Unbeaten Everton will look to increase its wins tally to two on Sunday when they welcome rock bottom and pointless West Ham to Goodison Park in the Premier League.
Group EPL Goodison Park , Liverpool, England
Key Stat: West Ham enter match day five of the season as the only team in the league to have yet to earn a single point.
Expert Verdict: All the optimism that surrounded West Ham when Pellegrini joined and they made numerous signings has slowly dissipated. Sound familiar? It's a story much like Everton's last season... at least so far. The Toffees story ended up being OK, but the road to getting there wasn't too pretty. Now they have a chance to do to West Ham what happened to do them last term. And they should be able to do just that by giving the Hammers a fifth straight loss to begin the season.
Marco Silva will be glad to know that this is the last match of Richarlison's suspension. The Brazilian remains out for the third match running after his red card. In addition to that absence, he has some injuries to deal with. Center midfielders James McCarthy Beni Baningime, and Andre Gomes are all slated to miss out. Center back Yerry Mina is very close to a return from foot issues, and he could play some role at Goodison.
Theo Walcott has begun the season in good form, and the Englishman will be relishing the chance to continue that. He has had a lot of success against West Ham in the past, scoring more goals against them (six) than he has against any other team. Striker Cenk Tosun has also enjoyed a good start, even without scoring as of yet. The Turk has two assists so far, showing that he is occupying opposition defenders and then distributing the ball well. He's also always a threat in the air for them.
Everton have three draws and two wins in their last five matches:
1-1 home draw vs Huddersfield
3-1 home win vs Rotherham (EFL Cup)
2-2 draw at Bournemouth
2-1 home win vs Southampton
2-2 draw at Wolverhampton
Defenders:Coleman, Holgate, Zouma, Digne
Defensive Midfielders:Davies, Schneiderlin
Attacking Midfielders:Walcott, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin
Manuel Pellegrini has some big time injuries to big stars forcing his hand at the moment. Striker Andy Carroll, who might not be preferred anyway is out yet again. But center back Winston Reid and attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini are rather big blows to them.
Lukasz Fabianski will be feeling like he is a cursed being. He moved from relegated Swansea to West Ham, and now he is looking in danger of facing the drop again. But it's from not fault of his own. The goalkeeper has made some very big saves this season, and if not for him, they could well have lost by more in some of the matches so far. Being the only man to score for the Hammers also means Marko Arnautovic is a key player. The Austrian has both their goals thus far, and it will be his play centrally that earns them their points if they are to climb out of this early hole they've dug for themselves.
West Ham have four losses and a win in their last five matches:
0-1 loss at Wolverhampton
1-3 win at AFC Wimbledon (EFL Cup)
3-1 loss at Arsenal
1-2 home loss vs Bournemouth
4-0 loss at Liverpool
Defenders:Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell
Defensive Midfielders:Sanchez, Wilshere
Attacking Midfielders:Yarmolenko, Anderson, Antonio
Over the course of 121 fixtures played, Everton have dominated West Ham thoroughly to amass a total of 62 wins and 26 draws to the Hammers' 33 wins. Here's a look at the last five results:
May 13, 2018: West Ham 3-1 Everton
Nov 29, 2017: Everton 4-0 West Ham
Apr 22, 2017: West Ham 0-0 Everton
Oct 30, 2016: Everton 2-0 West Ham
Mar 5, 2016: Everton 2-3 West Ham
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Everton are at evens to win, a draw is at 13/5, and a West Ham win is at 5/2.
For the second summer in a row, Everton made big splashes in the transfer window in an effort to challenge inner city rivals Liverpool. Last season, it failed miserably for them to begin with, but they ultimately recovered in plenty of time. This season, though, hasn't been the brightest of starts. They had begun well thanks to Richarlison's free-scoring debut, but his sophomore match brought with it sophomoric attitude, and that put them in a tight spot. Without the Brazilian, they haven't been as dynamic going forward. Still yet, they are unbeaten in the league and in seventh with six points. The only problem is they've drawn three of the four matches, raising concerns that they don't have the killer edge in them to put games away.
West Ham are bottom of the table in EPL 2018 season and couldn't have begun in a worse way. A shellacking at the hands of a rampant Liverpool in the opener has been followed with three more losses. While one was to Arsenal, they have looked too 'nice' of a team so far. They've got players with names and pedigrees all around, but something just is not clicking for them. They've only scored twice as well to make their problems ever deeper, and their fans will be thinking this is another “here we go again” type of story. Their beautiful still new stadium deserves a team that plays good football, but at the moment that's a very, very far cry away.
With the exception of Ashley Williams, all of Everton's last four goal scorers against West Ham have departed. A new man needs to step in, and that could be Walcott.
He is at 3.4 via Betfair to score anytime.
No for both teams scoring is at 5/4 via Ladbrokes.
If West Ham continue to lose, we are going to start seeing calls for Pellegrini's head. Such is the way the league works. Marco Silva knows all about that, and the Portuguese manager will be very keen to make sure his side don't continue to throw away points as they have early in the season. They won't here.