Will this be Leighton Baines's last match at Everton and, if so, will he see any action?
Everton close out the 2019-20 season at Goodison Park against Bournemouth who come to Merseyside fighting for their Premier League lives.￼
The Cherries need to win and hope that Watford lose at Arsenal and West ham beat Aston Villa in order to remain in the top-flight for a seventh successive season.￼ To even stand a chance, Eddie Howe's aide have to become the first team to beat Everton at Goodison Park since Carlo Ancelotti took charge last December.
Home stadium advantage might not be all that it was with fans but the Blues have, nonetheless, remained undefeated since the restart, although it was a close-run thing against Villa last time out.
Everton meanwhile I just looking to end the season on a high, having lifted spirits last Monday with victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Ancelotti will be without the same four injured players as last week￼￼ — Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina, and Jean-Philip Gbamin are all ruled out, as is Fabian Delph even though the veteran midfielder returned to training this week.
The manager had hinted that Moise Kean was in the running to start against the blades but his hopes of being included in the starting lineup for the first time since the restart was scuppered by a minor injury he sustained in training.
The Italian should be fit to face Bournemouth, however, and may well get the nod, perhaps over Dominic Calvert-Lewin who has yet to score since the Premier league resumed last month.
The big question for Blues fans, though, is whether this is to be Leighton Baines's last match at Everton before his contract expires. Ancelotti has made no secret of his desire to see the fullback extend his time at the club by another season but he has also indicated that Baines would have a future at Everton regardless, perhaps in a coaching capacity.
Baines has often conveyed an air that football was never his first love and that has plenty of interests to sustain him after he hangs up his boots. That the further one-year contract extension that has been on the table for the past few weeks remains unsigned is, perhaps, an indication that he feels as though this is the end of the road but Evertonians haven't given up hope.
"I think he is going to give us an answer before Sunday," Ancelotti has said. "I think he will make a decision this week or at the end of the game.
“We don't have to wait a lot. Before the game I'd like to talk to him about this, as always Leighton is so professional and every decision I take he understands.
He may be 35 but Baines has shown on the few occasions on which he has been called this season that he can clearly do a job, even if he wouldn't be able to withstand a full season. As such, he could save the club plenty this summer but agreeing to stay for another season but it could be that his mind is already made up.
"He can be a player but also he can be part of this club,” Ancelotti said. “I don't know in which position but for sure he can be part of this club."
If Everton can play like they did in Sheffield six days ago then Bournemouth face an uphill task to remain in the division. Playing with a tweaked formation, Blues were markedly improved against the Blades and would be confident of finishing the season on a high if they can carry that display through to the final game.
Kick-off: 4pm, Sunday 26 July, 2020
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Graham Scott
Last Time: Everton 2 - 0 Bournemouth
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Branthwaite, Digne, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Richarlison, Kean
Reader Comments (66)
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1 Posted 26/07/2020 at 06:50:46
I'm afraid the damage has been done with previous lackluster displays, otherwise a long shot I know, but we could have been looking to secure a Euro slot. The old Bullseye analogy again " look what you could have won "!
Be interesting to see who we bring in this Transfer Window too, as the last few days rumours have had us linked with nearly every player on the planet, but I'm confident that Carlo knows who he needs and can realistically get.
As always, for the final time this season. COYB
2 Posted 26/07/2020 at 08:28:58
3 Posted 26/07/2020 at 08:42:24
4 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:36:02
If he plays well we know he's part of the squad for 2020-21, if not he should be sold. Branthwaite has proved we have talent behind the same old names.
Coleman - Keane - Branthwaite - Digne
Richarlison - Gomes - Gordon - Walcott
5 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:37:27
I know Europa League football is not ideal, but nevertheless is a stepping stone, and a possible entry to the Champions League, mind you, you'd have to win it to get that. Plus it would make us more attractive to any potential new signings.
6 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:41:02
What a welcome end to a God-awful season.
When the highlight of a season is our caretaker manager celebrating a goal by embracing a ball boy, that basically says it all I suppose.
Carlo has a big job on his hands make no mistake and Marcel simply has to have a better summer transfer window than he did last year. (Mind you, it couldn't be much worse could it ?)
I sincerely hope our transfer business is done early for once and we are are not scraping around for players come September 12th.
I fancy the blues to win by the odd goal today, sealing Bournemouth's fate in the process.
Full support. Onward Evertonians ðŸ™
ps: Has anyone heard anything about when we could possibly be allowed back into the ground?
7 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:45:44
8 Posted 26/07/2020 at 09:47:15
9 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:03:56
If Allan signs and stays fit, we'll have a player that can grace any midfield in the world, even Barcelona would benefit from this type of player in the team.
Like Gravesen and Joe Parkinson in one player â€“ total dream player to have in the centre mid position.
Let's hope we get a few goals, and Simms and Baingime gets on for a taster.
10 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:15:55
11 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:18:22
Unless he can get away with a 3-hour loop of Duncan and the ballboy. Or get Hollywood CGI wizards in to put Bernard's head on Messi's body, speed up Gylfi to walking pace and bring back Delph as one of the Walking Dead.
Even then, I can't envisage it being top of folks' Christmas wish lists.
12 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:19:35
A goalfest is long overdue (for Everton) and would give the team a boost of much-needed confidence to carry through the short off-season.
13 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:21:47
I know it is said that optimism kills you, but I think also of unreal expectations. It will take several windows to start the process of redressing the shocking ineptitude of Moshiri's tenure so far.
14 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:27:58
This has been, by far, the most disappointing season I've known and I've known plenty. A new DoF with a great reputation, an up and coming Manager, some big buys and. it all ended in a shit show!
Just give us a performance and some hope. It's not too much to ask for, is it?
15 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:31:18
Baines has been a role model his whole career, he has a lot to give back at some level. Why not at the club he cares about and is passionate about?
16 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:35:16
17 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:37:59
Not quite confident enough to put a fiver on this dream ending to this awful season but they owe us one and Ancelotti would do well to deliver it for us to savour over the truncated closed season. Otherwise, he cannot expect the 'new man love in' to endure long into 20-21.
Sky have found a vacant screen for us on their Golf channel so at least the locals can relish the goalfest. Enjoy!
18 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:39:31
19 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:43:12
In terms of the performance in this match, as you and I well know, it depends on which Everton turns up. A load of bollocks really. But this has been the way ver the last few seasons.
it troubles me to find what the fuck it is that means 1 week we turn up for the game and for the next 3 weeks we don't.
During my coaching days (amateur tbh) I would never have accepted this. I told the management and the players to Fuck Off if the didn't put in the effort. It worked. In today's high profile, high wage, massive ego days a manager, coach needs to be more than brilliant. Talk about 'people skills'? OMG
Pisses me off to be honest that players can learn even more than $200 spa and still not give a shit. Time for a big change, imo.
20 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:48:37
But with Everton there is always a big 'but'. If we beat Bournemouth that will give us 15 points from a possible 27 after football resumed. Pre lockdown under Carlo we had 20 points from a possible 33. A total of 20 matches played under Carlo with a record of 35 points from a possible 60. This would be an average of 1.7 points a game which over a 38 game period would yield 65 points, enough this season to finish in a Champions League position.
Food for thought as we dissect the season and find fault with a team that, according to some, needs a more reliable goalkeeper and has an over-the-hill right-back, no solid centre-backs, a powder-puff midfield that cannot tackle, play a forward pass or shoot, and a centre-forward that is Championship level at best. Oh and an assistant coach that only puts the cones out.
No doubt the 'but' will come into play and shoot me down in flames if we don't beat Bournemouth.
21 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:58:23
Spot on, mate!
22 Posted 26/07/2020 at 10:59:23
I think the team maybe set up like the 2nd half at Sheffield. Kean will get the last half hour.
Derek 1, I always felt the scorer bloke on Bullseye didn't want the contestants to win. something in the way he said â€˜unlucky', whilst trying to hide his delight at their failure.
23 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:08:25
I guess Martinez tried to install the necessary 'arrogance' but instead we ended up losing our fight or 'pluckiness' when people like to undermine.
Koeman didn't have a passion for the club and Silva just got depressed by the task.
Ancelotti is the right manager if there is one â€“ back him with some players who want to fight and win.
24 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:11:19
So in response to your sarcastic comment, exactly how Duncan has helped turn us round. We have been turned around! We had a team of badly coached and underperforming players who were drained of conifidence and looking in trouble before the games over Xmas.
25 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:12:59
Want to have a little laugh, just tell any Liverpudlian you know that you can't believe they are carrying on with the Champions League. It should be deferred until next March, and then they should just finish this season's competition.
Don't get too close, after all, Covid--19 hasn't really gone away, and the spit that will come out of their mouths might carry a bit of infection, but isn't this the sensible thing to do?
26 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:15:56
27 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:16:02
An exciting young right-back to, eventually, replace Seamus.
A new midfield, and I mean NEW, except for Gomes.
A new Moise Kean to kickstart his career next season.
If Marcel and Carlo can pull this off during the window, then we can dream of a top 10 finish next season.
28 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:16:59
Sigurdsson to score first @ 20/1 with Betfred is enticing.
29 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:24:30
30 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:32:22
And Bully's Special Prize! A win this afternoon at the Old Lady.
31 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:39:07
I assume, with Baines so far not agreeing to an extension to his contract, seems unlikely he will sign the extension. He has been a very good player for a number of years and if today is his last it will be a real shame that the fans wont be able to thank him for his time here.
Should be a good game today as Bournemouth have to win, so they will be giving it a real good go, I think if we can score the opening goal it may take the wind out of their sails.
Seems for the last 5 years we have all said this window is one of our most important, and this window is viewed in the same way. The only difference is there will be significantly less money to spend, so we will need to spend it more wisely than we have in the last 4 years. Hopefully, although less money to spend, if its left to Ancelotti to identify the targets rather than Brands I will have a lot more confidence in the signings being the right ones.
Brands should be targeted with getting rid of the deadwood and I can only wish him well on that front. We have put some of the deadwood on such good money nobody outside the top 6 can afford them, and nobody in the top 6 would be interested in our deadwood. In fact, you could argue that not many would interest anyone in the top 12 in the Premier League.
So how you move on players on top money who still have years left on their contracts is very difficult, and we will probably have to loan them out and still end up paying most of their salaries. Should this be the route we have to go down, it won't produce any new money for the transfer kitty; in fact, it will greatly hamper the buying of new players.
32 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:39:27
33 Posted 26/07/2020 at 11:47:50
34 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:00:32
Things are coming together and I'm hoping next season bodes well for us. As long as I don't see any more pictures of Mordor and fucking teeth on legs.
Come on you Blues.
36 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:05:09
Up the Blues !!!
37 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:07:07
I'm not making excuses for Brands and I know that high-profile signings are beyond us but, when he was in Holland, he had an eye for talent... cue him getting involved with Everton and turn into Stevie Wonder!
38 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:09:20
39 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:48:48
41 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:52:37
42 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:56:38
It should be an entertaining game, but we can't get into the top ten even if we win.
It's anybody's guess what the score will be, maybe a 2-2 draw?
43 Posted 26/07/2020 at 12:57:25
Next season will be better, but really can't have been much worse â€“ Liverpool winning the league and us being totally inept has been very depressing.
I hope next season we push into the top-8, but we must be reasonable with expectations â€“ Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester, and Wolves will all be targeting improvement and will invest. Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool will all invest heavily and dominate. So we'll also need one (or more) of these to falter and for us to improve markedly.
Leeds could well be a surprise package too, and Southampton will be much better. Sheffield Utd might well continue to defy expectations.
A big 7 weeks for Ancelotti and Brands.
As for today... meh, anyone really care?
44 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:03:41
The current squad has some class players but also some who are so inconsistent it is holding us back as a genuine force. Mid-table is what we deserve and, until we get the kind of midfield generalship and creativity, we will remain there.
Of course, a new manager, especially one with pedigree like Carlo, gives one hope for improvement but he needs to build around what talent he has and of course root out those who have not performed over the last season or so.
Bournemouth will be desperate and they can play some good stuff so Everton had better beware... although I suspect Villa and Watford will go down. It's going to be a very nervous last day for those three clubs.
45 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:05:14
Let's go out on a good win, eh, Blues!
46 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:07:59
Bank on them for a one-nil win!
47 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:08:41
48 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:12:41
I just hope this bloody awful season ends on a high note.
49 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:18:52
For the summer, if the links to Gabriel, Allan, Rabiot and Leon Bailey came true, I'd be very happy.
51 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:31:15
52 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:42:13
Love all the analogies. Bullseye, Christmas, Prometheus lol all very apt as well.
53 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:43:22
54 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:44:04
A big result is important today and I feel they owe the supporters at least that.
Fortunately Bournemouth leak goals like a sieve and have found it difficult to score lately... but there again, so have we.
Let's hope for a good win.
55 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:52:46
56 Posted 26/07/2020 at 13:54:00
57 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:03:00
I just wish our transfer business was conducted more efficiently. Injured players, extortionate fees seem to be our forte.
I am dreading to see who we sign in the coming weeks going by our past record. I hope Carlo has the main say in transfer matters this time.
58 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:08:00
I can see only one team today being up for it â€“ and they won't be in blue.
59 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:18:17
Maybe ending 1-1.
60 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:23:40
I can only assume the bookies have one eye on the importance of the fixture for Bournemouth.
Where's the smart money today?
61 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:25:08
Watford go down â€“ this is paramount for me. Fire your manager with two games left?? Hate this Club.
Villa stay up.
Chelsea make Champions League â€“ Hate, hate the Club, love their football and Frank's done an amazing job. Plus Baby Jesus (Christain Pulisic) needs to continue to develop as 360 million people jump on his back as he carries us to a World Cup. ;0)
62 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:36:36
I personally think we need to get the best out of our strikers first. Though we do need goals from all over the team.
63 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:37:50
64 Posted 26/07/2020 at 14:42:55
65 Posted 26/07/2020 at 15:01:06
Patience is a virtue so they say, and the best part of 3 decades waiting, is Biblical.
We live in hope eternal for EFC.
66 Posted 26/07/2020 at 15:02:26
67 Posted 26/07/2020 at 15:11:28
2 - 0 and 3 - 0... Today's bets. COYB
68 Posted 26/07/2020 at 15:23:39
69 Posted 26/07/2020 at 15:40:05
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