Best odds: 37/20
West Ham United and Everton are set to take each other on at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a game that will be a part of round 23 of the 2019/20 season in the Premier League.
The Hammers recently parted ways with manager Manuel Pellegrini, with the Argentine tactician the latest in the ever-growing line of the managers who have so far failed to fulfill the expectations set by the club since their move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium in 2016. As things stand with 22 matchdays gone, they are set to take part in a rather nasty relegation battle – they sit 16th with 22 points to their name, just one more than Aston Villa who top the red zone at the moment. David Moyes, who also coached Everton before that with notable success, came in to try and steady the ship.
Moyes started his second stint in charge of this team on a high note, by thrashing Bournemouth 4-0 on New Year’s Day, though he followed that up with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United, the surprise of the season in the Premier League so far.
There’s a long list of players absent or potentially absent for this game for West Ham. Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, defender Ryan Fredericks, winger Andriy Yarmolenko and midfielder Jack Wilshere are all out. Defender Arthur Masuaku, midfielder Michail Antonio and winger Felipe Anderson all face late fitness test before a decision on their respective involvements in this clash is made.
Much like West Ham, Everton were also on a downward track for most of the season, and there are still a number of question marks around them if reports are anything to go by. Marco Silva was sacked and experienced Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti brought in his place, much to the surprise of the many who believed the former AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli boss would not be interesting in taking this kind of a job.
Be that as it may, the Merseyside Blues seem like another one of the teams under the ‘new manager’ energy boost, with players keen on staking their claims for a place in the team. They are playing better, though not even the presence of Ancelotti in the dugout could help them avoid the humiliation of losing in the FA Cup to a Liverpool team comprised almost entirely of U-23 players, and a few fringe ones.
Everton are now in 11th place, level with Arsenal in 10th and Southampton in 12th on 28 points, and it remains to be seen if the improvements made by Ancelotti so far last long enough to secure a satisfactory placement in the league table come May.
Midfielders Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Gylfi Sigurdsson are unavailable for selection through injury, as is defender Yerry Mina and forwards Alex Iwobi and Richarlison. Michael Keane is likely to start with Mason Holgate in the heart of defence.
Both of these teams have a lot to play for an a lot to prove, but they’re also both in a transition phase under new managers and it’ll take time for their respective imprints to be fully seen and appreciated. A draw seems the likeliest outcome.
Best odds: 37/20
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