Everton vs West Ham United Preview: Blues look for first win in three against struggling Hammers

A preview of Everton’s home clash with West Ham United and former manager David Moyes.

Everton vs West Ham United Preview: Blues look for first win in three against struggling Hammers
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Everton welcome West Ham United and former boss David Moyes to Goodison Park on Wednesday night, in what could be David Unsworth’s last game in charge as interim boss.

The Blues are looking for their first win in three as the club looks set to appoint Sam Allardyce as their 23rd permanent manager.

Unsworth’s side have not won since beating Watford 3-2 prior to the international break. Since them, they’ve conceded 11 goals in three games - including five at home to Atalanta and four away to Southampton over the weekend.

If it is to be his last game as interim boss, he’ll be looking to sign off with a win.

The last time the two sides met at Goodison Park, the home side ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. However, that was 13 months ago at the end of last October and much has changed on Merseyside since.

Rarely is a game portrayed as a potential relegation six-pointer in November but this time around, this game has all the makings of one.

In Focus: No identity

When the Premier League season started back in August, Everton had hoped to be challenging at the top end of the table - building on last campaign’s foundations that saw them return to the Europa League.

Despite beating Stoke City on the opening day and getting a point away at Manchester City, something didn’t sit right.

The Blues had played their Europa League qualifying games against MFK Ruzomberok and Hajduk Split but something was glaringly missing.

It wasn’t just the inability to replace the departed Lukaku, nor was it just Ronald Koeman’s lack of signing a quick winger, but more so the spending of big fees on players who didn’t and still don’t quite fit a system.

Under Moyes and to a lesser extent Roberto Martinez, Everton squads have been built on clever, astute transfers that offer extremely good value on the pitch as well as off it.

There has always been an identity to Everton transfers and despite an incredible of new funding both from majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and the influx of vastly improved television money, the Blues seemed to spend it without a purpose, instead, putting together a set of players who are talented but didn’t and don’t make sense in a set system.

Koeman didn’t attempt to change his ways and now the Blues are sat 16th in the Premier League, looking to hire a manager who specialises in saving teams from relegation.

It’s a far cry from four months ago.

 

A look at: West Ham

West Ham come into the game sitting 18th in the Premier League table, two points behind Everton, winning only two games all season. Former boss Slaven Bilic was given the axe following the incredibly poor start to season, being replaced by former Blues favourite David Moyes.

Moyes has not any of his return games against Everton, including two defeats as Manchester United boss - 1-0 at Old Trafford and 3-0 at Goodison Park and also suffered a 3-0 defeat as Sunderland boss.

The Hammers have not won in six games with their last victory coming against Swansea City at the end of September.

 

Probable line-ups

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Lennon, Lookman, Sandro.

West Ham: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini, Ayew, Arnautovic, Carroll.

Match Day Stats

1. Everton have lost just once in their last 18 Premier League matches against the Hammers, 11 wins, six draws and one loss – a 3-2 defeat in March 2016 under Roberto Martinez.

2. Everton are the only side that David Moyes has faced as a manager in the Premier League without winning.

3. Wayne Rooney has been directly involved in 15 goals in 15 starts against West Ham United in the Premier League, 11 goals and four assists.