Everton vs West Ham – Premier League preview and team news

Mid-table Everton can move to within just a point of fourth-placed West Ham United if they claim victory when the two sides meet at Goodison Park.

The last few games have clearly showed that Roberto Martinez’ men are on the up, but they are still not playing with the fluency of last season, with frustrating draws coming against Swansea City and Sunderland in their last two Premier League games.

Supporters are still yet to see Romelu Lukaku at his best since his move from Chelsea was made permanent over the summer, but the defending has clearly improved, with only one goal being conceded from open play in their last six games.

West Ham’s progress has been slightly stunted by two successive draws of their own, with an excellent comeback securing a point in a tough game at Stoke City, before Aston Villa frustrated the Upton Park crowd with a resolute defensive display.

That game saw Diafra Sakho’s remarkable run of goals come to an end, and he now has to battle the fit-again Andy Carroll for a place in the starting XI, while Stewart Downing is fresh from his appearance for England in Tuesday’s win over Scotland.

The home side have a huge number of injury worries, with Antolin Alcaraz, Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo and John Stones all definitely out, with doubts over James McCarthy, Gareth Barry, Leighton Baines, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar.

Sam Allardyce has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from as he looks to end West Ham’s run of four straight defeats against the Toffees, but Guy Demel is likely to miss out again.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v West Ham

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