Everton will look to end the season on a high, while Bournemouth hope for a miracle that helps them stay up when they lock horns on the final matchday of the season.
The Premier League is about to call curtains on a roller-coaster of a 2019/20 season with its final matchday of the season on Sunday. A lot is riding on the fixtures this weekend as some clubs try to push for a European spot while others can only hope to continue in the top-flight.
Everton, though, do not have a lot to play for, as they sit 11th in the table, four adrift of Arsenal in 10th, and level with 12th placed Southampton. They faced Sheffield United last week and were able to pull off an unlikely win thanks to a goal from Richarlison as soon as the second half started. This was only one of the three games they have managed to win after football resumed.
They will go head-to-head with AFC Bournemouth, who have had a worse season by several stretches. At the moment they are placed second to last in the table, three points off safety. Not only will they have to dig out a win, but they will also have to do it with a considerable margin and hope for Aston Villa and Watford to drop points.
The previous meeting between the two sides came at the Vitality Stadium when Marco Silva was still in charge of the Toffees. The game ended 3-1 in favour of Bournemouth courtesy of a goal from Ryan Fraser and a brace from Callum Wilson. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal for Everton on the day. We take a closer look at tomorrow’s fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Carlo Ancelotti will have to cater to several injuries ahead of the game on Sunday. Jean-Philippe Gbamin has missed the entire season through injury and will not feature against Bournemouth. Fabian Delph, Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Cenk Tosun are all sidelined for this fixture, as well, while Moise Kean’s involvement remains a doubt.
Jordan Pickford will hold the fort for Everton in their six-yard box as Michael Keane and Seamus Coleman screen him from the heart of the defence. Djibril Sidibe and Lucas Digne are expected to provide the width from the back.
Everton are expected to continue in their 4-2-3-1 which they used against Sheffield United and will have Tom Davies and Andre Gomes in the midfield double pivot. At the same time, Gylfi Sigurdsson will occupy the attacking midfield role.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to lead the line for the Toffees and will be aided on the left by Richarlison, who has generally occupied the second striker role all season playing off of the Englishman. Theo Walcott is expected to feature on the right-wing for Everton.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Sidibe, Coleman, Keane, Digne; Davies, Gomes; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
There will be several notable omissions for Bournemouth, namely Charlie Daniels, Chris Memphan and Simon Francis who will unquestionably miss the game. Nathan Ake, who could be on his way out this summer, is a doubt but could be rushed back because of the importance of the game. Adam Smith will undergo a last-minute fitness test to confirm his inclusion.
Joshua King and Callum Wilson will lead the line for the Cherries in the form of a twin strike partnership. The duo has 13 goals and four assists between them this season and will be crucial against Everton.
Junior Stanislas will occupy the flank on the left in a four-man midfield while David Brooks will assume responsibility on the right. Harry Wilson is also an option for Eddie Howe but is only expected to get a cameo appearance off the bench. Philip Billing and Jefferson Lerma will feature in the double pivot.
Diego Rico and Jack Stacey are likely to provide the width from the back, flanking Lloyd Kelly and Steve Cook who will play in the heart of the defence. Aaron Ramsdale will occupy the spot between the goalposts, hoping to build on his magnificent season and help his team stay in the top flight.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Stacey, Cook, Kelly, Rico; Brooks, Lerma, Billing, Stanislas; Wilson, King
- This is the first-ever meeting between Carlo Ancelotti and Eddie Howe.
- Everton and Bournemouth have met nine times in the Premier League previously. Everton have won four of these games, while Bournemouth have won thrice. The aggregate score between the two sides is 19-16 in favour of Everton.
- Both sides have kept just one clean sheet each against one another, the latest one from Everton last season in the 2-0 win at Goodison Park.
- Bournemouth have not won a single game at the Goodison Park, losing on all four of their visits, conceding 12 goals and scoring five.
- Everton are unbeaten in all nine of their Premier League home games against Carlo Ancelotti.
Player to Watch
Callum Wilson is a big fish in a small pond at Bournemouth and has been putting in tremendous shifts from the striker position since his arrival in 2014. He has been the top scorer of the club for three seasons, including the 2019/20 season scoring eight goals this campaign.
The Englishman has not scored for six games running now but will have to bring out his best if he wants the Cherries to have another go in the Premier League. His ability to act as the focal point for Bournemouth will come in especially handy against Everton who are without two senior centre-backs for the game.
Everton 2-3 AFC Bournemouth
Encounters between Bournemouth and Everton are always high scoring and thrilling. The 3-3 draw in 2015 or the 6-3 win for Everton in 2017 are proof of the same. We expect Sunday to be no different.
That said, it is true that Everton do not have a lot to play for, and will have a similar end to their season regardless of the result. It is a little different for Bournemouth, though, who are in dire need of a win if they want the slightest chance of survival.
Their fighting spirit was on show against Southampton last time out as well but were unlucky not to get a result. Against Everton, though, they just might.