Everton vs West Ham

All things considered that wasn´t a bad point at Anfield but Everton are still sitting uncomfortably close to the bottom four.

Nothing short of all three points at home to the side propping up the league will do. Even without Stephen Pienaar. The winger wasn´t as dazzling this season and though Moyes would have loved to have kept him at Goodison, his loss won´t be as keenly felt as it would have been had he left this time last year. With The Yak already gone on loan to Leicester and James Vaughan looking to be headed to Celtic, the manager is sure to have some new attacking options lined up but nothing which will be sorted in time for West Ham´s visit this weekend. And still no Cahill.

The response to the loss of the inspirational midfielder has been very positive, deservedly beating Spurs at home, cruising past Scunthorpe in the cup and picking up a useful draw at Anfield. A three game run which has seen the formerly struggling Beckford and Saha bag a couple of goals each. As has the continuingly impressive Seamus Coleman, whose attacking wing play will certainly help buffer against the loss of Pienaar. The Irishman is 14/1 to score first this weekend with Beckford at 5/1. Saha has been ruled out with a thigh injury.

Although Everton drew at Upton Park at the end of December, the Hammers were on their best run of the season and even then they needed a Tony Hibbert and some excellent Robert Greens saves at the death to hold the Merseysiders. That good run of form in the league has come to a bone shuddering halt with successive heavy losses and poor performances. Although separated by a couple of cup wins, the manner of the defeats to Newcastle and Arsenal don´t augur well for West Ham´s chances in this game. We could go in some deeper analysis but keeping it simple the Hammers were woeful in both games and not just does the 8/15 on Everton look a great bet but Everton -1 goal at 6/4 could prove a good call too. They may have won only two league games by more than one goal but nine goals in three games speaks of a team in goal-scoring form whilst we know the Hammers have the capacity to crumble. In fact Everton -2 goals is 4/1. A bit optimistic perhaps but a 3-0 Everton win at 10/1 would take care of that.

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