By Mollie Bennett (@molliebjourno)
Everton travel to Bournemouth tomorrow looking to record back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.
The Toffees made light work of Aston Villa last weekend and Evertonians will be hoping for more of the same, as they make the long trip down to the South Coast for the first ever league meeting between the two sides.
The Blues have largely enjoyed their travels this season – losing just once on the road at the Emirates – and tasting defeat just twice in their last 10 Premier League fixtures away from home.
Roberto Martinez will be hoping the trend continues as he takes his side to the Vitality Stadium, for a fixture the Blues have never lost.
Martinez however, is still without captain Phil Jagielka, defender Bryan Oviedo, and long-term absentees Tony Hibbert and Steven Pienaar.
Youngster Tyias Browning is also a doubt for the clash with a knee problem.
In more positive news, Leighton Baines has now physically recovered from an ankle problem – which delayed the start of his season – however Martinez will wait until the last possible moment before deciding if Saturday’s game is the right time for the defender to make his first-team return.
The Spaniard is spoilt for choice in the midfield area though, as Tom Cleverley and Mo Besic are both fully fit and ready to fight for their places.
For the hosts, Eddie Howe has an ever-growing injury list as Tommy Elphick, Max Gradel, Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings and ex-Everton loanee Christian Atsu remain on the sidelines.
Artur Boruc, Marc Pugh and Lee Tomlin are also doubts for Saturday’s clash.
It is an unfamiliar surrounding for the Blues as they travel to Bournemouth for the first time in 20 years.
The Toffees arrive in high spirits though, with the best chance conversion rate in the league, scoring with one in five of their attempts at goal.
The 20% conversion rate is largely down to the young attacking trio of Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku, who have sparked up an impressive chemistry.
Everton will be hoping to leave the South Coast with three points for the second time this season, although Howe’s men will make it a tough task as they go in search of their first league win for over two months.
My Everton 11: Howard; Coleman, Funes Mori, Stones, Galloway; Barry, McCarthy; Kone, Barkley, Deulofeu; Lukaku.
– Romelu Lukaku needs just one goal to match his league tally for the whole of last season.
– Should Tim Howard start as expected, he will climb above Gordon West into third in Everton’s all-time goalkeeping appearance chart with 403 appearances, behind only Neville Southall (751) and Ted Sager (497).
– The American will be hoping to help his side keep back-to-back league clean sheets for the first time this season.
– Everton have scored the joint-third most goals in the Premier League this season (24). Only Leicester (28) and Manchester City (27) have scored more.
– Former Everton, and now Bournemouth player Sylvain Distin has made the most Premier League starts (450) of any non-English player.