West Ham v Everton Preview
West Ham welcome Everton to Upton Park this Saturday for a Premier League encounter. Sam Allardyce will be hoping that after the home loss to Stoke, the Hammers can get back to winning ways and will be keen to see his side add a cutting edge to the good defensive performance they put on at St Mary`s last time out when a 0-0 draw was earned. Everton arrive in East London though unbeaten this season and will be a tough test.
Although Everton lost the powerful Belgian midfielder, Marouane Fellaini, on transfer deadline day, Sam Allardyce still believes that our opposition, this weekend, are a better outfit without the United player and in the build-up to the game has praised our opponents, commenting,
'Gareth Barry in particular is an outstanding acquisition from Manchester City and with Romelu Lukaku joining their frontline as well he's given them some excellent options."
'They've got a very good variety of players added to the ones that were already there."
'Arouna Kone has been bought in and they've only really lost Marouane Fellaini so not only is their starting XI strong but their whole squad is now very strong.'
Indeed it is and we`ll have to be at our best to get anything from this game.
West Ham Team News:
Sam Allardyce takes his squad into this match a long list of players who are not available, a list that reads - Andy Carroll, Joe Cole, Stewart Downing, Mladen Petric, George McCartney and Alou Diarra.
The squad, as you can see is getting a little thin.
Player to watch: Jussi Jaaskelainen
The veteran keeper continues to defy Father Time and his superb performance, against Southampton, ensured we took a point back to Esast London, more of the same please Jussi.
Everton Team News:
Roberto Martinez is able to welcome back, from injury, Arouna Kone. Darron Gibson is also likely to be available, Romelu Lukaku is expected to make his Everton debut but Steven Pienaar could be side-lined with a hamstring problem.
Player to watch: Romelu Lukaku
A player who scored 17 times for West Brom whilst on loan last season and a player who Sam tried, unsuccessfully, to get to come to West Ham. Please don`t let any salt be rubbed in the wounds by the young Belgian getting on the score-sheet.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that West Ham are troubled by Everton with no wins in the last eleven games with Everton winning seven and drawing the other four.
As far as home games go, against Everton, West Ham have taken a solitary point from the last five fixtures.
Those appointed to officiate in this fixture are:- Referee - L. Mason Assistant - S. Long Assistant - A. Holmes Fourth Official - S. Hooper
Everton will give West Ham a real test, there`s no doubting that. With Carroll out, our fire-power is a little limited, but cheered on by a partisan crowd I`m taking West Ham to win 1-0.
Our next fixture is in the Capital One Cup where West Ham face Cardiff City in midweek before making the long trip to Hull next weekend for a Premier League fixture.