Bournemouth vs Everton Preview: Both sides looking for a positive response after cup exits

Ronald Koeman's side travel to the Vitality Stadium aware that victory could take them to the top of the Premier League table, while Eddie Howe will be hoping his side can bounce back from defeats to Manchester City and Preston in the last week.

Bournemouth vs Everton Preview: Both sides looking for a positive response after cup exits
Everton's Leighton Baines in action against Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie when the two sides last met. (Image: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Everton and Bournemouth will be looking to respond positively when they meet at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday after both sides were knocked out of the EFL Cup in midweek by Championship opposition.

Eddie Howe's side will be hoping to bounce back from their 3-2 extra-time defeat to Preston on Tuesday, while Ronald Koeman will be eager for his side to get back to winning ways after he tasted his first defeat as Everton boss against Norwich City in the cup.

Contrasting fortunes this season

The two sides played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium last season in a match that became a recurring theme under Roberto Martinez. Bournemouth scored three goals in the final 10 minutes as the Toffees twice squandered a winning position as Junior Stanislas' 98th minute goal meant that Everton had to settle for a point.

Since replacing Martinez in June, Ronald Koeman has delivered an almost instantaneous improvement at Goodison Park. Four wins and one draw has propelled the Toffees into second place in the Premier League table and if Everton secure another three points on Saturday and Manchester City taste defeat at Swansea City, Ronald Koeman's side will move to the top of the standings.

The Toffees have won four of their first five league games for the first time since 1978 and victory on the South Coast would represent their best start to a season since 1969. But, more importantly, they have seemed a world away from the soft underbelly that became ever more exposed during Martinez's three-season regime, highlighted in the 3-3 draw with Bournemouth last November.

Everton's Gareth Barry is congratulated by team mates after scoring his sides equalising goal against Middlesbrough last weekend. | Photo: Rich Linley/CameraSport via Getty Images
Everton's Gareth Barry is congratulated by team mates after scoring his sides equalising goal against Middlesbrough last weekend. | Photo: Rich Linley/CameraSport via Getty Images

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are fourth from bottom and just a point above the relegation zone after losing three of their opening five matches. Eddie Howe will be hoping his side can bounce back after being thumped 4-0 by Manchester City last weekend and then knocked out of the EFL Cup three days later by Championship side Preston North End.

The Cherries start to the campaign is identical to last season, with this fixture last season acting as a springboard for Bournemouth. The neutrals, and Bournemouth, would most probably settled for the same again this time around, but Everton will be keen to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Key players

Jack Wilshire (Bournemouth) - the Arsenal loanee has featured twice for the Cherries since completing his season-long loan on transfer deadline day. The midfielder will be looking to prove a point and get his career back on track at the Vitality Stadium after being deemed surplus to requirements by Arsene Wenger.

Ross Barkley (Everton) - Ronald Koeman was recently critical of Barkley after substituting the England international at half-time during Everton's 3-0 win at Sunderland, insisting the 22-year-old "needs to improve".  Barkley scored two goals against Bournemouth last season and he will be hoping to shine again on the South Coast.

Jack Wilshere has not completed a full game in the Premier League for over two years. | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jack Wilshere has not completed a full game in the Premier League for over two years. | Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Team news

Ronald Koeman will be hoping Romelu Lukaku is able to recover from a toe injury in time to take his place in Everton's starting line-up, while Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry could return to the team having sat out Tuesday's EFL cup tie.

Midfielders James McCarthy and Darron Gibson (both groin) are making good progress and should be back within two to three weeks, but fellow midfielder Muhamed Besic (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is likely to revert back to the side which played against Manchester City last Saturday, following his decision to change all 11 players which started their cup match against Preston. Midfielder Dan Gosling will be hoping to be in the team after impressing in the EFL Cup defeat - the former Everton player is yet to start in the league this season.