TACTICAL football boff Chris Bland (@blandc_1996) gives us the lowdown on Super Sunday's showdown between Bournemouth and Everton.
Bournemouth v Everton | Sunday 15th September 2019, 14:00 | Sky Sports
The first instalment of Super Sunday comes from the Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth take on Everton. Everton, sitting sixth, come into the game on the back of an impressive 3-2 win over Wolves where they showed signs of their new look front four clicking. Bournemouth, on the other hand, are sat in 15thiwith their only win coming away at newly-promoted Aston Villa.
Chris Mepham is an injury doubt at centre half for Bournemouth, which could see a reshuffle at the back. Everton remain without Jean-Philippe Gbamin in the midfield, however they have enough depth to cope, with Fabian Delph standing out on his first start last time out.
Cause for Bournemouth concern
The main worry for Bournemouth heading into this game is the rate they are conceding goals. The Cherries have conceded the third-most, and are averaging an Expected Goals (xG) against figure of 2.15, which is concerning for Eddie Howe. He has also been switching between a back four and five, often within games, although injuries have played a part in this.
Bournemouth’s performance against Leicester, who like Everton played a 4-2-3-1, will be alarming, and in particular the performance of James Maddison. Playing in behind Jamie Vardy, he was excellent between the lines of the Bournemouth defence and midfield. He was afforded this space as the Cherries centre halves had to be wary of Vardy’s pace in behind, especially after conceding after 12 minutes.
Phillip Billing and Jefferson Lerma were often caught out by Maddison finding space between the lines, and in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton possess a player who can cause similar problems. He looked back to his best against Wolves, drifting out right to create overloads on Wolves’ wing back, and this allowed him to exert a large influence on the game.
Providing five key passes, an assist and 10 crosses against Wolves, if Bournemouth are to opt for five at the back once again, this could play perfectly into Everton’s hands, and more importantly, Sigurdsson.
Furthermore, Everton were able to target Adama Traore playing at wing back, on the left, who’s defensive positioning led to Alex Iwobi’s goal. With Ryan Fraser playing this role in some games, such as the second half against Manchester City, Everton could look to employ a similar tactic to make the most of their threat in the box.
Richarlison and Moise Kean offer a strong aerial threat from these overloads, and both their attacking form is starting to pick up. Richarlison is starting to find his range once again, scoring twice last week, whilst Kean is beginning to grow into the central striking role, proving to be a handful against Wolves. Kean also netted for Italy U21s during the international break, as Everton are begin to look a more formidable force going forward.
Cherries to utilise their forward pace
Bournemouth also offer a strong threat going forward, scoring in every game and racking up an average xG of 1.35, although their lowest tally was against Leicester last time out at 0.55.
One area where Eddie Howe’s team will look to target is the pace of Callum Wilson in behind Yerry Mina and Michael Keane. Keane, coming into the game on the back of a struggling performance for England, may take time to settle, and this could be an area which Bournemouth focus on.
Furthermore, Ryan Fraser could be utilised in the same way up against full back Seamus Coleman, as they will look to get in behind the Everton back line. The game could easily stretch given the frontlines of both sides, and as a result afford a lot of space in the midfield for the creative players from both sides.
On Bournemouth’s side, Harry Wilson has started the season extremely well, including two goals this season. Drifting in from the wing, he is a nightmare for defenders to pick up, and isn’t afraid to have a go. With space expected from both sides around the edge of the box, and both teams with a number of players capable of scoring long-range screamers, when priced up, a goal outside the box will be worth a look.
Goals and cards forecast
The stretched nature of the game will lend itself to goals, and given the impressive attacks of either side, as well as the leaky Bournemouth defence, Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score at evens (Bet365) represents good value.
Given that an open game is expected, a number of fouls trying to stop counter attacks can be expected. The two teams have a lot of potential options to be booked, with all four central midfielders from both sides possessing poor disciplinary records.
However, the best value appears to be in Everton full back Coleman at 9/2 (Bet365), who will be up against Fraser. Already booked twice this season against similar opposition, Fraser has been fouled 2.30 times per-game on average, and could potentially give Coleman a torrid time.
The referee for the game is Paul Tierney, who has averages 4.66 cards this term, so he won’t be shy in handing them out.
Both Bournemouth and Everton will fancy themselves to get a result in a game which has in the past made for a thrilling encounter, and the two attacks are expected to be the showcase once again in this clash.