Bournemouth travel to Goodison Park on Sunday knowing a win against Everton is the minimum requirement to stay afloat in the Premier League.
The Cherries sit second-from-bottom on 31 points, 3 points off closest rivals Watford.
However an escape route has presented itself after Watford’s 0-4 loss to Manchester City, which dented their goal difference significantly – like Bournemouth, they head in to survival Sunday on -27.
That means if the Cherries win against Everton, and Watford lose to Arsenal, Eddie Howe’s men are staying up. A draw, incidentally, is not enough to keep Bournemouth in the league – but a point would be enough for Watford.
The message is simple, then – win at all costs against an Everton team who are mathematically unable to secure a top half finish.
Some Evertonians would have had fears earlier in the campaign that their own club might have been in Bournemouth’s position, however the Toffees banished any lingering fears of relegation long ago.
It doesn’t change the fact that Everton have had a bang average season though, with many tipping them to do far better than they have done this campaign.
The arrival of a world class manager in Carlo Ancelotti is sure to increase expectations at Goodison Park next season, with the Italian arguably facing the toughest task of his trophy-strewn career to date.
Some may point to a leaky defence as the reason Bournemouth are in the mire, having conceded more than 60 goals for the 5th successive season – Cherries fans meanwhile will likely suggest a lengthy injury pile-up has been a contributing factor.
Eddie Howe has been without Jordon Ibe and Ryan Fraser since the season’s resumption, with the former released at the end of his deal and the latter turning down a short term offer in order to explore pastures new.
Whether those two players will have made a difference to the Cherries’ plight we’ll never know – but what we do know is that Howe will be without Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham and Simon Francis for the trip to Goodison Park.
Centre back Nathan Ake’s future at the club has been subject to speculation this week, with the Dutchman heavily linked with a move to Manchester City.
It looks like he may have played his last game for Bournemouth regardless, as a groin injury is expected to keep him out of this crunch clash.
Adam Smith meanwhile is far more likely to feature, with Howe suggesting a late decision will be made on his fitness following a head injury.
For Everton, they remain without long-term absentees Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who are both recovering from surgery on nasty knee and Achilles injuries respectively.
Centre half Yerry Mina is out with a thigh strain, as is fellow defender Mason Holgate.
Fabian Delph was expected to return before the end of the season, however it remains to be seen whether he makes the squad against Bournemouth.
Moise Kean picked up a knock to the knee last time out, but Carlo Ancelotti says his fellow Italian could be in line for a start if he recovers well enough.
Everton v Bournemouth is a 4pm kick off on Sunday, July 26.