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Preview: West Ham United vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Ham United take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, with the hosts looking to maintain pressure on Leicester City and Chelsea in the Champions League qualification positions.

Everton's own top-four aspirations appeared to come to a crashing end after the home defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, but Carlo Ancelotti will still be aiming to compete in Europe next season.


Match preview

West Ham United's Michail Antonio celebrates scoring their second goal on May 3, 2021© Reuters

After two successive defeats to Newcastle United and top-four rivals Chelsea, West Ham bounced back with an impressive 2-1 win at Burnley on Monday.

David Moyes picked an unusually attacking side, with Manuel Lanzini handed a deep-lying midfield role alongside Tomas Soucek behind a front-line of Said Benrahma, Jesse Lingard, Pablo Fornals and the returning Michail Antonio.

After Chris Wood had converted a 19th-minute penalty having been fouled by Soucek, Antonio proved to be the difference-maker on the day for the Hammers.

The threatening forward equalised two minutes later by rising above Matthew Lowton to power a header past Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, before sliding onto Benrahma's fine cross to flip the first half on its head.

Moyes's improving outfit dominated the proceedings on their way to a crucial victory, having 22 shots and 56% possession across the 90 minutes as the 58-year-old's bold lineup paid dividends.

They will desperately be hoping that Newcastle United and Manchester City can do them favours earlier in the weekend against Leicester and Chelsea respectively, with West Ham potentially requiring four wins from their final four games to retain a realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

Everton's Richarlison celebrates an own goal by Arsenal's Bernd Leno in the Premier League on April 23, 2021© Reuters

Moyes, of course, took Everton into the Champions League by finishing fourth with the Toffees in the 2004-05 campaign, albeit before disappointingly crashing out to Villarreal in the qualifying rounds in the subsequent season.

After winning their first four league matches this season, Everton fans were dreaming of competing at Europe's top table once again, but an inconsistent home record appears to have put an end to those ambitions.

Indeed, last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Villa was their eighth in 17 league matches at Goodison Park this season, which is in stark contrast to their extremely impressive record of 10 wins and three draws from 16 matches on the road.

The Blues had shown good spirit to level through Dominic Calvert-Lewin's trademark header after Ollie Watkins had opened the scoring in an entertaining first half, but their lack of attacking quality or mental determination to find an important winner after the break was extremely disappointing.

Ultimately it was punished, too, by Anwar El Ghazi's fine 80th-minute strike from distance. The loss leaves Ancelotti's side in eighth place and nine points behind Chelsea, albeit with a game in hand, so a Europa League qualification position is about the best they can hope for, with a win against West Ham on Sunday a huge step towards achieving that.

West Ham United Premier League form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Everton Premier League form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Everton form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L



Team News

Everton's James Rodriguez takes the knee on February 20, 2021© Reuters

Having welcomed Antonio and Aaron Cresswell back into the starting XI at Turf Moor on Monday, it was hoped that Declan Rice would recover from his knee injury for the visit of Everton this weekend.

Moyes revealed in Friday's press conference that the England midfielder is "back [training] on the grass" and is edging closer to being available, but would not reveal whether he would be fit in time for Sunday.

Moreover, having hugely impressed against Burnley, Lanzini could continue in midfield, with Rice potentially gaining match fitness from the substitutes' bench if he is able to.

Captain Mark Noble, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna all remain injury doubts, too, with none of them likely to be risked from the start.

Having scored three goals in his previous five matches, meanwhile, Jarrod Bowen will be hoping to return to the starting XI having only been used from the bench against Burnley.

Everton, meanwhile, will travel without James Rodriguez after the attacking midfielder picked up a last-minute calf injury during the warm-up against Villa.

He was replaced in the starting lineup by Alex Iwobi, who failed to impress against Dean Smith's side and may be fortunate to retain his place in the side as a result.

Ancelotti revealed in Friday's press conference, however, that Abdoulaye Doucoure is fit to feature for the first time since sustaining a foot injury against West Bromwich Albion in March.

The former Watford midfielder could replace Iwobi in order to provide more power and defensive acumen in midfield, with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson supporting Calvert-Lewin.

England defender Michael Keane could also return to the side having missed the previous two matches, with one of Seamus Coleman or Mason Holgate's place in the side potentially under threat should Ancelotti utilise a conventional back four system.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin and youngster Tyler Onyango are almost certainly ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to knee and ankle injuries respectively.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Lanzini; Bowen, Lingard, Fornals; Antonio

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Doucoure, Allan, Gomes; Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin


SM words green background

We say: West Ham United 1-1 Everton

Everton are considerably stronger on the road and could prove tough to beat on Sunday, with West Ham potentially being overpowered in midfield should Rice be unable to start as expected.

However, the Hammers are creating more clear-cut chances than most sides in the division and are a completely different beast with Antonio in attack, so it would be little surprise to see their march for a top four spot continue.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: West Ham vs Everton

West Ham United
59.8%
Draw
20.7%
Everton
19.5%
169
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Everton's Richarlison celebrates an own goal by Arsenal's Bernd Leno in the Premier League on April 23, 2021
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