MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 05:19:04

Preview: West Ham United vs. Everton

Sports Mole previews the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at Upton Park.

Two sides sitting just outside the European places meet at Upton Park this weekend as Everton travel to West Ham United in the Premier League.

The home side will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat in eight matches, while Everton are fresh from their first win in four.

West Ham United

Mauro Zarate (2nd L) of West Ham United celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at Boleyn Ground on October 24, 2015© Getty Images

West Ham's seven-match unbeaten run came to a halt last weekend as the Hammers were beaten 2-0 at Vicarage Road against Watford, leaving them sixth in the table, level on points with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have a stronger goal difference.

The loss is just their third in the league this season, and their first away from home, having performed well in the top flight following the appointment of Slaven Bilic as manager over the summer.

The team's home form has not been as impressive as their performances away from Upton Park though, with two of their three losses coming in their own stadium.

Their results in their final season at the Boleyn Ground have been improving though, with the side unbeaten in their last three home fixtures, including a 2-1 win over defending champions Chelsea last time out.

West Ham have been one of the strongest attacking sides in the Premier League so far this season, scoring 22 goals in 11 outings, which is the third highest total in the division - only Manchester City and Leicester City have scored more.

Defending has let them down at times though, with the team keeping just three clean sheets while conceding 15 goals, with no clean sheets in their last six outings.

West Ham's discipline continues to be a cause for concern as well, with James Collins picking up the team's fourth red card of the campaign in the defeat to Watford, which is the highest total of sendings-off in the Premier League this season.

Recent form: WDDWWL
Recent form (all competitions): LDDWWL


Arouna Kone of Everton celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park on November 1, 2015 in Liverpool, England. © Getty Images

Everton had a tricky run of fixtures in October, with matches against Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal leaving them on a three-match run without a win, but the Toffees were back to winning ways last weekend, thrashing Sunderland 6-2 at Goodison Park.

Arouna Kone led the rout, scoring his first ever hat-trick in the Premier League, and earning himself a contract extension in the process. The Ivory Coast international missed most of last season with a knee injury, but has five goals in 11 league appearances so far this season.

The victory leaves Everton ninth in the table heading into this weekend, just five points outside the Champions League places, and nine clear of the bottom three.

Everton have the fifth-highest total of goals in the top flight so far in the 2015-16 season, with 19 from 11 games. Romelu Lukaku is the top scorer so far, netting six times for the Toffees.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard has come in for some criticism over the last month, having kept three clean sheets for the team so far this season. However, with just 15 goals conceded, Everton have a stronger defensive record than a number of sides above them in the table, including this weekend's opponents.

Recent form: DWDLLW
Recent form (all competitions): WDLLWW

Team News

James Collins of West Ham United in action during the pre season friendly match between Southend United and West Ham United at Roots Hall on July 18, 2015 in Southend, England. © Getty Images

The visitors will still be without captain Phil Jagielka as he was ruled out for two months with a knee injury. Ramiro Funes Mori has started in his place so far, and looks set to continue at the back this weekend.

Bryan Oviedo also misses out with a hamstring injury, while Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert are both ruled out, but Leighton Baines, Muhamed Besic and Tom Cleverley have all been back in training this week.

James Collins is suspended for the home side, having been sent off in the defeat to Watford, while Diafra Sakho and Pedro Obiang are both doubts with thigh injuries.

Winston Reid could return after a spell on the sidelines, while Alex Song is also thought to be close to a return.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Kouyate, Noble, Zarate, Payet, Moses, Carroll

Everton possible starting lineup:
Howard, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway, McCarthy, Barry, Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone, Lukaku

Head To Head

When the sides met at Upton Park last season, Everton secured a 2-1 win over West Ham, having beaten the Hammers by the same scoreline at Goodison Park earlier in the season.

West Ham have not beaten Everton in 17 meetings, and have won just one of their last 20, securing a 1-0 win during the 2006-07 campaign.

In 115 matches between the two clubs, Everton have 60 wins, while West Ham have beaten the Toffees just 31 times.

Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:

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We say: West Ham 0-2 Everton

West Ham's performances at home have not been as impressive as their away form this season, while Everton will be full of confidence after crushing Sunderland last time out.

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Who will win Saturday's clash between West Ham United and Everton?

West Ham United
West Ham United
Diafra Sakho of West Ham United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Newcastle United at the Boleyn Ground on September 14, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.
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