A mis-firing AFC Bournemouth take on a resurgent Everton side on Saturday, in what must be seen as another must-win for the Cherries.
Bournemouth have equalled their worst ever Premier League run, with eight winless games going into Saturday’s fixture. If they fail to win against the Toffees, it will be an unwanted new record for Eddie Howe‘s men.
Their opponents, however, have seemingly snapped their own winless streak with the appointment of Sam Allardyce.
Everton have been unbeaten since the former England manager took over, and will look to continue that form against the South Coast strugglers.
The Cherries sit 18th in the table, and have the second worst home record after Swansea. However, they are only four points off Brighton, whom they face on New Year’s Day.
Bournemouth’s last fixture was a thrilling 3-3 draw against West Ham, with a controversial late equaliser courtesy of Callum Wilson. Howe talked about the character of his players to seek that injury time winner. He will look to build on those positive signs against the Toffees.
Bournemouth’s injury list, however, shows no signs of helping them in this regard. Howe has to make late calls on Harry Arter and Charlie Daniels, while Junior Stanislas, Andrew Surman, and Jermain Defoe are confirmed to miss the match.
For Everton, striker Wayne Rooney has passed a fitness test, but Idrissa Gana Gueye and Leighton Baines are doubts.
Lee Probert will be in charge of the Cherries’ final fixture of 2017.
After a year which has brought both thrilling highs and desperate lows, the Bournemouth faithful will be hoping for a great result to round it all off.