With a new year upon us and West Ham, David Moyes should look to his strongest XI in their best shape, making hard decisions to topple Everton.
Everton, like West Ham, are vying for European football with nearly half of the season completed. And while Everton can boast a tactical genius in manager Carlo Ancelotti, the Hammers can argue their get-it-done tactician David Moyes has excelled past his former club’s current steward.
In order to settle some nerves, regardless of the result, Moyes should look to his strongest XI of fit players to face off against the dynamic attack of Everton. Domenic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are the offensive sparkplugs for this Toffee’s team but a well-picked XI from Moyes can neutralize them and push on.
Here is the predicted team to overthrow Everton:
Coufal – Dawson – Ogbonna – Cresswell – Johnson
Rice – Soucek
Bowen – Haller – Benrahma
Bench: Randolph, Fredericks, Balbuena, Noble, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Fornals, Yarmolenko, Antonio
The strengths of this team are down the middle – defensively, anyway. Captain Declan Rice and Angelo Ogbonna will be clutch in stopping the Everton attack. As good as Calvert-Lewin has been on the offence, it can be argued that Ogbonna’s defensive performances have matched him. He will be called upon to dominate the air and calmy remove any deceptive through passes from Ancelotti’s midfield.
Craig Dawson also keeps his place in the team after his man-of-the-match performance against Southampton. This keeps Balbuena and Diop on the bench, but the return to a 5-2-3 sees Aaron Cresswell fall back to his much more effective left centre-back role.
Ben Johnson and Vladimir Coufal return to the team as well, after both were rested against the Saints. Both have proved their skill in instigating offence and with the underfiring Sebastien Haller still needed up top while Antonio gets back to fitness, their crossing abilities will be needed even more.
This team is balanced, hard to break down, defensively responsible, and strong enough with the front three selected that Everton will have their hands full at both ends of the pitch. If Moyes does pick this team the only groans that could be anticipated would be for dropping Pablo Fornals who looked solid in the last outing. Call it a casualty of the formation.
Three points against direct mid-to-top table competition away at Goodison Park would be an incredible way to start the new year and to see the Hammers plant their flag in the year 2021. Here’s to an exciting team, rewarding football, and plenty of goals!