West Ham United vs Everton Preview: Blues look to maintain pace with top six against Hammers

Ronald Koeman takes his Everton team to the London Stadium for their first visit to take on Slaven Bilić’s West Ham United side on Saturday afternoon.

Despite their unbeaten home form since the turn of the year, Everton are winless in their last five away games - losing two and drawing three - and have just two victories in the last 14.

It’s a world away from the form that they have produced at Goodison Park, losing just once at home in the league all season.

However, the Blues may take some motivation into their trip to the capital due to their recent dominance over the Hammers.

West Ham have won only one of their last 17 Premier League games against Everton and the Toffees haven’t lost away to West Ham in the Premier League since April 2007.

Everton will look to that recent history to end their away day blues.

When the two sides last met at the end of October, the Blues picked up another win over Bilić’s team thanks to goals from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.

In focus: Romelu Lukaku’s goal exploits vs West Ham

Romelu Lukaku leads the way in the Premier League golden boot race and despite all the talk that surrounds his current contract situation, the Belgian is just getting on with business.

Just like Everton’s home form, he is flying at Goodison as the goals just keep coming and with a trip to face West Ham United, he’ll be looking to continue the form that has seen him named to the PFA Team of the Year.

Lukaku has found joy against West Ham in the past and like many Premier League sides, the hosts won’t be looking forward to having to plan for the big Belgian forward.

In fact, Lukaku has scored in his last nine games against West Ham in all competitions, more than he has scored against any other Premier League team.

He, just like Everton, enjoys playing against the Hammers and will be looking to extend his lead at the top of the Premier League goalscorer’s chart.

A look at West Ham United

West Ham United currently sit 13th in the Premier League table with 37 points. The bottom of the table remains congested but the Hammers have likely done enough to ensure Premier League survival for another season.

A campaign that started with plenty of promise never really unfolded for the Hammers. They lost Dmitri Payet, they’ve been unable to find a consistent goalscorer that can stay fit and despite attempting to target a number of big summer signings, they were unable to pull any off.

Their move to the London Stadium has been well documented as having a rocky initial season and while it may not be the fortress that Upton Park used to be but it’ll get better in time.

Slaven Bilić’s team have toyed with the relegation zone for the majority of the season but have done enough in recent weeks to pull themselves away from danger.

They’re coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw away at Sunderland where they threw away their lead late and will be looking for three points to extend their gap from the bottom to 14 points.

Probable teams

Everton: Robles; Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Schneiderlin, Davies, Gueye; Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku.

West Ham: Randolph; Fernandes, Reid, Collins, Fonte, Cresswell; Kouyate, Snodgrass, Lanzini; Ayew, Sakho.

Match Day stats:

If Everton win, it will be their fourth league double over West Ham in six seasons.

West Ham have only won seven of the last 48 league meetings in the 30 years, losing 29 of those games.

Phil Jagielka has scored in his last three league appearances - as many goals as he managed in his previous 71 matches.