West Ham United will cling to their slim hopes of Champions League qualification when they host a troubled Everton seeking to retain their Premier League status.
From being one of the favourites to finish in the top four early in the season, West Ham United find themselves in a difficult position on the table, six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who also have two games in hand over the Hammers.
West Ham have lost four of their last six games in all competitions, and before the international break, Tottenham’s win over them might have cost them a place in the top four and probably even Europa League qualification. They find themselves in a precarious position in their fight to finish even in sixth.
David Moyes will feel the best way to get into the Champions League is by winning the Europa League and is exp0ected to lend focus on that competition. However, West Ham would not want to focus away from their domestic commitments and will certainly try their best to beat travellers Everton at the London stadium.
Frank Lampard faces a tough task ahead of the business end of the season, with his side lingering just outside the relegation zone. Everton have been extremely inconsistent, with the English manager unable to extract a run of results that will ease some pressure.
Recently, ten-man Everton managed to snatch a late victory over Newcastle United, which certainly helped their cause. But they were thrashed by Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, which raised questions over their long-term credibility. To their relief, the Toffees still have two games in hand over 18th-placed Watford, and Lampard will be hoping to win those clashes.
Everton might yet face a difficult weekend as West Ham come into this fixture under severe pressure to keep their European dreams alive. A positive result may elevate their position in the table, although three points will be a minimum requirement for Lampard to aid his side’s fight for survival.
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"There's a chance that both of them could make it this weekend. They’ve both done a bit of training over the break. I'm not quite sure both of them are actually ready and match-fit again, so that’s my only concern."
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 1, 2022
David Moyes confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Jarrod Bowen and Vladimir Coufal are both in contention to feature against Everton. They might yet be short of full fitness, which could point towards minimal changes from the team that faced Tottenham. Meanwhile, Angelo Ogbonna is certainly ruled out for the season.
Bowen is in with a chance to start this game, as Moyes might take the risk with the attacker. He could line up alongside Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals in the West Ham attack. Meanwhile, there is good news regarding Manuel Lanzini, who was involved in a car crash outside West Ham’s training grounds.
The Argentine should be available after escaping the incident unscathed and might fill the no.10 role in the setup. Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice should keep their midfield roles, as Moyes does not have many options to replace the two stars.
Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma should continue at the heart of the West Ham defence, although Issa Diop is an option to replace Dawson if necessary. Ben Johnson should slot in at right-back, while Aaron Cresswell will keep his place on the other flank. Lukasz Fabianski remains the ideal choice this season between the posts, as he has successfully kept on-loan PSG man Alphonse Areola on the bench.
Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio
Frank Lampard will have to contend with several players being out of contention or potential doubts. As many as seven players could potentially miss this clash, while Yerry Mina, Tom Davies, Andros Townsend and Allan are certain absentees. Allan continues to serve his suspension following his dismissal against Newcastle United.
— Everton (@Everton) April 1, 2022
Donny van de Beek and Fabian Delph are also doubts, but the duo is expected to recover in time to face West Ham United. The Dutchman could start alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure in central midfield.
Mason Holgate and Michael Keane should keep their places at the heart of the West Ham defence, while Seamus Coleman and Ben Godfrey should start in the full-back roles.
Anthony Gordon, Demarai Gray and Richarlison should form the attacking setup behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Alex Iwobi, who was the match-winner against Newcastle, might have to be content with a place on the bench yet again.
Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Van de Beek, Doucoure; Gordon, Gray, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
- Following their 1-0 win at Goodison Park in October, West Ham United are looking to complete their first league double over Everton since the 1972/73 campaign.
- West Ham have the fifth-best home record in the Premier League, collecting 27 points from 15 games.
- Everton have won fewer away points than any other side in the Premier League this season (6). The Toffees are currently without a win in 11 away league games (D2 L9), their longest such run without a win since a run of 16 between February and December 2017
- Everton are undefeated in 14 of their last 15 away matches against West Ham United in all competitions.
- West Ham have won a league-high 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, also winning a league-high four games from behind this term. The Hammers have not won five Premier League games from behind in a single campaign since 2005/06.
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𝙁𝙤𝙘𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/7x9nba7eG4
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 1, 2022
This week, David Moyes has insisted that Declan Rice is not for sale, following growing interest from Premier League rivals, suggesting he will be worth £150 million if suitors wished to lodge an offer. Rice will have to show why this is the case as he looks to help his team stabilise their season.
West Ham are already considered outsiders in the race for a top-four finish, although they could yet compete to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. Games like the ones against Everton are where Rice needs to assert his dominance in midfield, and the Hammers need him more than ever now.
West Ham United 2-1 Everton
The Hammers are poised to inflict more damage on Frank Lampard’s Everton side. David Moyes will be rallying his players to get the desired result against the struggling Toffees to keep their European dream alive. This clash will certainly not be a cakewalk for West Ham, although they should get the three points here.
Everton currently look disjointed and out of sorts on the pitch in terms of quality. The Hammers, too, have had problems, but Moyes would be able to field a team that could dismantle the threat posed by the Toffees. Expect West Ham to collect all three points and keep their charge on one of the European places against Lampard’s men.