Finally, the Premier League is back!
This week, the Hammers take on Everton at Goodison Park. West Ham and Everton are similar teams in many ways – passionate fans, historic backgrounds, and a desire to break into regular European football. The Hammers secured this goal last season after finishing 6th in the Premier League, with Everton landing themselves in 10th position. Since then, the Blues have brought in a new manager in Rafa Benitez, taking over from Carlo Ancelotti’s short spell at the club.
What do the statistics say?
Stats spanning over 50 games state that Everton have the upper hand over West Ham. In 50 games, the Blues have won more Premier League games (27) and scored more Premier League goals (87) against West Ham than they have against any other side. Despite this, more recent results suggest that it won’t be an easy game for the home side.
West Ham travel up north with a pretty impressive Premier League away record – accumulating 7 points out of a possible 9, and remain unbeaten on the road. This should bring the squad a degree of confidence, which has clearly been motivating this West Ham team for the last few months.
However, Goodison Park has been a fortress for Everton so far this season – with the Blues maintaining a 100% home record. Benitez and his squad have made it extremely tough for the visiting teams this campaign, those of which being Southampton, Burnley, and Norwich. It can be argued that these are not the most challenging teams in the league, meaning West Ham could be Everton’s toughest home game yet. With a successful European campaign well-underway, the Hammers will bring a competitiveness aspect that the hosts may not have experienced so far in Merseyside.
Proposed Starting XI
These are the line-ups we expect to see for Everton vs West Ham:
Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne,
Townsend, Gray, Gordon,
Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell,
Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals,
The Ones to Watch
Summer transfer and ex-Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend is Everton’s top scorer so far, with 5 goals. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and new boy Demarai Grey sit just below, with 3 goals apiece. With DCL out, and Grey and Townsend expected to make the starting XI, the West Ham backline must be prepared for the attacking threat they provide. The Claret and Blue defence have proven solid this season, only further strengthened by the security of defensive midfielders Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice.
Everton 1 – 2 West Ham
I believe the Hammers have got a hard game on their hands this week. West Ham also has a good record at Goodison Park, winning three of the last six games there. Furthermore, the international break has given David Moyes time to truly assess the opposition, and with the last game resulting in a defeat to Brentford – this will be a game to win for the Scotsman’s team.