West Ham United vs Everton

Friday, 11 May, 2018 0comments  |  Jump to last

Wayne Rooney is ruled out but Theo Walcott has a chance of returning after missing the draw with Southampton

Everton bring the curtain down on a sorry 2017-18 season with a trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham United on Sunday.

With European qualification long since removed as an option and fears of relegation also in the rear view mirror, the Blues will be playing for eighth place and the extra couple of million pounds that will earn the club over a finish one place lower.

A win for Leicester City and anything less than three points for Sam Allardyce's team would see the Foxes leapfrog them but there is also the question of pride at stake and the need to provide Everton's long-suffering but committed travelling support something to cheer.

The Blues have won just three matches away from home all season in the Premier League, a symptom and consequence of the malaise that gripped the club after all the optimism of last summer.

All three of those victories have come under Allardyce but there has been precious little joy under the former England boss and speculation over his long-term position continues unabated, with The Mirror running a story today on their back page that the 63-year-old is facing the sack. It could very well be that this visit to East London marks Allardyce's last match in charge of Everton, with further change on the horizon once the campaign is out the way.

It might also have seen a second swan song from Wayne Rooney as he considers a move to Major League Soccer and DC United but he has been been ruled out with the minor knee injury that precluded his involvement against Southampton last weekend.

If he does indeed up sticks for America, his last involvement in a Royal Blue jersey will have been the 63 minutes he played at Huddersfield a fortnight ago in what was, at least, a rare occasion when Everton were full value for their away victory.

Theo Walcott, who also sat out the 1-1 draw with the Saints, has a chance of overcoming a thigh complaint and playing but he will be a late assessment. If he is also ruled out, it leaves Allardyce with the same pool of players from which to choose as last time, with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate also still out.

There are likely to be changes to the starting XI, however, given Allardyce's criticism of those players whom he tasked with stepping into the breach last week but failed, in his opinion, to deliver.

By implication, it means that Yannick Bolasie and Nikola Vlasic could find themselves back on the bench and they could be joined by Tom Davies, despite his stoppage time goal that denied Southampton three points.

Given Rooney's absence, that could present Davy Klaassen with his first Premier League start since October and a belated opportunity to demonstrate that he has a future at Goodison Park regardless of who is in the dugout next season.

Interestingly, this final day clash is a meeting between two managers who are taking on their former clubs but without the certainty that they will remain in their current posts past this season.

Despite having fulfilled his own remit of keeping the Hammers in the Premier League, a feat that was confirmed beyond doubt with their win over Leicester last weekend, David Moyes has no guarantee that he will be kept on.

He could, however, put a glossy picture on his achievements at the London Stadium if he can put one over Everton for the first time since he left Goodison five years ago. If results go his way, the Hammers could finish in 10th place with a win on Sunday.

West Ham ground out a goalless draw with Manchester United on Thursday evening and given that Everton are notoriously limited when it comes to creating chances and putting shots on target, there is a danger that this could end up similarly bereft of entertainment. Last-day encounters, when the pressure is off and summer beckons, have been known to throw up surprises, however, so you never know!

If you need a hotel room for the game against West Ham, check affordable hotels in East London recommended by TravelMag.com.

Other hotels close to the stadium are the Holiday Inn London Stratford or The Premier Inn Stratford, both available from £100 per night.

TravelMag also shows the best ways to purchase tickets on this article. Plenty of affordable seats are still available for the last game of the season, albeit in the home sections as Everton routinely sell out their away allocation.

Kick-off 3pm, Sunday 13 May, 2018
Referee: Graham Scott
Last Time: West Ham United 0-0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Klaassen, Bolasie, Walcott, Tosun


About these ads