Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent club
With the season running down, Everton's efforts to maintain the pressure on the sides above them switches to the London Stadium.
Despite an eight-match winning run at Goodison Park and just two away defeats since the disappointing result at Watford in December, Ronald Koeman's men have been rooted in seventh place since the turn of the year.
They have managed to trim the gap to Manchester United to three points and start this weekend level on points with Arsenal but both clubs have two games in hand to cram in before the end of the campaign.
A glance at the “away wins” column perhaps illustrates what has held Everton back this season — just four wins on their travels contrasts strongly with United's nine, Arsenal's seven and Manchester City's 11 but they the Blues have an opportunity to significantly improve their away record with three of their five remaining fixtures being on the road.
The first sees Everton meet West Ham at their converted Olympic Stadium for the first time, a venue where the Hammers have had their issues settling into what are vastly different environs to Upton Park.
Just six home wins all season are testament to the problems Slaven Bilic has had emulating the previous season's form which was enough to see them into European competition from which they made an early exit last summer.
Unlike Goodison Park which has become a fortress for Everton in 2017, the London Stadium has borne witness to just two Premier League wins so far this year, against Swansea and Crystal Palace. All of the top six sides have come away with wins from Stratford and it behooves the Toffees to follow suit and hope that the two teams immediately above them in the table at least drop points over the run-in.
With few changes on the fitness front — James McCarthy is unfit and Muhamed Besic is still using the Under-23s as a platform to build his fitness — Koeman is unlikely to change the starting XI much but the likes of Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be eager for more game time off the bench, particularly seeing as Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent club.
Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile, will be looking to add to his phenomenal goalscoring streak in consecutive games against the Hammers.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 22 April, 2017
Referee: Roger East
Last Time: West Ham United 1-1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
Reader Comments (56)
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1 Posted 22/04/2017 at 07:07:31
Arsenal play Man City in the cup this weekend, at home to Leicester on Wednesday and away to Spurs on Sunday. Again, three tough games in a week for a team low on confidence. Hopefully they struggle too.
This is a situation where you want Everton to show a ruthless streak and you would hope that we take advantage. If we want this current squad to progress, winning games when we have an opportunity at this stage of the season to climb the table is a crucial sign of development.
2 Posted 22/04/2017 at 07:19:26
West Ham is a game at this stage that we really should approach with proper attacking intent. We have nothing to fear from them, and should not encourage them by over caution. I have no guess to make about how Koeman will line up the team; positively, I hope.
3 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:00:31
4 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:16:36
Must have been the jellied eels, or the pie and mash. 😀
5 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:24:25
6 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:28:16
Unfortunately our away form is the complete opposite of our home form and games like today we make look really hard work when realistically we should be relishing the big pitch and players like Mirallas, Barkley and Lukaku should thrive.
We need to sacrifice a holding midfielder today. I'd go with maybe Davies, Barkley, Schneiderlin, Mirallas and maybe Lookman supporting Rom.
We saw last week you just don't need Gueye and Schneiderlin in certain games, it stagnates our attack, we have nothing to really worry about in terms of being caught out on the break by the Hammers much like Burnley last week.
West Ham are there for the taking, we are long overdue a win away from home and failure to take three points today for me will be a poor result and it's holding us back especially having such a great home record.
If we had a better away record we could have had fourth place in the bag already by now.
7 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:32:44
Let's hope we can have a storming finish to the season, who knows, a few draw or lose around us, it's either 2 points gained or 3, if it's a loss.
Slightly off subject here, but I also read the Chelsea would try to sweeten the Lukaku deal with that lad Abraham. Apparently most clubs are chasing him, and he is the second top scorer in the Championship. Hmm.
8 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:33:00
9 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:43:12
I much rather see a change of attitude at this stage: let's go away and attack, lets entertain the long suffering travelling fans. Lets rest the older players,we already know what they can do.
We won't finish out of the European places and I think it only works out about £1.4m a place, So let's experiment before we start splashing the cash in the wrong areas. Let's see how Rhinos boys cope with the step up once they have wrapped up the title.
10 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:45:04
11 Posted 22/04/2017 at 08:48:31
12 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:24:58
Give them something to cheer today, Ronnie!!!
13 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:31:43
Another gauge of where Everton are. Anything other than a win and it looks like a July start. With international games on the weekend of 10th June some players are going to get a very short break.
14 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:45:35
I want us to finish 5th if we can. I agree we must be confident and attacking; we're better than them and I think we'll get the win today.
15 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:45:46
16 Posted 22/04/2017 at 09:57:16
17 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:02:16
A total reversal today please attacking intent from the start, a resilient defense and a 2-0/3-0 win will do nicely, thank you.
And Rom to continue his run against the Hammers as well.
18 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:06:59
19 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:07:08
It would be nice to see more of Lookman, it seems like he has been protected a bit recently but he's a Londoner so should relish the game.
20 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:17:36
21 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:24:07
Hoping I'm wrong and we beat them.
22 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:25:19
There's no reason why we can't continue that at this new stadium of their's considering they've a very ordinary record there so far.
Having had a nose at one or two of their forums I sense some unrest amongst their support so an early goal for us is what's needed and surely their crowd will turn.
Man for man, we are miles better than West Ham, and Rom always scores against them, so there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't get a result down there today.
23 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:46:45
I hope that the boys on the pitch, and the travelling Toffeemen put in respective (well behaved) performances to offer him an epiphany and become another Blue.
As we say "chosen"... and maybe he just doesn't know it yet.
24 Posted 22/04/2017 at 10:56:01
We most certainly don't want to be in the qualifying rounds if we can help it so talk of playing the youngsters is nonsense. Little to be gained, or learned from that, much to lose.
I don't understand what people are saying when they talk about changing our away approach. It's no different from what Koeman does at home, despite the difference in outcomes. He does change team and shape occasionally, that's about the opposition and it happens at home too.
As we know, he's not averse to changing things second half. We'll wait a long time for him to go "gung ho" as some are suggesting here, and nor should he whilst there is a chance of a finish above seventh.
Played a game of guess the results for top seven last week. Arsenal have a tough and crowded schedule and little hope of making the top four. There's a chance that we could finish above them. We'd need to win three and draw the others to give ourselves that chance.
Man Utd's run-in is too easy apart from Man City, even with the loss of Ibrahimovic. Reckon we"d be unlikely to catch them.
RS nailed on for CL sadly.
25 Posted 22/04/2017 at 11:45:07
I'd let Lookman go at them with Kev & Ross behind Rom. Their back four isn't great, glad we missed out on Fonte.
Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines
Lookman, Lukaku, Mirallas
Stekelenburg, Pennington, Barry, Davies, Lennon, Calvert-Lewin, Kone(!!)
26 Posted 22/04/2017 at 11:49:18
"Lads, it's West Ham..."
27 Posted 22/04/2017 at 11:55:18
28 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:00:28
Does anyone know, if Man Utd win the Europa League and qualify for the next Champions League, thereby denying the RS a Champions League place, does that mean 7th will now fail to qualify?
29 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:11:49
I read about this on BBC this morning. This season, 5 teams from England can be in Champions League, so sadly, if Man Utd win Europa League the RS at 4th would still get in.
If Everton are 7th, we will definitely be in the Europa League.
30 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:13:24
31 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:18:50
32 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:20:13
33 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:26:22
In the meantime, let's carry on developing the youth.
34 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:32:36
I think the confusion started when the other lot won the Champions League, they didn't qualify under the previous rules for the following season so they appealed to UEFA that as holders they should qualify. Being them, UEFA for the first time allowed the winners to automatically qualify for the following season. But since that ruling they have allowed the winners of the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League.
But if Leicester had have won the Champions League then the 4th placed team in this years Premier League would not be allowed to enter the Champions League. They would have been put forward for the Europa League and the 7th placed team would have missed out.
35 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:33:44
36 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:34:26
That's correct, five teams enter the Champions League if Man Utd win the Europa League.
The plus side is that 6th and 7th go direct to group stages. f Man Utd finish 6th or 7th, then that would be 5/7 or 5/6.)
8th place has to play two qualifying games before the group stages.
37 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:35:43
38 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:51:04
We have won the last eight home league matches and haven't won an away game since Crystal Palace in January, so something is missing when we play away from home.
39 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:51:25
40 Posted 22/04/2017 at 12:54:19
Graham, I understand it differently.
Whilst five go to the Champions League, I understood that only seven teams can enter Europe and so 8th place would not qualify. Only two would enter the Europa League.
41 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:05:30
Still a chance of finishing higher despite the injuries we have to be satisfied that the team has been showing a lot more than in previous years,
They have lost quality players like Macca, Bolasie, Funes Mori and Seamus not to mention Mo Besic for the most part of the season and still are a class act thanks to the youngsters rising to the occasion and Koeman's tactics.
Would have been nice to win at least one game against the RS but there's always next season.
42 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:24:58
With Valencia not eligible, looking like Lookman or Calvert-Lewin from the bench.
3 points hopefully and keep those near us twitchy and hopefully a slip in by them on the final run in.
43 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:35:25
I hope big Rom hits his stride and bags two or three to keep his lead for the Golden Boot.
44 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:43:51
You are correct.
45 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:48:29
Should be a tough match to start with, but once we score they'll fall apart. 3-0 Rom will no doubt get on the score sheet.
46 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:49:05
And why do I get the impression that if we finished bottom, you would point to the other 72 teams in the lower leagues and see it as a positive.
The days of you telling us how wonderful life is under Martinez are now thankfully a distant memory. We should be more ambitious now, otherwise whats the point?
And stop taking notice to what The Sun is doing. It's beneath your status as a Scouser, a blue and a Human being
47 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:58:19
48 Posted 22/04/2017 at 13:58:30
The fact those teams above us have won so many more than us on the road underlines we still lack confidence and belief we belong at the top. The confidence comes from knowing you have a style of play which wins games and from what I've seen this season we still don't have that consistent pattern. We give the ball away too much and don't get at it from the start enough.
This team isn't better than any above it and, being pragmatic, I think we'll stay where we are; however, where we are marks improvement whereas some of those above us are in decline. A good window and preseason and we could be competing for top 4 next year.
49 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:03:16
50 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:05:35
Your education is doing fuck all for you so far an educated man who has learnt very little.
52 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:13:26
53 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:16:53
The rest looks the same feels the same. I hope we change our tune aginst this lot.
Our Premer League bunnies. 6/8 wins at their place. This is actually a clear test of balls. 'Man Utd injuries mounting up like Roms goals goals, fixtures overload and Arsenal with a nasty run in. Time to drive a coach and horses through both and finish 5th.
No Carroll, some dude I've never heard of...
I expect to win, Ronnie.
54 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:32:41
Big Nev said it all about finishing 6th... "6th place success? Is it fuck"
Settle for top 4, but winning the League has to be the goal. If you're good enough to be in the Premier League top 4, you should be good enough to win the title anyway!
55 Posted 22/04/2017 at 14:38:50
Or are you are swerve the Europa league laa? 😆
56 Posted 22/04/2017 at 15:07:17
57 Posted 22/04/2017 at 15:42:34
Knowing about Everton is not exactly 'education.' Calm down, stop this emotional over-reaction for ffs.
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