LIVE on BBC One on Saturday night Bournemouth and Everton clash in the FA Cup. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his views.
Bournemouth v Everton | Saturday 17:30 | BBC One
A place in the Quarter-Finals awaits the winner of this tie. Who wants it more though? No doubt both sides will play weakened teams as the spectre of the Premier League continues to haunt this competition. Who will cope with it better?
Neither of these sides have faced Premier League opposition yet in the competition and this will be their toughest test yet for their second-string teams.
Bournemouth impressively saw off Championship play-off hunting Birmingham in the Third Round and followed that up with another 2-1 win, this time against League Two Portsmouth.
Neither game was particularly straight-forward for the Cherries and there’s no doubt that this clash with Everton will stretch their policy of playing squad players.
Everton have been fortunate enough to be drawn against two League Two sides so far in the competition. Dagenham & Redbridge were dismissed in the Third Round while Carlisle were escorted to the exit door in the Fourth Round via a 3-0 win for the Toffees.
In truth this is an awful game to try and evaluate when you know both sides aren’t playing full strength sides but my rule of thumb is simple – deep down who will want this more. It has to be Everton.
Yes, it’s a risky path to tread but the first and final (and everything in between) aim for Bournemouth this season is to stay in the Premier League. Four points off the relegation zone in 15th place their survival is far from assured.
Everton meanwhile have been made no real progress this season. Stuck in 11th position in the table manager Roberto Martinez is right to be under a wee bit of pressure when you look at the player names at his disposal.
Defeat here for Everton would end their season so one would assume the stakes feel a lot higher for them than Bournemouth. The Toffees are also not in action till March 1st after this game so there’s more scope to be expansive here for them.
Everton are 13/10 to win this game which actually feels a little too short to put up so I’ll go with them to win and both teams to score at a healthier 16/5 with Coral.
Bournemouth v Everton – Everton to win and both teams to score (16/5 Coral)