Roberto Martinez’ Everton will be looking to reignite their top four challenge with a morale-boosting win over in-form West Ham United.
A late own goal from goalkeeper Tim Howard ensured that Everton came away with nothing from Stamford Bridge last time out, despite a strong performance which was worthy of a point. That setback made it three defeats in four Premier League games, and it is now beginning to look as if it is going to take something remarkable for the Toffees to overhaul rivals Liverpool, who are ahead of them by 11 points.
While February was a bad month for the home side, things went perfectly for West Ham, whose four successive wins have catapulted them up into the top half, seven points ahead of the bottom three. Kevin Nolan has found form after a tumultuous first half of the season, and his goals have been vital to the Hammers’ re-emergence, and here, he will be back alongside Andy Carroll, who returns from suspension.
Everton are without Phil Jagielka, who has picked up a hamstring injury. He joins Darron Gibson, Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Lacina Traore on the injury list, but Romelu Lukaku should return after a month out of action.
Besides Carroll, West Ham could also have Ricardo Vaz Te back for this game, but Guy Demel is a doubt due to illness. Joey O’Brien and Marco Borriello are definitely out.
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