Here is the meeting of two clubs who had realistic ambitions to be the best of the rest and be challenging for a top eight finish however the reality now is very much different.
Both West Ham and Everton find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle and both sides are in desperate need of a win. The Hammers in 18th can go above their Merseyside counterparts with a win which could leave Everton in the bottom three come the end of the night.
It is a huge game and neither side head into this one in great fettle either, with Everton’s 3-2 home win against Watford the only win either side has managed in their last six games. But last time out Everton were flattened 4-1 by Southampton whereas the Hammers picked up a morale boosting 1-1 draw against Leicester.
Looking to respond in front of their restless home support will not be an easy task for caretaker manager David Unsworth either, especially so his future is uncertain given Everton’s very public attempts to lure Marco Silva from Watford. Given this a West Ham win priced at 23/10 by Betway looks great value.
David Moyes’ side have just one clean sheet on their travels this season so that alongside these two possessing the worst defensive records in the Premier League conceding 54 goals between them this season (28 Everton and 26 West Ham) makes a possible West Ham to win and both teams to score look very tempting at 5/1 by Betway.
Indeed as does the possibility of an Andy Carroll first goalscorer bet at 13/2, as against the Saints Charlie Austin found ample room to plant two near identical headers past Jordan Pickford, that sort of marking and the big Geordie’s aerial prowess makes him a key threat.
As for the home side their greatest threat would be £45m man Gylfi Sigurdsson who scored a stunning 25 yard goal against Southampton that pinged in off the underside of the bar, indeed in that game him managed all of his sides two shots on target- both from range, if you fancy another Sigurdsson special to score from outside the area that is listed as a request bet.
Equally both players to score double also a request bet, could be very fruitful. Others to consider are Wayne Rooney of course who has found himself on the bench of late, but the abject South coast display could bring him into contention and his record of twelve career goals against the Hammers highlights his threat and his at 7/2 to get the first goal.
For the Hammers Manuel Lanzini stands out as no other Hammer has had more shots (nine) or efforts on target (five) that coupled with his improving form and greater freedom afforded to the Argentine against Leicester bodes well for Moyes’ side and a Lanzini first and 2-1 West Ham scorecast is priced at 50/1.
Whichever way this one goes it won’t be for the faint hearted, both sides can ill afford a defeat and nerves will be aplenty but given the unrest behind the scenes at Goodison Park the Hammers have to fancy their chances of getting the first win of the David Moyes.
By Christopher Brown