness test to Romelu Lukaku to see if he can start the game.
Bournemouth will be without Marc Wilson and Marc Pugh as they continue to battle injuries.