Everton Match Preview
If West Ham United fans thought that last weekend’s game at Wolverhampton Wanderers was crucial, then a week on, the home game against Everton is equally as important with the Hammers currently occupying a place in the relegation zone.
David Moyes’ side lost at Molineux last time out, still leaving them waiting for a first league triumph since the success against newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth back on October 24.
Frank Lampard’s team are in a similar situation to their opponents and the East Londoners will hope that the visitors’ current run of form continues and it’s them who halt their losing streak and bounce out of trouble.
January hasn’t exactly started in the way that the home side would have wanted, having only yielded one point out of a possible six. The hosts will be hoping to get back to winning ways and reverse the 1-0 defeat they suffered at Goodison Park back in September.
As this is the first encounter to be held in Stratford since the turn of the year, tributes will be paid to former co-owner David Gold before the match and the team will hope to turn in another positive performance, just as they did against Leeds United hours after confirmation of his passing had emerged.
Kurt Zouma made a surprise return to the matchday squad and it remains to be seen whether the French international will be involved again here, while goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is hoping to be back in contention after missing the last two games having sustained a hip injury, following the draw at Elland Road.
After signing young Brazilian defender Luizão from São Paulo earlier this month, the club confirmed their second capture of the January transfer window on Friday afternoon with the capture of former Burnley, Liverpool, Southampton and Aston Villa striker Danny Ings and the good news for the home faithful is that the deal was ratified in time for him to face the Toffees.
The Irons’ boss confirmed in his pre-match news conference on Friday that Gianluca Scamacca has picked up a knee injury and will be unavailable.
It has been a busy last twenty four hours on the transfer front as far as the Hammers were concerned because after the arrival of Ings, the club sanctioned a deal which has seen young goalkeeper Brian Kinnear move back to Scotland to join Falkirk for the remainder of the current campaign.
The match is a 3pm kick-off and the referee is Stuart Attwell.