Preview and Prediction
Two of the several dark horses of the season, Everton and West Ham will be squaring off on Friday for matchday 17. The Toffees need to keep winning to stay in the top four to aim for the Champions League next season while the Hammers are looking to end their winless run in the past four games to lift up their position in the standings. Both teams are not separated by six points.
The teams’ previous games
Carlo Ancelotti’s men’s positive trend endures as they snatched maximum points against Sheffield United on the road. The only goal of the game was scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson. They still stay on the fourth and have one game delayed against Manchester City due to COVID-19 case.
Meanwhile, West Ham once again only mustered a goalless draw while taking on Southampton in a tight affair. They wasted a number of decent chances in the six-yard box till the final whistle.
Carlo Ancellotti is still in favour of 4-2-3-1 with the possible transition to 4-3-3 despite the fact that Lucas Digne, James Rodriguez, Fabian Delph, Allan and Richarlison are still ruled out. Gylfi Sigurdsson is still the anchor of their attack accompanied by Alex Iwobi and possibly Bernard to support Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the targetman.
His counterpart, David Moyes, might need to consider deploying 4-3-2-1 or 5-3-2 to close down his former team’s attacking side which relies on more cultured midfielders. Michael Antonio might get a nod in the starting IX alongside Jarrod Bowen upfront while in the midfield, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Pablo Fornals will be operating the area. In their defence, Craig Dawson, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna are holding the backline.
Players to watch
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is their current top scorer contributing eleven goals so far. Another notable name to watch is the Icelandic international Gyfli Sigurdsson who has bagged two goals and provided two assists. Another key man to focus on is the former Barcelona defender Yerry Mina.
The Hammers’ top performers are the Czech international Tomas Soucek who is also the current top scorer with four goals alongside Jarrod Bowen. Some other notable names to watch are their two wing backs, Ryan Fredericks and Aaron Cresswell.
Everton vs West Ham Prediction
Jordan Pickford and Co should have the home advantage to seal another win here. David Moyes’s return to Goodison Park might not end well for The Hammers as they have been in difficulty to score. Unless their forwards are not improving, they are unlikely to go home with three points or even one point. A narrow win for the home side is more plausible.