Everton v West Ham Preview

Manuel Pellegrini must be beginning to question why he decided to take on the managerial role at West Ham and those doubts look set to intensify after Sunday’s match, as it is difficult to see his side earning anything from their trip to Goodison Park.

Pellegrini under pressure

The 64-year-old Chilean may have coached the likes of Real Madrid, Villarreal, Manchester City and Malaga in the past, but he might have bitten off more than he chew in east London where the Hammers are in danger of replicating Crystal Palace’s seven-match losing start to last season.

They have already been beaten by Liverpool, Bournemouth, Arsenal and Wolves and, after visiting Everton, face Chelsea and Manchester United before the end of September. West Ham are currently available at 3.50 to be relegated this term.

Big-spending Hammers to flop again

West Ham flirted with relegation last term before eventually rallying under former Everton boss David Moyes, who they then ditched in favour of Pellegrini in the summer.

Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Lucas Perez have all been acquired at great expense, but there is still a feeling of short-termism at the London Stadium rather than any long-term planning.

West Ham have won on only one of their last 12 visits to Everton and lost 4-0 on Merseyside last term, having slumped to a 2-0 defeat in 2016/17.

Richarlison’s absence could hurt Toffees

Everton also spent heavily in the summer after a disappointing 2017/18 campaign but their promising start to this season hit the buffers a fortnight ago, when they were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield Town.

Marco Silva’s team are unbeaten so far though and they recorded a battling 2-2 draw at Wolves, despite playing for more than half the match with 10 men, and have beaten Southampton and drawn with Bournemouth.

A victory against the hapless Hammers will cement their top-six credentials and heap even more pressure on Pellegrini, but they will be without the suspended Richarlison – who scored twice on his first start for Brazil in the midweek 5-0 victory against El Salvador.

Everton can be backed at 5.50 to finish in the top six and are at 9.00 to beat West Ham 1-0 on Sunday.

Injury-ravaged Everton to limp home

It may not be a straight-forward triumph for the Toffees on Sunday though, as they also look set to be without up to nine injured players as Phil Jagielka, Andre Gomes, Idrissa Gueye, Bernard, Seamus Coleman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina, Theo Walcott and Michael Keane are all currently sidelined.

Everton’s attacking options look set to be extremely limited as a result, so a narrow home victory would appear to be the most likely outcome with a goal from a set-piece a distinct possibility. Everton are 6.35 to score a penalty while Gylfi Sigurdsson is good value at 9.00 to score the first goal.

West Ham have only scored two times in their first four Premier League fixtures, so an Everton clean sheet at 3.00 is not out of the question.