With West Ham securing a much needed 4 points in the last two games, we can finally put lingering relegation fears to bed. Next up Everton head to London Stadium for a match that most of us are expecting to lose.
It would have been nice to get two wins in our last two games, against opponents in the relegation zone. But I’ve been supporting the club long enough to know that they can’t be relied upon to get results. It might not feel like a great time for West Ham, but last week’s draw moved us up a place to 13th, just three away from ninth. A top half finish isn’t outside of the realms of possibility.
Looking at the predictions from the other writers the fear of Romelu Lukaku is real. He has scored in his last nine appearances against West Ham, with 5 goals coming after the 85th minute. A one-man heartbreaker, who has a goal against the Hammers in every match played for Everton. Which leads to insulting articles like this from the Liverpool Echo who recount every single one of these strikes with glee.
Check out this video for something scary:
If Slav doesn't at least play Ashley Fletcher against Everton, there had better be riots in the streets.— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) April 19, 2017
(via WHU Instagram) pic.twitter.com/B6VaGOxA1r
Yes that’s Ashley Fletcher skilling up James Collins. If this is happening to Ginge in training against a player who has only scored once this season, what madness will Lukaku do? I mean, look at that clip again, Collins goes from being in possession to getting embarrassed. I am concerned.
So yeah, it’s looking pretty bleak at the moment. Before we get into the doom and gloom of the staff picks, let’s have a quick look at the prediction league table.
With most of the writers expecting a win against the hapless Sunderland last week, we haven’t seen much change in the standings. On this disappointing note, let’s get stuck into the Everton predictions!
West Ham United 1-3 Everton
We had a poor run out against Sunderland last weekend, not only should we have lost we'll also be without current "in-form" right back Sam Bryam for this game, after some poor and rash decision making in the last few minutes of the game.
Also this weekend joining Bryam on the sidelines will be Noble and Carroll through injury and whilst we continue to struggle at home I feel this weekend is set to be another difficult game with more square pegs in round holes set to dominate the lineup.
Both Everton and Lukaku are in red hot form right now and that spells trouble for a team he loves to score against, I can't see anything past a 3-1 Everton win, with Lukaku bagging all 3 goals!
West Ham 1-3 Everton
West Ham conceded two goals to Sunderland last time out. Against the league’s top scorer, Lukaku, things could get ugly
Pete Schlenker (HammerPete)
Everton will run riot over the static West Ham United defense. Winston Reid may be back, but I doubt he's 100%. Romelu Lukaku will make the whole backline of West Ham look slow and weak as he will get numerous chances on net.
Everton are pushing, however unlikely, for Champions League or European spots at the very least and will be looking to put a struggling West Ham team to bed early in the match. While I expect the West Ham players to be up for the game, with Andy Carroll injured AGAIN the team will likely set up shop and when the goals for Everton come (and they will come) the team will likely go through the motions with another loss in the books.
3-1 bad guys.
Here's what makes me nervous. Arsenal are poor and Manchester United don't have the best schedule to close out the season. Everton are level on points with Arsenal and only three back from United. The blood is in the water and a veteran like Koeman knows it. I want to say Hammers but I haven't seen enough out of them lately to put away a team like Everton.
My head is saying 3-1 Everton, but what fun is there in going with your head?
Everton WILL score, there are no doubts there, and I just don't believe we can stop them currently so it becomes a game of being able to score more. I know, incredible insight.
I'm going to stupidly say a 3-2 West Ham win with Calleri bagging a brace and Lanzini curling in a free kick. Always believe.
Charlie and I subscribe to the same philosophy with our West Ham predictions - assume they're going to win every week and you'll be right 30% of the time. Which explains why we've only made one correct choice thus far.
Lukaku will score at least two. Even at home, I don't have a good feeling about. It's going to be bad. 3-1 loss at least.
West Ham 0-2 Everton
If the Hammers hold Romelu Lukaku to anything less than a hattrick, it will be some consolation for what should be a loss. West Ham do receive a boost with Winston Reid back in the side, but Lukaku is the Kryptonite to a Hammers side which has played less than Superman-esque all season.
Andy Carroll is now out, too, so the striker spot is questionable. Unless Manuel Lanzini or Andre Ayew can post an individual effort, Everton may grab a clean sheet.
Lukaku (obviously) and Lanzini with goals
They are in red hot form while we are in zero form. We all know about Lukaku but Barkley is finally showing his talent, Davies has come into the Premier League with some top performances and they'll just be too much. West Ham have hardly any players, it's going to be square pegs in round holes again and it could be a long afternoon for us Hammers.
1 - 0 West Ham
I think home advantage and the reshuffled side will be the telling factors
Everton have been pretty solid at the back and West Ham’s defense won’t be able to handle Romelu Lukaku
I’d like to beat Everton but I really can’t see it this weekend. I just imagine Lukaku tearing through the defence and destroying West Ham.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this. If we can’t keep a clean sheet against Sunderland who hadn’t scored in weeks, then what hope do we have in this one? I’m sure the speculation about Bilic’s job isn’t going to help squad morale. This game has crushing defeat written all over it