With Baines out injured, Oviedo looks set to continue at left back if Koeman retains a back four formation
Everton are back at Goodison Park for a Sunday lunchtime kick-off after successive away games that yielded just one point since the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the end of last month.
Winless in the Premier League since beating Middlesbrough in mid-September, Ronald Koeman's is a side in need of momentum as his honeymoon start has faded in the interim.
Last weekend's defeat at Burnley was harsh on the balance of play and Everton's control of the contest overall but it was rooted in off-days by individuals at the back combined with a general lack of guile in the attacking third.
A home game against West Ham, themselves battling through chequered form, offers the Blues a chance to get back to winning ways and ensure that the gap that is opening up between the themselves and many of the teams predicted to vie for the top four and the title. Though the likes of reigning champions Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have failed to really hit their stride consistently, Everton will kick off this weekend eight points off top spot and five off fifth place. Just 11 games in, they are already in a position where three points tomorrow won't result in them moving up any further in the table.
Koeman has been relaxed about his team's fortunes and was still looking forwards rather than backwards in his comments to the media this week but he will know how important the visit of West Ham is to his team's immediate prospects, particularly with a trip to Chelsea on the horizon next Saturday.
Last season's defeat in this fixture might have ended a run of impressive results against West Ham and solidified in many supporters' minds that Roberto Martinez's tenure would never return to the heights of his first term in charge but the Hammers remain Romelu Lukaku's favourite opposition.
Just as well, because Everton have had an unhealthy reliance on the Belgian's goals this season. Yannick Bolasie's first goal in royal blue at Turf Moor was the first time someone other than Lukaku had scored since that win over Boro, highlighting the glaring need for someone else to step up and shoulder more of the responsibility in that department.
In the meantime, Lukaku will be looking for a ninth goal in as many games against West Ham tomorrow and that good luck charm against this opposition can only help in what could be an awkward foe, depending on which Hammers side shows up.
Slaven Bilic's men came into the season on the crest of a wave after qualifying for Europe and moving into their new ground but have had a rocky time of it early in the campaign, bombing out of the Europa League and struggling to settle in their new surroundings.
Since losing 3-0 at home to Southampton, however, they're unbeaten in four in all competitions and have won their last three, including a win at Crystal Palace and an EFL Cup triumph over Chelsea. There is a danger that, buoyed by those results, Everton could face a Hammers side more akin to the one that did so well last year but if Koeman can get the team clicking again up front then they could prove too strong regardless.
The Dutchman will again be without Leighton Baines, however, whose hamstring strain continues to be a problem, while James McCarthy is ruled out with a similar, albeit worse, injury. Enner Valencia, on loan from the London Stadium, is ineligible to face to his parent club, not that he was likely to be involved much anyway if the recent weeks since his arrival are any indication. Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks to have been the beneficiary of the Ecuadorian's absence if a report today suggesting he has been called into the senior squad is true.
Kick-off: 1.30pm, Sunday 30 October, 2016
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Predicted Line-up: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Jagielka, Williams, Oviedo, Barry, Gueye, Barkley, Mirallas, Bolasie, Lukaku
Last Time: Everton 2 - 3 West Ham United
Full coverage: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (83)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 30/10/2016 at 00:09:24
2 Posted 30/10/2016 at 00:10:50
3 Posted 30/10/2016 at 00:20:55
4 Posted 30/10/2016 at 00:30:23
Must-win game tomorrow!
5 Posted 30/10/2016 at 01:44:34
Likewise, Coventry 1998.
Tomorrow is not a "must win". I want us to win, just like I want us to win every game of football Everton play; however, tomorrow is not a "must win". Our season does not hang on tomorrow.
6 Posted 30/10/2016 at 02:18:29
The Premier League is as unpredictable as my wife's mood swings. Get behind the boys on the pitch hopefully we will get a win...
7 Posted 30/10/2016 at 02:24:14
At what point does our season hang in the balance and we are allowed to desperate? To my kids, every game is a final. So yeah... ''must win'' please.
8 Posted 30/10/2016 at 02:51:00
We are in a bad rut and have some really tough games coming up: Chelsea, Southampton, Man Utd, Liverpool and Leicester in the next 8 after Sunday. If we can't beat West Ham at home then we could find ourselves in big trouble, because once the confidence and momentum disappear, it's very difficult to recover.
So yes, in my opinion, it's one of our must-win games (like Bournemouth and Burnley were).
9 Posted 30/10/2016 at 03:17:25
Barkley is past due to put in a star performance. We need him to make a difference. If we can spread them wide, it might open up the centre for Ross and Gana.
I'm fairly confident in the back line. Our main problems are up front. Get that sorted and we have a better than even chance at three points.
10 Posted 30/10/2016 at 06:29:27
All this talk about Martinez is getting old. Almost all the first-team players are internationals, if you can't train them, then it's on the current manager.
11 Posted 30/10/2016 at 07:08:49
I'm confident we will edge a good contest IF we just get on with the game.
12 Posted 30/10/2016 at 07:10:46
13 Posted 30/10/2016 at 07:14:51
Get a grip, pal, it's just a saying and like some have nicely pointed out, it is games like these that are the must-wins if you want to achieve things.
But actually commenting and trying to belittle someone's posts for no real reason. We are Everton fans just like you and whilst I love to hear differences of opinion over team selection, matches, who we should and shouldn't buy etc, to be cantankerous for the sake of it is quite frankly daft.
So Come on today, boys Must win! ;-)
14 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:12:03
15 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:18:08
I see Calvert-Lewin has been added to the squad because Valencia can't play against his parent club; give the boy a run about so he can take in the Goodison atmosphere, boys like him are the future of our club.
Love to see the win, but our season doesn't hang on it that is easy for me to say as I don't live in Liverpool, I'm afraid to say, even though I've supported the Blues scince 1974. I live across the Irish Sea in Dublin.
16 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:19:48
Jagielka (errors have to stop or give Holgate his chance)
Mirallas (behind Lukaku)
Bolasie (on the left)
17 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:32:58
18 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:39:58
19 Posted 30/10/2016 at 08:55:25
I would really like to see him on the bench. I have absolutely no idea if he's up to it (as I've never seen him play), but the prospect of him coming on is more exciting than some of our other attacking options. Hopefully he could bring pace and youthful exuberance.
20 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:00:14
The defence has definitely been more stable. Maybe now he is ready to try a few youngsters while his thoughts turn to January. See what we have / need. I hope he plays, scores the lot!
21 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:00:21
I do hope though that, if we are winning 2-0 with 20 minutes to go, he gives him a run out. Not just a 2-minute pointless substitution.
22 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:01:04
23 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:07:53
If it is possible, let the team go out and enjoy the game. We are on the right track, just need patience. I know it is hard but let's get behind the team instead of getting het-up and putting pressure on the side.
Laura, I understand you completely; try and relax, I hope you and your boys have a good day; wishing you a safe journey to Goodison and home again. You and your boys are better supporters than me, I only live 10 minutes from the ground. You have to make long trips, best of luck today for you, me and Everton.
25 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:13:34
26 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:21:18
27 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:21:18
Not sure I agree with that, to be honest. There was plenty of will to win on display at Burnley, particularly in the first half, but they lacked invention and ability to complete the job.
Koeman is still searching for his most effective combination up front and we're still missing a key ingredient in attacking central midfield while Barkley continues trying to find his way.
28 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:25:07
29 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:39:56
30 Posted 30/10/2016 at 09:43:05
31 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:03:09
We desperately need a win, haven't won for a while.
I really hope Barkley does not start.
32 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:05:46
35 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:09:11
I hope to fly home tomorrow with a smile on my face while looking at our continuing promising position in the Premier League table. I remember Koeman saying that, after 10 games, you get the first real indication of how the season might pan out.
36 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:15:15
We had lots of possession against Burnley but they had time to get bodies behind the ball and packed the box.
37 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:18:57
38 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:24:13
This isn't a must-win game, but we could well do without another performance like the Palace one and we need to break out of our recent run of results.
39 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:29:10
Dave is spot-on: Wimbledon was a must-win to stay up. Today is not a must-win for anything; if we lose, it's not going to determine our season the remaining 28 games will.
Very excited about the game, back in the old lady, and big Rom to bag the first. Expecting 3+ win today... high expectations. COYB
40 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:39:24
I have read most threads, and now feel it's a good time to restart.
Koeman is a wise sage. Today's game is a must-win game. Not the result, but the future of certain players who have not come up to scratch in Koeman's eyes.
With January just around the corner, a poor performance today may see the exit for some individuals who feel safe.
41 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:43:16
42 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:50:53
43 Posted 30/10/2016 at 10:51:51
I was nodding my head in agreement then realised that is what Martinez did against them last season: 2-0 up with 20 to go and he gave a run out to an untried striker and we lost!
Hopefully this team would not cave in like we did last season as I saw that game as the one when the rot really and truly set in with a vengeance.
I am keen for Ron to try a few youngsters as they can't be held back for too long and lose momentum hopefully this lad will see some minutes in a good win!
44 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:11:41
Yeah, I can see your point but likewise, I feel this team wouldn't do the same.
I remember the game very well as I was relying on that for my accumulator to bring me home £400!!! I was spitting feathers!
45 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:13:03
Bang on, Laura, every game is a must-win and your kids have the right idea, every game is a final. I wish every Everton player played with that in mind and we might win something again. COYB
46 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:33:23
47 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:40:42
I think if he plays well, the team will click. Let's hope for a great game.
48 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:46:05
I would like to see Deulofeu given a few games in the Number 10 role. Early season, he did feed Lukaku with plenty of early balls from the centre of the pitch.
I think the big frustration for Koeman and fans alike is that both Deulofeu and Mirallas look like they could be the answer. But fail to produce the goods in the way of goals. Seems like they are more interested in creating chances than taking them.
I watched the other lot last night and both their central defenders scored from corners. I was trying to remember a game when both of our central defenders had headers on target in the same game.
49 Posted 30/10/2016 at 11:46:55
Same with Deulofeu too 5 years since his pro debut and still not sure what his strengths are. I think Lennon deserves a start before those two today.
51 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:02:23
52 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:05:18
I think it's easy to start getting overly anxious, but we are a work in progress, and after the last two seasons of misery, it's nice to try and enjoy the matches.
Personally, for what little it's worth, I see this season as a battle for 6th place with 2-3 other teams and don't see this as a ''must-win" match. However, we certainly should be gunning for all 3 points today.
54 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:21:43
55 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:24:19
Years ago, while captain of our five-a-side team (national champions, by the way), one of our skillfuller (real word?) players done some sublime manoeuvre, then hit a shot against the bar, then I bollocked him something woeful... why? Because he had his hands on his head, disheartened about his said shot, stood there motionless.
After the game he said he's never been bollocked so much for playing football, ever. I told him it was because he had neglected his defensive duties as the game doesn't stop if the ball hits the bar, team game and all that, but not so polite.
The point being, we have not many players prepared to tell them straight; our captain isn't very vocal (the Mirallas penalty incident wouldn't happen if your captain has authority). Wingers in particular seem to need more talking to than most, in my experience, but so does everyone else too.
Point being, they need to fucking liven up!
56 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:25:02
Seriously though, any win, anyway, would be welcome. We're in a bit of a rut which they have to get out of soon and hopefully with a bang.
Hammers played well against Chelski in the EFL Mickey Mouse cup but this is the Premier League and Everton have to be up for it.
I am hoping for a good game offensively but nothing like last week.
57 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:25:19
58 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:26:54
How can anybody say they expect 3+ goals today after the way we have been playing? I'm confident that Koeman will get it right but I think this season is going to be frustrating at times.
59 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:27:53
60 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:31:12
3-0 home win.
61 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:31:48
62 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:32:05
63 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:33:26
64 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:36:08
65 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:37:06
66 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:37:14
For these reasons, West Ham may have the edge, psychology-wise. Everton seem to be so fragile in that all teams Everton played lately have at least provided a significant challenge, in some but not every aspect of their football, with even Burnley being no exception. Koeman needs to do better instead of saying, "Well it's Everton, we can't expect to win every game."
Everton simply lose concentration or cannot react fast enough to what should be foreseeable threats, it's almost as if their (Everton's) game is just too predictable that their play is foreseeable for seemingly any opponent. Everton just do not have the intelligence individually or collectively, seemingly anyway, to read the game without being on the defence too often. Except for Lukaku's obvious scoring ability, he cannot stay on the ball for his size and frame; the same applies to Barkley, who for the size of him his contribution is simply poor.
68 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:38:54
69 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:39:35
Hubby, who does he support?
70 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:43:22
71 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:44:21
72 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:47:05
Someone will probably beat me to it as I type but:
73 Posted 30/10/2016 at 12:57:27
74 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:01:17
75 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:02:58
76 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:03:56
77 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:05:09
78 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:05:53
79 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:06:44
80 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:09:07
81 Posted 30/10/2016 at 13:15:47
82 Posted 30/10/2016 at 15:31:32
83 Posted 30/10/2016 at 18:30:52
Dave Abrahans, thank you - that was exactly my sentiment. I would never intentionally belittle a fellow Evertonian's opinion because after all we're all entitled to a view and see things differently.
So Neil, thank you for your observation but I do not need to "get a grip".
"Barkley starting Grrrrr" hey Damian!!! Isn't football great; unpredictable and so unscientific.
Table looking good right now, even though it means little at this stage; nicely consolidated in the top 8 and even have some breathing space emerging in top 6.
Good win (as they always are) but wasn't a must win!!!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend fellow blues.
84 Posted 30/10/2016 at 19:03:05
85 Posted 30/10/2016 at 22:44:31
Only just removed my shirt... I normally like to sleep in it after a win.
86 Posted 30/10/2016 at 23:27:34
Glad you enjoyed your day and hopefully your young blues did too.
Looking forward to next week... A must-win against Chelski. ;-)
87 Posted 31/10/2016 at 01:46:09
88 Posted 31/10/2016 at 07:13:55
89 Posted 31/10/2016 at 10:56:07