A home fixture for Everton on the final day of the Premier League is something the Toffees fans will appreciate. A win guarantees them top-flight football next season, and with their relegation rivals Leeds United and Leicester City both failing to secure victories in their last fixtures, Everton head into the final day ahead of them and just outside the relegation zone.
Everton have the benefit of being in charge of their own fate at Goodison Park and a win ensures they will not be one of the two teams following the doomed Southampton down to the Championship. Evertonian’s are no strangers to being in a relegation battle, as the side that Sean Dyche inherited were in a similar position last season, having secured safety on the second to last game of the season then. For 69 consecutive years, Everton have been a top-flight side and the board have brought in Sean Dyche who has worked miracles with Burnley in his previous job, to ensure that admirable achievement remains untouched.
South-coast Bournmeouth are not in the best of form, Gary O’Neil’s team have and undesirable recent record, losing three on the bounce in their most recent fixtures. This is off the back of a very strong April for the side, as they picked up five wins that month, the most wins in a single month that they have ever recorded in the Premier League. Goals have flown in against The Cherries, and with safety confirmed in their first season back in the Premier League, they’ve remarkable stayed safe despite conceding over 70 goals.
It's been injuries a-plenty for the Merseyside club and selection will be on the cards again as it has been throughout the season. Several key players have missed large portion of this season including Andros Townsend and Ruben Vinagre. Benjamin Godfrey is a big miss at the back and Vitali Mykolenko who has played a large portion of games this season is forced out, along with long-standing club captain, Seamus Coleman.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin back in the hot seat and leading the charge for Everton, they will need him to find his pre-injury from fast as Evertonian’s know what the target man capable of and will look to him to spearhead the attack and secure them their most valuable win of the season. Bounremouth’s own figurehead Dominic Solanke has made a slow start to life down South but has found his home as a creative forward more than an out-and-out goal scorer. That being said, he has chipped in with 6 goals this term but it’s his 7 assists that cement his value to his team, his partnership up top with Philip Billing has worked well for the Cherries in the latter half of the season and they may well be enough to unsettle the escape plan for Everton.
Bournemouth have a host of first-team players that will miss this fixture and the middle of the park is where we will see the most rotation. Phillip Billing who has regularly featured and contributed seven goals so far this term is unlikely to return but could make the bench, Joe Rothwell is out until sometime in June with a hamstring issue, Marcus Tavernier and Hamed Junior Traoré are all out of contention for the final showdown. Up top, journeyman forward Junior Stanislas is a doubt for kick off as is Antoine Semenyo, with Ryan Fredericks also out with a calf injury.
Expert Insight: Everton have to win, there is far too much at stake to leave their future in the hands of their rivals and Sean Dyche will need to set his team up to do so. Bournemouth will want to leave no doubts as to who is the superior side this season and ending the season with a victory could be a great statement for the start of next term, these two could cancel each other out.