Everton vs West Ham
K/O: 16:00 hours
Venue: Goodison Park
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Everton host an out of form West Ham side this Sunday as both teams will be looking to improve on recent performances. Everton have drawn three of their first four games whilst their visitors will be looking to get their first Premier League points of the season.
Marco Silva will be hoping that his squad feel fully rested after the international break and ready to put on an energy-filled display in front of the Goodison faithful. Despite being undefeated in four games, as mentioned, three of those have been draws which has left some question marks over Everton’s performances. Silva will be looking to answer those questions with a dominant display against a West Ham side that are suffering from a poor start to the season that sees them sitting bottom of the table.
A win for Everton would take them to nine points in five games and despite the amount of draws, it would prove that they are a difficult side to beat. Whilst Everton have looked good going forward so far, there has been a tendency to slip up in games. The Toffees have squandered leads in games three times so far this season. Twice against Wolves and once against Bournemouth after being 2-0 up; this will be something that Silva is desperate to cut out. So far he has opted to carry on being offensive when holding onto a lead but perhaps after the first four games, the Portuguese manager will look for a more compact and resolute defence if his side take the lead this weekend.
The Toffee’s looked lacklustre against Huddersfield in their most recent Premier League fixture. Calvert-Lewin’s equaliser salvaged a point for Silva’s men but they struggled to break down a tough Terriers side. Ademola Lookman impressed, playing for the first time since returning from RB Leipzig and he may make another substitute appearance this weekend.
The Blues will be hoping that they can begin a significant challenge to the top six this season as clubs such as Watford, Bournemouth and Leicester all look capable of competing with one another in a chase to disrupt the usual. If they are to do so, this fixture against an out of form opposition and in front of the home crowd is an opportunity.
As for the Hammers, Manuel Pellegrini has had a torrid start to the season. West Ham are the only side not to pick up any points so far this season and the Chilean manager has dubbed it as a ‘very bad start’ and says that fans should be worried about their poor start. His brutal honesty had to be given as there is no covering up West Ham’s recent performances. The Hammers are in need of a good spell and will have to unsettle an Everton side who are yet to lose this season.
West Ham may feel hard done by after losing 1-0 at home against Wolves due to an Adama Traore injury-time winner. However, West Ham’s fans booed them off the pitch; a reaction that was probably deserved after they showed no grit or determination and looked pedestrian at times.
The last time West Ham lost their opening four matches was in the 2010-11 campaign – they went on to be relegated finishing 20th. The Hammers will not want a repeat of history but must drastically change how they are playing if they are to prevent relegation.
Pellegrini may be one of the first managers to be dismissed this season as his side are yet to present their fans with a strong display, despite a significant bolstering of the squad roster. However, this may be the week in which they get a result as they face an injury-stricken Everton side.
The injury list has been growing over the international break for Marco Silva with Seamus Coleman being the latest addition to the injury list. Michael Keane, Phil Jagielka and Yerry Mina are all unlikely to feature this weekend leaving Everton short on defensive options. Walcott is also a doubt after sustaining a rib injury against Huddersfield.
Andre Gomes is carrying a hamstring injury and Richarlison is still suspended for his straight red card against Bournemouth. Idrissa Gueye is still carrying a knock and is unlikely to feature. Silva will have to make significant changes to the squad but we will likely see Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin playing in the heart of the midfield with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun going forward.
Pellegrini is without Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid who have all been out since the start of the season. This means we could see a similar starting lineup to that who played against Wolves before the international break. However, some changes are likely to be made after West Ham’s woeful and heartless display in this fixture.
Predicted Starting XI’s:
Everton: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Zouma, Baines; Schneiderlin, Davies, Walcott, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin, Tosun
West Ham: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; C Sanchez, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Antonio; Arnautovic
Score Prediction: Everton 2 West Ham 1
Although Everton’s recent 1-1 draw to Huddersfield was not their strongest display, their makeshift side should be able to beat a severely out of form West Ham side. However, goals are likely for both sides.