Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Two teams who have spent the best part of the last decade seemingly on the brink of a real breakthrough come together in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff, with Everton welcoming West Ham to Goodison Park. The Toffees, who have experienced more false dawns than a Vicar of Dibley lookalike convention, come into this game sitting in the relegation zone, despite a summer in which they seemed to have made clever, decisive moves in the transfer market.
The Irons, meanwhile, have looked more like the genuine article, but without really delivering consistent form. They opened the season at home to Manchester City and took a total hammering, before delivering a six-game unbeaten run which featured highs such as a win over Manchester United. Last time out, though, they were limp and disorganised as they lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, which is such a West Ham result that they might as well release a DVD of the match as a souvenir.
Everton vs West Ham Prediction: Everton 1-1 West Ham
Everton have lost their last four Premier League games in a row, turning a promising start into what is looking like a pre-crisis at the very least. Boss Marco Silva may well be the subject of a sacking if they lose here, as the Toffees have looked completely adrift in recent games including a 2-0 home defeat by Sheffield United. It’s fortunate that they aren’t facing a Liverpool or even a Leicester coming out of this international break – there’s no doubt the home side have a talented XI at their disposal, they just need to start playing like one. A home game with West Ham is a decent opportunity to do that.
Our recommended tip: Everton FGS
Of the six goals that Everton have managed to score this season, five have come in the first half. Three – that’s half, so far – have come in the opening fifteen minutes of games. Silva’s men certainly start games better than they finish them, and it may have something to do with the energy that imbues their tactical approach. It’s hard to sustain, but if they get it right, a lot of damage can be done early on. With the Hammers still to find their rhythm defensively, it’s not hard to see Everton getting the opener here, and Betway are pricing them at 4/6 to do just that.
It’s hard to call any game between these two on the basis of recent head-to-head form. To exemplify this, the last time they met Everton delivered a confident 2-0 win at the London Stadium, but that was in response to a 3-1 win for the visitors the last time they played at Goodison. That followed a 2017/18 season in which the Blues won the home game 4-0, but then lost 3-1 in London. At that most recent game, which the Toffees won comfortably, their opening goal was scored by Kurt Zouma. He was on loan from Chelsea at the time, and has returned there so will not be available to Silva this time.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Richarlison & Andriy Yarmolenko
Linked with moves to some of the Premier League’s top clubs while playing under Silva at Watford, Richarlison eventually moved to Everton and, even if his club have flattered to deceive, the Brazilian has been a silver lining more often than not. As well as being a solid finisher, he can create openings both for himself and his teammates, and it’s no coincidence that when the Toffees defeated Wolves – the last time the side avoided defeat – Richarlison was on the scoresheet twice, notching early and late to secure a 3-2 win.
Yarmolenko’s debut season in English football was curtailed by injury, but in the nine games he did play, he found time to put in an excellent performance on this very ground, scoring twice in that aforementioned 3-1 win. The Ukrainian international has been very much to the fore in everything that the London side have done well so far this campaign, and with three goals in six games the skilful Russian winger will need to be watched closely by the opposing defence; we already know he can turn it on at Goodison.