Everton Match Preview
When David Moyes last visited Goodison Park during his first spell in charge of West Ham United in December 2017, he was on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat. He will definitely want to make amends when he goes back to his former club to kick-off 2021.
The Hammers remain tenth in the Premier League table after their goalless draw with Southampton three days ago and are looking for a first victory since beating newly-promoted Leeds United at Elland Road back on 11 December.
The hosts will be by far the fresher of the two sides as they have not played since Boxing Day due to their game with Manchester City two days later being postponed owing to two of the away side’s players testing positive for Coronavirus. On the other hand, this will be the third game that the Irons have contested this week.
It is not the happiest of hunting grounds for the visitors, as they have only won here twice. However, were they to bring something back to East London with them, then they could climb the table as this is one of only two encounters to take place this evening.
Moyes had contracted Coronavirus so didn’t make the trip to his former club back in September when Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees knocked the East Londoners out of the Carabao Cup with a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
The Scotsman will want to start 2021 in the same way he began 2020. That day the new manager bounce definitely took effect with his side achieving a comfortable 4-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth after replacing Manuel Pellegrini who was sacked four days earlier.
The manager is again likely to make changes with Vladimír Coufal set to replace Ryan Fredericks in defence, while he will have to decide whether to stick with Craig Dawson, whose performance saw him awarded the Man of the Match at St Mary’s, or include Fabián Balbuena after the Paraguayan was rested on Tuesday.
Saïd Benrahma was unfortunate not to have grabbed a winner against the Saints and he could also start alongside Jarrod Bowen, though Manuel Lanzini is hoping to retain his place.
Michail Antonio played the last thirteen minutes of the encounter on the South Coast and he may play some part in this game.
The match is a 5:30pm kick-off with live coverage being screened by BT Sport from 5pm. The referee is Kevin Friend.