Everton - Bournemouth Preview: Martinez on the brink as the pressure mounts on the Blues boss

There is growing hostility towards Roberto Martinez; supporters frustrated by their league position, angered by their awful home record and embarrassed by their recent derby humiliation.

Everton - Bournemouth Preview: Martinez on the brink as the pressure mounts on the Blues boss
Everton take on Bournemouth at Goodison Park on Saturday 30 April at 15:00 (BST). (Image: VAVEL)

After their FA Cup dreams were crushed by an injury-time winner from Anthony Martial for Manchester United in the semi-final, it is back to the Premier League for Everton on Saturday as they host Bournemouth at Goodison Park.

The sides head into the game level in the table and in similar form with three points from a possible 15 but there are contrasting moods of the pitch. While Roberto Martinez is under pressure and facing growing hostility from supporters, Eddie Howe has guided Bournemouth safely away from relegation to leave supporters relishing a second season in the top-flight.

Head-to-head

Everton have never lost against Bournemouth in the five matches they have played in all competitions, but the reverse league fixture would have felt like a defeat and highlighted a season trend for the Toffees.

Two first-half goals had Everton in complete control, but Bournemouth fought back to draw level before Ross Barkley's 95th minute strike appeared to be the winner. However, Junior Stanislas equalised in the 98th minute to earn the hosts a point.

There was not a repeat of the six-goal thriller when Everton visited the Vitality Stadium again for an FA Cup tie in February as the Toffees eased to a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.

Martinez on the brink as pressure mounts on the Blues boss 

Everton supporters display their frustration at the FA Cup semi-final. | Photo: Getty Images
Everton supporters display their frustration at the FA Cup semi-final. | Photo: Getty Images

There is a growing hostility towards Roberto Martinez as the pressure continues to mount on the Everton boss. Supporters have become frustrated by their league position, angered by their awful home record, embarrassed by their Merseyside derby humiliation and not at all placated by two brilliant cup runs that brought semi-final heartbreak.

Martinez is known for his positivity and range of adjectives, usually superlatives he deploys with great enthusiasm, but some events are so extreme that they burst even the biggest bubble of positivity. Last week's Merseyside derby humiliation was certainly one of those events. The 4-0 defeat prompted Martinez to use the words "disastrous", "embarrassing" and "horrible" for perhaps the only time in his Everton career.

The FA Cup defeat to Manchester United last weekend removed any remaining chance of salvaging something from a season that, like Martinez's rhetoric, has promised more than it has delivered. It was a cruel blow, but late heartbreak is not an unfamiliar feeling for Everton supporters this season - the two latest goals in the Premier League this campaign have both been scored against the Toffees, including Junior Stanislas' 98th-minute equaliser in the reverse fixture.

A large proportion of the supporters want to see Martinez replaced and there will no doubt be banners, chants and the mood could sour even more, especially if Bournemouth inflict a ninth defeat on Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Home discomforts

The Toffees' home form has been one of the main reasons for the supporters' unrest. Only bottom club Aston Villa have conceded more goals at home and they are the only club to have won fewer home games than Everton (four) in the Premier League this season.

This campaign has seen them record their worst record at Goodison Park in the club's 138-year history. The Toffees won 42 points at Goodison in his first campaign, but won just 28 at home last season and this season has been even worse, picking up just 17 points at home, with eight defeats, five draws and four wins.

In David Moyes' last two seasons at Everton he won 22 home games and lost seven, while in Martinez's last two campaigns - with two games still to be played - they have won 11 and lost 13.

The opposition

Bournemouth start the match three places below Everton, but they have the same points total as the Toffees and will go above them with a win. The Cherries have already passed the 40-point mark with three games of their maiden top-flight season remaining, but their form as late is a little worrying for manager Eddie Howe.

A narrow 2-1 win at Aston Villa are the only points Bournemouth have managed in five matches, but the four defeats were against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Howe's side may have lost four of their last five matches, but they have only tasted defeat once in their last seven matches on the road and that against second-placed Tottenham.

Defensively the Cherries are struggling, having conceded at least two goals in five of their last six games, but Eddie Howe will be hoping his side impresses at Goodison on Saturday as he has been tipped as a potential replacement for Martinez.

Junior Stanislas scored in the 98th minute when the two sides met in the reverse fixture. | Photo: Getty Images
Junior Stanislas scored in the 98th minute when the two sides met in the reverse fixture. | Photo: Getty Images

Team news

Roberto Martinez is not only under pressure but he also has a lengthy injury list to contend with including four first-team players. Defenders Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) plus Gareth Barry (groin) are all ruled out through injury, while Ramiro Funes Mori is suspended.

The Everton boss has, however, hinted young midfielder Kieran Dowell could be in line to make his Premier League debut against the Cherries after his recent fine form for the Under-21 side. Youngsters Callum Connolly, Tom Davies and Matthew Pennington could also come into consideration.

Tim Howard is set to start the final two home games of Everton's season celebrates his outstanding contribution over the past 10 years.

For Bournemouth, Tyrone Mings is a long-term absentee, but the Cherries are also set to be without Max Gradel, Adam Smith, Tokelo Rantie and Harry Arter for the trip to Goodison Park.