Roberto Martinez’s Everton side are on a roll. They dismantled Aston Villa 4-0 last week and now have their eyes firmly set on Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth.
The Toffees boss is urging caution ahead of the trip by saying the Cherries carry a “winning mentality” from the previous years under Howe.
Everton’s upcoming fixtures
Everton now have a run of games where they are likely to be considered favourites for the majority of them. That run started last week with the game with Aston Villa.
Martinez said that game was a “very good way” to start this upcoming run. The Toffees play a number of sides in the bottom half of the table and are looking to add points to an already very good November run.
Form of Gerard Deulofeu
Gerard Deulofeu has been in spectacular form in recent weeks and the Blues boss has credited that to him looking “happy” and having a “real connection and real chemistry” with everyone from his teammates to the fans.
Martinez carried on to call Deulofeu an “incredible, world class talent” and said that everyone knows just how good he is.
In past weeks, Martinez has said Everton’s ambition of European qualification will come down to how well Deulofeu plays, and hopes he will continue to “play freely” and stay in his current form.
Selection headache for Martinez
After this game against Bournemouth, Everton travel to face Middlesbrough on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup and Roberto Martinez may have a selection conundrum on his hands.
On one hand, he has to look at the Premier League as his bread and butter and will need the three points to go a long way towards his end of season goal of European football. On the other hand, he has a really tough cup game only a handful of days later.
Martinez said that fatigue is not an issue at the moment and that he wants to be involved in domestic competitions but “psychologically we (Everton) are prepared.”
The Everton faithful are desperate for silverware at Goodison Park and Martinez will have to take both situations into consideration.
Kevin Mirallas has been a player at the top of the week to week selection headache for Martinez. In past seasons, when fit - Mirallas has been an automatic choice but not of late.
The Toffees boss said he doesn’t want players who are “happy just to come in and train” nor those who are happy “not to be involved in the starting line up.”
Injuries and fitness
Leighton Baines is knocking on the door of a return to first team action and Martinez says he is “just waiting for the right moment to give him an introduction.”
The Everton boss said he wants Baines to be in a position where he isn’t fearful of trying to make a tackle.
Outside of Baines, Martinez has no fresh injury concerns and only those unavailable for the Aston Villa game - Tony Hibbert, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar, are the only current injuries.