Since 1993 there have been 73 all-Premier League 5th Round matches in the FA Cup (including replays) and the home side has won 52%. Even when we narrow the sample to where the away team was ranked higher in our gradings, the home side has still won half of 32 ties with just nine defeats. So can Bournemouth cause an upset?
Back-to-back defeats have dented the Cherries survival push in the league but they are still playing some decent stuff despite concerns that a top-flight season might be a struggle for their small squad. Their home form has been more inconsistent than on the road though and their most extreme match was the 3-3 with Everton back in November as they recovered a two-goal deficit late on only to concede in injury time before finding another equaliser. Five of their last seven home matches have had at least three goals and against free-scoring (and conceding) Everton that is likely to be the case again.
The Toffees lost their last game 1-0 despite attempting the most shots of any team in a Premier League match this season but they won the three before that by 3-0 scores so their form is decent. They’ve made the 6th Round in three of the past four years so their Cup form is also good and Roberto Martinez is certainly a fan having won the trophy with Wigan (though three days later they became the first team to do the double of also being relegated).
The Spaniard is coming under increasing pressure, following a season that has followed a number of excellent performances but has left the Toffees down in the middle-third, and the problems have been caused by an inability to defend. Six of their last seven matches have had at least three goals while since Martinez took over at Everton they’ve faced four FA Cup ties with other Premier League sides and both teams have scored in all of those games. We’re tempted to back Bournemouth as a Draw No Bet option but Everton’s good Cup form puts us off and we prefer the superb price on Over 2.5 Goals.
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