By 90Min
September 22, 2017

Everton and Bournemouth meet at Goodison Park on Saturday as they look to give their Premier League seasons lift-off after sluggish starts.

The hosts are winless in their last four league run outs, while the Cherries only picked up their first points of the season with last Saturday's slender victory over Brighton.

With the duo desperate for all three points, the clash in Merseyside promises to be finely poised. Here's the lowdown on all you need to know ahead of the contest:


Last Meeting

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An absurd nine-goal thriller was played out in L4 in February as Everton thrashed Bournemouth 6-3.

A brace from Romelu Lukaku either side of James McCarthy's close range finish had given the Blues a 3-0 half time lead, but Joshua King's two goals in quick succession narrowed the score to a solitary goal midway through the second 45.

Lukaku seemingly wrapped up the points - and end fraying Evertonian nerves - with two more strikes late on, but there was still time for Harry Arter and Ross Barkley to trade further goals in injury time to cap an utterly crazy afternoon at Goodison.


Danger Men

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Ex-Everton star Lukaku would have been a shoe-in to be the Toffees' man to be feared by the Cherries, given his six strikes against Eddie Howe's men, but his departure means someone else must step up to the plate.

That man should hopefully be Wayne Rooney who, fresh from a midweek rest as he sat out the Carabao Cup win over Sunderland, will look to add to his two-goal haul already registered since his summer return.

The veteran forward has two goals and an assist from three games against Bournemouth and will hope to put his recent off-the-field troubles behind him with another Goodison goal.

For Bournemouth, Jermain Defoe and Joshua King will certainly be ones to watch out for when the South coast club roll into town.

It is Junior Stanislas, however, who will try to be the thorn in Everton's side once more. The winger has notched three goals in seven club appearances against the Blues, and all three have come in Bournemouth colours.

Stanislas has only recently returned from injury so may not start the encounter, but expect him to be brought on to terrorise Everton's backline if Eddie Howe's men need a goal.


Team News

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman has no fresh injury concerns for Saturday, with his long-term injured quartet the only absentees for Bournemouth's visit.

James McCarthy will resume full training next week after a knee issue disrupted the start of his season, while Jonjoe Kenny and Oumar Niasse did themselves no harm against Sunderland on Wednesday and could be handed call-ups to the 18-man matchday squad due.

For Bournemouth, Howe was hit with the news that Tyrone Mings is out for a month with a back strain - the defender joining Callum Wilson and Adam Federici on the treatment table.

Stanislas threw his hat into the selection ring after coming through the cup win over Brighton unscathed, while Steve Cook should be fit to feature following last week's knock.


Predicted Everton Starting Lineup: Pickford; Martina, Keane, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Mirallas, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin.


Predicted Bournemouth Starting Lineup: Begovic; Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels; Surman, Arter; Fraser, King, Pugh; Defoe.


Prediction

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Everton hold sway over their opponents with three wins to Bournemouth's one in their brief history of bouts, but don't expect much in the way of goals despite the previous five meetings dising out 21 strikes between the pair.

The Toffees have chalked up just 10 goals in 10 competitive games this term, while the Cherries have just six in seven.

With defences lacking confidence it could be easy to say there will be a few strikes in this match, but each side's profligacy in front of goal may put paid to that. Instead, we think it'll be a narrow victory to the home side with only the odd goal in it.

Prediction: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth

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