Everton v West Ham United

4 Mar

Roberto Martinez


Everton boss Roberto Martinez says it is “an exciting time” for the club following recent investment.

TEAM NEWS

Everton’s Leighton Baines is due to see a specialist about pain in his ankle but he is available to face West Ham.

Bryan Oviedo and Tom Cleverley are doubts because of injury and illness respectively, while Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson could return.

West Ham’s James Collins is likely to miss the next three matches because of a hamstring problem.

Fellow defenders Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Joey O’Brien and Sam Byram are also unavailable.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Alistair Mann: “The final season at Upton Park was always likely to create strong emotions, with a sense that perhaps it could lead to a very special campaign.

“Two wins away from an FA Cup final, West Ham’s excellent recent league form has now even propelled them into genuine Champions League contention.

“That said, the next two league games – away at Everton and Chelsea – will ably demonstrate how realistic their top-four challenge will be.

“Weekend hosts Everton were many experts’ pre-season tip for a top-four challenge themselves but, unusually, it has been their poor home record that has let them down.

“Traditionally, West Ham have been Everton’s favourite opponents; if the visitors can remain unscathed from this trip it will be a significant statement.”

Twitter:@alistairmann01

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “This is going to be the first home game [since billionaire Farhad Moshiri bought a 49.9% stake in the club] and I’m sure Mr Moshiri will be around with our fans very soon, and everyone will get to know him.

“This is a really exciting time for us, one of the most significant moments off the field that has happened for Everton and a really important time for our future.

“What is important is we haven’t lost anything in terms of the soul of our club.”

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic on his side’s prospects of a top-four finish: “It is realistic now. We are one point behind with 10 games to go so we have a chance.

“But it’s so tight and there are still a lot of games to go. We are also looking below us because there are teams who are queuing up. The gap is not big between us and ninth or 10th in the table.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

West Ham’s season keeps getting better and better and I think they are as fit, strong and athletic as any team in the league.

Everton, in contrast, are stuck in mid-table at the moment but they can still climb the table too, and that would certainly help attract players if they look to spend big in the summer.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Romelu Lukaku<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Everton are unbeaten in 15 league meetings since a 1-0 away defeat in April 2007 (W10, D5).
  • They have won 22 games against West Ham in the Premier League, more than versus any other opponent.

Everton

  • Everton have only won four of their last 16 league matches at Goodison Park (W4, D4, L8).
  • However, Roberto Martinez’s side have won three of their four most recent league games, scoring three goals in each of those victories.
  • They are the division’s joint second-highest scorers going into the weekend fixtures, with 49 goals in 27 matches.
  • Aaron Lennon has scored in four of his last six league appearances. He has never lost a Premier League game that he’s scored in, with 27 wins and four draws.
  • Romelu Lukaku has 17 Premier League goals this season, equalling his career-best return in 2012-13.

West Ham

  • The Hammers have taken 20 points from their last 10 games, a record bettered only by Tottenham (22 points).
  • However, their only Premier League away win in the last nine attempts came against Bournemouth in January (W1, D4, L4).
  • The Hammers won a Premier League fixture on Merseyside for only the third time in 39 attempts at Anfield earlier this season (D10, L26).
  • Mark Noble could make his 250th Premier League appearance for West Ham. He would be the first player to do so.
  • Michail Antonio’s 10 goals in all competitions this season (for West Ham and Nottingham Forest) have all come at home.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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