West Ham United vs Everton
When David Moyes was welcomed back to the Premier League just over a fortnight ago, he was a man seemingly in demand.
To quote a compelling journalist, Moyes brings “sanity to a hen house” and that is exactly what West Ham need, even if the players’ form under predecessor Manuel Pellegrini was well below par and the veteran Chilean was right to feel let down.
The Scot was also discussed as a possible appointment at another of his former clubs in Everton before they opted for the veteran Italian, Carlo Ancelotti.
While that seemed to irritate some of their fans, you can be guaranteed it will be more than professional pride why he wants his team to win this one.
He will have a point to prove!
This is a meeting between the sides placed 16th and 11th which, while disappointing to both, has been reflected in their requirement for new managerial appointments mid-term.
Yet it does not mean they are not capable of delivering Premier League 2020 highlights.
In fact, in their last league outing away from home, Ancelotti’s new troops pushed the champions close.
The fact they then were knocked out of the FA Cup by effectively Liverpool reserves was mighty embarrassing and a reality check.
In fact, so much so that Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, had to appease a group of angry fans who turned up at the club’s training ground less than 24 hours later.
West Ham also suffered frustration of a different kind last week when Moyes saw the first defeat since his return at Sheffield United– a match in which the intervention of VAR deep into added time denied them an equaliser.
They have had goalkeeping problems much of this term so will be relieved with the news that Lukasz Fabianski will only be out for a couple of weeks after scans revealed that the goalkeeper did not suffer a recurrence of a hip injury in that match.
Scans have shown that the Poland international only has minimal inflammation around the site of the stitches from his surgery.
His absence from this encounter though means the club could be re-signing Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough, just two-and-a-half years after leaving the club.
Everton have been linked to moves in the transfer market themselves, even if both managers are still adjusting to their newly inherited squads.
With Cenk Tosun having departed and youngster Moise Kean yet to impress, Ancelotti cannot afford to go into the second half of the season solely relying on in-form young frontman Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
While speculation suggesting Ancelotti may go back to his former club to recruit Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik, it is doubtful if any move is made in time for this weekend.
So it will be the same old faces for two old, yet new managers this weekend – one in particular has a point to prove to fans and employers alike.
Everton have a very good record against West Ham. They have won 71 of their clashes historically with the Hammers enjoying victory 40 times and a further 30 meetings ending level.
Last season, Everton won this fixture with an impressive 2-0 success at the London Stadium, courtesy of goals from Kurt Zouma (then on loan from Chelsea) and Bernard.
That was their first win in 11 visits to London in the Premier League since January 2017, seven of which had ended in defeat.
Earlier this season, Everton also won 2-0 at Goodison Park with Bernard again on target, along with Gylfi Sigurdsson.
West Ham did defeat Everton last season, however. They won 3-1 at Goodison, thanks to a double from Andriy Yarmolenko and one from Marko Arnautovic.
The Hammers have only won in their past top-flight games at home against the Toffees.
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