Match Preview: West Ham v Everton

By Mollie Bennett (@molliebjourno)

Everton travel to Upton Park on Saturday looking to record back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

The Toffees have enjoyed their recent trips to the Boleyn Ground, losing just once in their last nine outings in all competitions in East London.

The Blues will also be boosted by their excellent attacking display against Sunderland last week, when they notched six Premier League goals for the first time in eight years.

Romelu Lukaku, Arouna Kone and Gerard Deulofeu all shone for the Toffees and Roberto Martinez will be hoping they can carry their form into Saturday’s clash with high-flying West Ham.

The Spaniard will be without Bryan Oviedo who picked up a hamstring injury against the Black Cats, while Phil Jagielka and Tony Hibbert are still long-term absentees.

Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley and Muhamed Besic have all returned to full training, and although Baines is set to miss Everton’s final league trip to Upton Park, Cleverley and Besic could return to the match day squad.

The Hammers will be without Diafra Sakho (thigh), Alex Song (ankle) and James Collins (suspension), although they will be boosted by the return of centre half Winston Reid.

Elsewhere Enner Valencia and Angelo Ogbonna could also return in time for the clash.

Romelu Lukaku will be hoping to improve his excellent record against West Ham, scoring six goals in his last six games in a Blue shirt.

He, and Everton will be aware of the threat West Ham pose under former-Everton player Slaven Bilic though, and will have to work hard to extend their winning run against the buoyant Hammers.

My Everton 11: Joel; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway; Barry, McCarthy; Kone, Barkley, Deulofeu; Lukaku.

Five key stats:

– Everton haven’t lost to West Ham in the league since April 2007.

– The Blues have lost just once in their last 17 games against the Hammers in all competitions – (FA Cup Third Round defeat, on penalties, in January)

– It has been 17 games since Everton failed to score against West Ham – (one nil loss in April 2007)

– Lukaku has scored the winner in Everton’s last two league trips to Upton Park.

– It has been eight years since either side has kept a clean sheet in this fixture at Upton Park – last time was when Everton won 2-0 in December 2007.

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