By Danny Lewis
AFC Bournemouth have only ever reached the FA Cup quarter-finals once before in their history; if they are victorious against Everton then they will repeat this feat.
Cherries will be looking to come back from the 3-1 defeat that they suffered at the hands of Stoke City with a win in the cup and the progression that comes with it.
Eddie Howe has made a lot of changes in previous FA Cup games; with ten changes made in the last round against Portsmouth.
The Everton game is likely to be a different prospect due to the calibre of the opposition, however when asked about whether he would make changes to his line up, Howe said:
“I’ll probably leave it as a surprise, there will be a certain amount of changes but we’ll leave it a little bit open.”
The last time the two sides met was in a 3-3 thriller that had seen Bournemouth go 2-0 down followed by a Junior Stanislas equaliser in the 98th minute. This indicates that there should be plenty of excitement in this game and Howe hopes for a “similar game with a slightly different score line”.
Tommy Elphick could be in line for a start as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury. Max Gradel will not be featuring but has begun training again as he looks to return from his knee injury.
Speaking about the side that he expects Everton to field, Howe said: “If you look back at the last game they played Carlisle, they put out a very strong team that day.”
“They took that game very seriously and I don’t see why they’d be any different for this game. I think especially on the back of the game here I think they’ll respect us so I think we’ll see a strong Everton team.”
Prediction: Bournemouth 3-2 Everton
Both teams are known for their attacking quality and with the magic of the cup I feel like it could be a goal fest.
I can see Bournemouth edging out Everton, as they will be looking to redeem themselves after their recent loss and without the worry of league positions will be able to express themselves and allow their quality to show.
I still think that it will be close though because of the undoubted quality that Everton have in their ranks.