We preview Saturday's EPL match between West Ham and Everton being played at the London Stadium.
At the start of the season, one would have easily envisaged both of these sides duking it out for European places. For one side, that has come to pass and then some. While likely to struggle to retain their dynamic goal-scoring Romelu Lukaku, they are almost certain of attaining a spot in the Europa League. Slaven Bilic has enjoyed a difficult first campaign at the London Stadium but has basically guided his side to safety at this point. The Payet debacle weighed heavy on the club and they have suffered a raft of injuries. Suspensions will play a role in his team’s selection as West Ham aim to give their fans some encouragement in the back end of the season. Koeman knows that any result here will all but ensure Europa League action in a season that has all the hallmarks of yielding fruit next year.
West Ham v Everton | Saturday 22 April | London Stadium | 16:00
To Win (90 Mins)West Ham 43/20 | Draw 49/20 | Everton 23/20
West Ham are going to some major reshuffling this week with the suspension of Sam Byrum to absorb into the side. It’s compounded by the fact that Mark Noble is still serving a two-game suspension for a ten yellow-card accumulation. Kouyate will likely go back into the right-back position - a position he filled admirably already this season. However, this will leave a gap in midfield that may have to be filled by Fernandes. One would think that an inexperienced midfield combination of Fernandes and Nordveidt may struggle against an Everton side that has built up consistency of late.
Up front, Andre Ayew has come back from his injury and managed to find a slew of vital goals in the last few weeks, more than justifying his acquisition. Robert Snodgrass has been wildly inconsistent this season and may feel that he could isolate the young Holgate and utilise that prodigious left-boot to unleash Andy Carroll. Carroll will find the combination of Williams and Jagielka quite resilient but will no doubt rate his chances this week.
Everton have no fresh injury concerns and will be keen to press on in their quest to finish as well as possible this season- despite the fact that 7th place seems all but certain for the Toffees. Idrissa Gueye was taking off at halftime at last, but that was believed to be for tactical reasons. He should come back into the fold and add his impressive athleticism to proceedings. Romelu Lukaku looks a lock for the Golden Boot at present but will know that the likes of Harry Kane and Zlatan are an errant hat-trick away from putting real pressure on him.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been excellent since his arrival from United, proving the ideal screen for the side. The injury to Seamus Coleman has proved difficult for the side but the return of Kevin Miralles to his dynamic best has mitigated the loss. I think that Everton will sense blood in the water this week with West Ham nursing so many personnel issues.
Verdict: Both teams to score at 11/20 or a 2-2 Correct Score at 19/2
Both sides have been vigilant to not keep clean sheets this season and both will likely concede as West Ham push forward to give their home fans something to hold on to. A 2-2 score looks decent bet considering that’s exactly the score that West Ham endured last week.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets