Bournemouth - Everton Preview: Will there be a repeat of the November thriller in the FA Cup?

The Toffees have reached at least the quarter-finals of the competition in three of the last four seasons. The exception was last year's third-round defeat by West Ham United on penalties.

Bournemouth - Everton Preview: Will there be a repeat of the November thriller in the FA Cup?
Everton take on Bournemouth in the FA Cup fifth round at 17:15 (GMT) on Saturday 20 February. (Image: Everton)

Everton will be hoping to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the fourth time in five years when they take on Bournemouth in the fifth round on Saturday.

Fourteen clubs have won major trophies since Everton last lifted silverware in 1995, including Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, but the Blues will be hoping to end their 20 year trophy drought this year.

Head-to-head

Bournemouth and Everton will meet for just the fifth time in their respective histories on Saturday. Their only previous FA Cup clash was back in 1937, when Everton recorded a thumping 5-0 win over the Cherries.

The two sides played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Goldsands Stadium in November in the Premier League. All three Bournemouth goals that day came after 80 minutes and saw the Toffees squander a winning position twice as Junior Stanislas' 98th minute goal meant that Everton had to settle for a point.

Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring what looked like a stoppage-time winner against Bournemouth in November. | Image: Sky Sports
Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring what looked like a stoppage-time winner against Bournemouth in November. | Image: Sky Sports

Everton eye cup success to brighten up frustrating season

Victories over Dagenham and Redbridge and Carlisle United have made it a comfortable progression to the fifth round for Everton. Martinez would have been pleased to avoid the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United and a favourable last-eight draw could quickly open up a semi-final spot for Everton and a trip to Wembley.

A lengthy cup run would certainly lift a club that has underachieved for so long and could provide the saving grace for Martinez and the Toffees after another frustrating season. Their last trip to Bournemouth summed up their season; their attacking prowess being undermined by their defensive lapses and inability to defend winning positions.

Inconsistency has been a major problem for the Toffees this season, but it appeared Martinez's side had turned a corner after recording back-to-back league victories for the first time this season over Newcastle United and Stoke City. However, last weekend's defeat to West Bromwich Albion highlighted season trends. Their away record this season will provide solace as the Toffees travel to Bournemouth. The Blues' solidarity away defeat in the league this season was at Arsenal in October and they have only failed to score in one of their last 13 games on the road in all competitions.

The FA Cup will provide a welcome break from the league and, with the Blues 12 points behind the top four, but only five points off the top seven and without a league game next weekend, the Toffees can afford to have a greater focus on the cup.

The opposition

Bournemouth booked their place in the fifth round for the first time in 27 years and just the fourth time in their 126-year existence courtesy of a 2-1 derby win over League Two Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Both of their ties in this season's competition have seen the Cherries come from a goal down to win after Glenn Murray struck late to defeat Birmingham City in the third round, before Marc Pugh did likewise against Pompey.

The Premier League remains Bournemouth's priority and, although they have lost only four of their last 16 matches in all competitions, they have recorded just two victories and a draw since beating Birmingham in the third round on January 9. Back-to-back defeats have seen the club drop to 15th position and just four points above the relegation zone meaning Eddie Howe is likely to make several changes for the visit of Everton.

Junior Stanislas celebrates scoring Bournemouth's second goal in their 3-3 draw with Everton. | Image: Reuters
Junior Stanislas celebrates scoring Bournemouth's second goal in their 3-3 draw with Everton. | Image: Reuters

Team news

Joel Robles, who has only conceded once in his last four appearances, is expected to start ahead of Tim Howard in goal, while John Stones has been declared fit to start after missing the last month with a hamstring injury.

Everton's player of the month for January Muhamed Besic is still out with a hamstring problem and new signing Oumar Niasse will have to wait for his debut after undergoing surgery on his wrist. Martinez could also recall Gerard Deulofeu and Leon Osman to his starting XI, while Leighton Baines could return at left-back for the Toffees.

Bournemouth have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, but Eddie Howe is expected to make several changes. Midfielder Matt Ritchie started the Stoke defeat on the bench but should return to the starting XI, while Joshua King and former Toffee Sylvain Distin will also be hopeful of an inclusion. Juan Iturbe, who joined on loan from Roma in the January transfer window, could also be handed his first start since his arrival on the South Coast.