Sunday 30 October 2016

Payet Prepares to Chew Toffees (again)

Last season there were many results to savour as Slaven Bilic's men  recorded victories over all the 'big' six in the Premiership. However, perhaps the most satisfying was the win at Goodison Park as the Hammers came back from 2-0 down with 12 minutes to play to record a stunning 3-2 victory. Dimitri Payet led the charge one suspects motivated by a desire to avenge Everton for the James McCarthy foul that caused him to miss two crucial months that ultimately was a key factor in SuperSlav's men just missing out on a champion's League place.

That win was West Ham's first in 16 games against Everton, having lost ten of the previous 15 encounters and drawn five. Everton enjoyed an excellent start to life under new manager Ronald Koeman and currently lie in sixth spot. However, the Toffees have lost form over the past few games with only two points from their last four games so the Hammers will fancy their chances of snatching another rare Goodison win.

Key to their chances will be whether their new back three set up can prevent Romelu Lukaku from continuing his incredible form against West Ham whereby he has scored in each of his last eight games against the East Londoners! However, Winston Reid is back to top form and has the perfect skillset to manage Lukaku's pace and power. Meanwhile, West Ham have their own physical powerhouse up front in Michail Antonio who has moved into the centre and will look to torment Seamus the Coalman and the rest of the Everton back line.

Andre Ayew looked lively after coming on as a substitute during Wednesday's win over Chelsea and will look for more game time today. Edmilisen Fernandes is likely to start after his excellent performances of late and what's the bets that he let's fly from distance again today after his midweek scorcher! We expect just one change from the side that overcame Chelsea, with Adrian returning between the sticks. 

last season's Goodison win
One thing that won't happen is for West Ham to fall foul o0f the ex-player curse, as Enner Valencia is only on loan at Goodison. In reality, that would have been an outside bet as the Ecuadorian has continued to struggle since his move and has not managed to score in his 4 appearances for Koeman's side. As ever, he continues to bang them in at international level and you have to wonder if he would be more successful plying his trade in a less physically demanding league - undoubtedly something that will be considered when his season long loan concludes.

Paddy Poormaker has Everton at 4/5, with the Hammers at 7/2 for a win. Mystic Mark Lawrenson reckons it'll be a 1-1 draw and for once we are inclined to agree and go with a draw at 14/5. Don't forget the early kick off!



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