By 90Min
December 29, 2017

Bournemouth host Everton at the Vitality Stadium in the duo's final Premier League match of 2017 on Saturday.

The Cherries find themselves languishing in the relegation zone at the midway point of the campaign whilst the Toffees are in the midst of a eight-match unbeaten run.

With three points up for grabs once more, here's what you need to know for Saturday's clash:


Previous Encounter

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Oumar Niasse proved to be Everton's hero when the two sides met back in September in a rare win for the eventually sacked Ronald Koeman.

The home team trailed to Josh King's 49th-minute opener before the Senegal striker was introduced from the bench to stunning effect.

Niasse scored twice in the final 13 minutes to complete a remarkable comeback and showed Koeman that he had been wrong to freeze him out of the first-team picture during the first part of his ill-fated reign.


Form

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It's been nine league matches since Bournemouth last tasted victory - the 4-0 thumping of Huddersfield seeming like a distant memory for the 18th-placed top flight outfit.

Four draw and four defeats have been accumulated since mid-November, and it took a controversial equaliser at the death against West Ham on Boxing Day to prevent it being five defeats in the last eight.

Everton, in contrast, haven't lost since their 4-0 thrashing of the Hammers in late November and find themselves unbeaten in seven games under new boss Sam Allardyce.

Two stalemates against Chelsea and West Brom have been bittersweet for the Blues, and Allardyce will hope to get back to winning ways on the south coast this weekend.


Team News

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Eddie Howe could be without up to seven first-team players for the visit of Sam Allardyce's men including key personnel Jermain Defoe and Harry Arter.

Andrew Surman and Charlie Daniels will be given every chance to prove their fitness, but both may only be fit enough for the bench.

Allardyce will be without Idrissa Gueye again due to a hamstring complaint while Leighton Baines has suffered a setback in his return from a calf problem.

Wayne Rooney, however, will return to the fold after he overcame a week-long viral infection.

Predicted Bournemouth Lineup: Begovic; Francis, Cook, Ake, Smith; Cook, Gosling; Ibe, King, Pugh; Wilson.

Predicted Everton Lineup: Pickford; Kenny, Jagielka; Keane, Martina; Schneiderlin, Rooney, Davies; Sigurdsson, Lennon, Niasse.


Prediction

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With seven wins from the previous nine contests between these sides, a newfound defensive resolve and their unbeaten streak still in tact, it's hard to look past Everton here.

Bournemouth have taken four points off the Toffees in the past two home encounters against them, but confidence is low in their camp and high in their opponents'.

If Everton can draw first blood then it'll be a huge uphill battle for the Cherries to overcome. A tight encounter that Allardyce's men will triumph in.

Prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Everton

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