After a poor performance away at Sunderland, we return to the Olympic Stadium this weekend to face an in-form Everton side. There’s a nine-point gap now between ourselves, and the bottom three, but we have a tough set of fixture approaching. A win here would see us reach that magic forty and allow the club to plan for next season.

The Opponents:

A win for the Toffees could see them climb to fourth ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal. A position they would thoroughly deserve with the level of football they have been producing this season. Ronald Koeman has managed to keep his sides form consistent, especially at home. Everton boast the 3rd best home record this season, but luckily, we’ve already faced that challenge.


West Ham’s form this season has been anything but consistent. Despite not losing in two, it hasn’t been pretty. We conceded two sloppy goals against Sunderland and if Romelu Lukaku is on target, we could be in trouble. Our defensive record this season is near on embarrassing…against Lukaku, it’s worse. The Belgian striker has scored against the Hammers in NINE consecutive fixtures. If we are to get anything from this fixture we’ll have to manage at least a goal!

Everton’s form has been impressive. Winning four of their last six, losing only one. The good news for the Irons is that the two games without a win were both away. As mentioned above it’ll take an effort to prevent the league’s top scorer Lukaku from finding the net, looking for his 25th goal of the season.

The Teams:

West Ham will have some dilemmas due to recent injuries and suspensions but it’s not all bad news. Whilst West Ham will still be without Mark Noble, Sam Byram and Michail Antonio, they could also be without Andy Carroll. This could mean that fans will see the return of Diafra Sakho, despite a reported tantrum last week. I expect we will see Andre Ayew lead the line this time around though. His build-up play and movement have consistently caused problems since his return and he’ll be looking to get back on the score sheet again. Edimilson Fernandes has continued to look bright and imagine will join Cheikhou Kouyate in defensive midfield. Despite some calls to return to a back three (or five), I believe Harvard Nordveit will return to play in the right back role, maintaining a back four. I hope we will see the return of Winston Reid alongside James Collins, who has been largely solid in the Kiwi’s absence. The biggest debate recently is whether Adrian should be given another chance between the sticks. Following some absolute howlers from Darren Randolph, it would be hard to argue against the change. Both keepers should have a chance to prove their worth. I would give Adrian a go in this fixture. He’s enjoyed playing and scoring against Everton in the past!

I cannot see Koeman wanting to change a winning formula here. There’s European football up for grabs and the Toffees will be hoping to join their Merseyside rivals. Lukaku will quite obviously start unless divine intervention rules him out in the next twenty-four hours. Ross Barkley and Morgan Schneiderlin will also start having been instrumental for Everton this season. Whilst our striker, whomever that may be, will have a tough time against both Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams. Youngsters Mason Holgate and Tom Davies are also likely to start. Annoyingly it is Everton at the moment that is showing the Premier League what their youth system can produce.

West Ham:

GK) Adrian

RB) Nordtveit

CB) Collins

CB) Fonte

LB) Masuaku (Captaincy? Err… Name out of a hat?)

CM) Fernandes

CM) Kouyate

LM) Feghouli

RM) Snodgrass

CAM) Lanzini

ST) Ayew


GK) Robles

LB) Holgate

CB) Jagielka (C)

CB) Williams

RB) Baines

CM) Gueye

CM) Schneiderlin

CM) Davies

LM) Mirallas

RM) Barkley

ST) Lukaku


West Ham 21/10 Draw 5/2 Everton 6/5

Lukaku to score at anytime 19/20 (Go put your house on it!)

– Via William Hill

My Prediction:

I can’t see us getting much from this. Even with Everton’s average away performances. We’ve been poor and with key men out we could struggle. Lukaku is guaranteed a goal. Hopefully, we can get a goal and try and put some pressure on. Been optimistic recently and it hasn’t often come off, I’ll go for a loss and in a bid to tempt fate.

West Ham United 1 – 2 Everton