With five games left in the season, West Ham United look to assure themselves of Premier League play next season when they take on talented side Everton at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Four points in their last two games was the only response required for the Hammers to avoid an all out relegation fight in the remaining stretch of their 2016-17 campaign. Still, the Hammers have work to do and will need a strong showing to make sure manager Slaven Bilic keeps his job. Keeping Romelu Lukaku, a man who has scored in his last nine games against West Ham, off the scoresheet will go a long way to helping the Croatian remain as the Hammers’ boss.
In the starting lineups today, both teams have switched their starting goalkeepers again due to poor form. Out are Darren Randolph and Luis Robles, in back come Adrian and Martin Stekelenburg.
For the Hammers, it is an bevy of charges throughout the side. With Mark Noble and Sam Byram suspended, combined with the litany of injuries that include another Andy Carroll absence for this match, Bilic has given a first Premier League start to Jonathan Calleri. Also receiving an inclusion into the first XI is Havard Nordtveit in his national position of central midfield. James Collins stays in the side despite Winston Reid’s return from injury, lining up as left centerback in a back three.
Ronald Koeman hasn’t had to make many changes himself, with the experienced Dutch goalkeeper the only real change of significance made by him.
With the lineups and how these teams play, this should be an exciting one. But for the Hammers defense, they hope it won’t be too exciting with the brilliant Belgian Lukaku always keen to score against them.