Everton visit the Vitality Stadium on Sunday to take on 15th placed Bournemouth. With the blues currently standing at an impressive 6th position, they’ll be hoping to build on this, and earn their third win of the season. Make sure to check out Toffee TV for more Everton news:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjaKGBVOIdk

Following the well earned 3-2 victory over Wolves, as well as a week on international duty, Everton face a tough away fixture against Bournemouth. With the game being away from home, this may be problematic. Last season, Everton’s home form was far better than the away form, with 10 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses at home, as opposed to 5 wins, 5 draws, and 9 losses in away games.

When looking at a 2018/19 league table based on away results, Everton would be 12th, rather than 7th when looking at home results. As well as this, Everton’s two away results so far in the league this season have been disappointing (0-0 vs Crystal Palace, and 0-2 loss against Aston Villa). This questionable form may be a worry this weekend, when up against a side who Everton have  previously struggled with. In this fixture (away in the league against Bournemouth), Everton drew 3-3 in 2015, lost 1-0 in 2016, lost 2-1 in 2017, and drew 2-2 in 2018.

With this history of results, as well as Everton’s away form, this may be a difficult game, and so the significance of a potential win should not be underestimated.

With fairly mixed league results so far, Bournemouth have drawn 1-1 at home to Sheffield United, won 2-1 away against Villa, lost 3-1 at home to Man City, and recently lost 3-1 at home to Leicester. Given the frequent comparisons between Everton and Leicester, Evertonians will be hoping for a similarly emphatic win this weekend.

Bournemouth tend to play a 4-4-2 with pacey strike partners, Josh King and Callum Wilson up front. The creative Ryan Fraser operates out-wide, along with free-kick specialist Harry Wilson. The link-up play between Fraser and Wilson is the most dangerous threat for Everton, with Fraser tallying 7 goals and 14 assists in the Premier League last season, whilst Wilson totalled 14 goals and 9 assists.

However, playing with just two central midfielders (Lerma and Billing), Everton should look to overload this area with the probable midfield three of Gomes, Delph, and Sigurdsson, hopefully outnumbering Bournemouth. The likes of Iwobi and Sigurdsson drifting in behind Lerma and Billing, and dragging out defenders to create space will be key in this game. Such creativity centrally has been fairly absent in recent Everton games, but was improved upon in the victory against Wolves. This will be needed at the weekend.

Score prediction: Bournemouth 2-3 Everton

It’s set to be a fairly open game, with both sides being very likely to field attacking sides, and so it’s probable that both sides will have plenty of chances. However with Everton’s poor away form, and results against Bournemouth in recent seasons, earning a win should be a difficult task this weekend.

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BILLY MINSHALL

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