A spot in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup will be on the line when Everton welcome West Ham United for the fourth round clash this week.

Everton will be aiming to extend their perfect start to the 2020/21 campaign when they play hosts to West Ham United at Goodison Park in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

The Toffees have began their first full season under Carlo Ancelotti with a bang, picking five wins in five across all competitions. They eased past Salford City (3-0) and Fleetwood Town (5-2) in the previous rounds of the cup competition and will head into Wednesday’s game on the back of a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

West Ham, meanwhile, started the season on a dodgy note, losing two of their first three games in all competitions, but have picked up dominant wins in their last two. David Moyes’ side thrashed Charlton Athletic (3-0) and Hull City (5-1) on their way to the fourth round of Carabao Cup and will be high on confidence after their 4-0 win over Wolves in the league this past weekend.

This will be just the fourth meeting between Everton and West Ham in the League Cup. And ahead of this exciting match-up at Goodison Park, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

Everton

Ancelotti's Everton have won five in five in 2020/21 (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Ancelotti’s Everton have won five in five in 2020/21 (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Toffees’ boss will be without the services of centre-backs Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite, with the former expected to be out for a couple of months. Along with the duo, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Cenk Tosun also remain unavailable for selection.

Ancelotti will make a few changes to the side that started at the weekend against Crystal Palace in the Premier League. No alterations are expected between the sticks though, with Jordan Pickford likely to continue to man the Toffees’ goal.

Captain Seamus Coleman will be given a breather, with Jonjoe Kenny set to start at right-back, while new signing Niels Nkounkou should get the nod on the left. Michael Keane should continue at the heart of the Everton defence, with Lucas Digne partnering him in a makeshift role in place of Yerry Mina.

Fabian Delph should replace new arrival Allan in the holding midfield role for the hosts. Partnering him in the double pivot should be Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is likely to don the captain’s armband in Coleman’s absence. Bernard, who scored and assisted in the previous cup tie, should start in the No. 10 role and look to pull the strings in attack.

Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott will battle for the right-wing slot, with the former likely to get the nod after scoring against Fleetwood in the previous round. Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have started the new campaign on a strong note and are indispensable members of the team. Moise Kean, who scored in the last cup tie, will feel unlucky to miss out.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Kenny, Keane, Digne, Nkounkou; Sigurdsson, Delph; Iwobi, Bernard, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin

West Ham United

The Hammers will be without Issa Diop and Josh Cullen, with the duo testing positive for coronavirus. Apart from them, right-back Ryan Fredericks is ruled out until the international break next month with a thigh injury. Moyes will continue to call the shots against his former employers from home, after having been tested positive for the virus last week.

David Moyes will not bein the West Ham dugout (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

David Moyes will not be present in the West Ham dugout (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Having fielded a five-man backline in the win against Wolves, West Ham are likely to switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation on Wednesday night, with backup goalkeeper Darren Randolph replacing first-choice Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks.

Youngsters Harrison Ashby and Ben Johnson are expected to take up the full-back slots on the right and left sides respectively. Fabian Balbuena should start at the centre of the backline and should guide the young Ajibola Alese through the game.

Captain Mark Noble did not start against Wolves, but should return to the starting XI for the cup clash. He should take up one of the two pivot positions in the middle of the park, with Robert Snodgrass likely to partner him. Jack Wilshere, who started the last cup game, will miss out. Manuel Lanzini will get the nod as the playmaker in the No. 10 role.

Jarrod Bowen scored a brace against Wolves, but is likely to make way for Andriy Yarmolenko, who had netted two goals against Hull in the previous round. On the opposite flank, Felipe Anderson is expected to come in for Pablo Fornals, while Sebastien Haller, who has scored four goals in two cup appearances, should lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Ashby, Balbuena, Alese, Johnson; Noble, Snodgrass; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller

Key Stats

  • Everton and West Ham United have faced each other in the League Cup on three occasions in the past. The Toffees haven’t lost any of those fixtures, winning two of those – both of which came at Goodison Park.
  • In the three League Cup meetings against West Ham, Everton have scored six goals, while letting in just three. The Merseysiders have kept one clean sheet in the process.
  • West Ham United haven’t been able to pick up a win against Everton in their last three meetings across all competitions (D1 L2).
  • Everton have lost just four of their previous 25 matches against West Ham at home across all competitions (W15 D6).
  • Since leaving Everton in 2013, David Moyes has come up against his former employers on seven occasions, winning just once, while losing five (D1). The win and the draw though, came during his stints with West Ham.

Player to Watch

Richarlison

Flying high (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Flying high (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old Brazilian international has made a blistering start to the new season. In four matches across all competitions, Richarlison has already racked up three goals – including a brace against Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup third round. He has also set up two more goals for his teammates.

Richarlison’s pace and clever movement cutting in from the left-hand side, coupled with his understanding with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, will make him quite a major threat for a young Hammers’ backline on Wednesday night. He will once again be key if the Toffees are to advance to the next phase of the cup competition.

Prediction

Everton 3-1 West Ham United

Both Everton and West Ham United head into the game high on confidence. The Toffees have a 100 percent record so far this season and have been scoring goals quite freely, while the Hammers have put up some fine performances in the last two matches, scoring nine goals while letting in just one.

So, one can expect goals from this game this week. However, the Hammers haven’t had the best of records at Goodison Park in recent times. That, combined with a inexperienced backline that could start on Wednesday, should tip the scales in the favour of the home team. The Hard Tackle, thus, predicts a 3-1 victory for Carlo Ancelotti & co.

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