Everton’s success early in the Premier League this season has come at home. Playing on the road within league, however, is another story.
The Toffees try a third time to record their first away goal and road victory of the 2019-20 season when they visit Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday.
Both Premier League victories by Everton (2-1-1) have come at Goodison Park, where they’ve totaled four goals in their two matches there. On the road, the Toffees managed a scoreless draw at Crystal Palace to open the season, then fell 2-0 at promoted Aston Villa.
“We want to get an away victory as soon as possible,” defender Michael Keane, who fractured his skull after scoring a goal in last season’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, told Everton’s official website. “If we want to push in to the top six or even higher, that is what we have to be doing.”
Everton have helped their cause by scoring seven goals in the two games that followed the Villa defeat – a League Cup win at Lincoln City and a 3-2 victory over Wolves at Goodison in their most recent top-flight contest on Sept. 1.
The focus now shifts to Bournemouth (1-1-2), where the Toffees are 0-2-2 since the Cherries found a home in the Premier League during the 2015-16 campaign.
“We know we won’t win them all, but more often than not, we have to go to the teams we want to be ahead of and win at those places,” Keane added. “That is what we will try to do on Sunday.”
Bournemouth, meanwhile, will try to avoid losing three in a row after back-to-back 3-1 defeats to defending champions Manchester City and at upstart Leicester City before the recent international break. The Cherries have also managed just one point in two home Premier League fixtures thus far on the campaign.
That could put some pressure on them for a result, even though they’ve been solid against the Toffees on their home ground.
“We know Everton are a high-level team, and we’re going to have to perform up to it,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.tv.
Bournemouth have registered five goals on the Premier League season, two coming from talented midfielder Harry Wilson. There is talk, according to the club, that Howe is willing to make a decision on the availability of key midfielder Lewis Cook, who has been out since December with a knee issue.
A vital part of the team’s system, from simply his presence on the pitch, Cook is back training. However, it’s uncertain if he will be fully fit enough to feature Sunday.
“This weekend might come a bit too early for Lewis Cook,” Howe told Bournemouth’s official website. “He’s trained now for a sustained period of time and looked really good. He’s getting closer and closer, and I’ll have to make a late call on him.”
Everton star Richarlison netted a brace against Wolves, but has been shut out in his last three Premier League matches versus Bournemouth.