Lucas Digne is available despite missing France's win over Iceland on Monday with a thigh strain
Everton return to action this weekend following the international break with a trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham United.
With a goalless draw and a defeat on their two prior visits, the Blues will be looking to register their first win at the Hammers' new ground this weekend and leapfrog their opponents in the table in the process.
Everton come into the game two points behind West Ham and will be hoping that the momentum that can be generated by their 2-0 win over Chelsea won't have dissipated over the intervening fortnight without a game.
Marco Silva will be without Yerry Mina who is ruled out, possibly for the remainder of the season.
That is a point of consternation for the Everton Manager, who is unimpressed that Colombia elected to field in him two games so soon after he completed a rare 90-minute match against Chelsea.
The defender tore a hamstring in a friendly against South Korea, an injury that usually takes weeks to heal.
“Of course I am not happy,” Silva said yesterday, “and Carlos Queiroz, the manager of Colombia, is not happy. It is not good news. It is serious.
“We prepared the national team and the staff. We knew before he went to [his] international team that it could have been a risk to play two matches. We communicated this to them. But we cannot control their decisions.
“We did everything we could do. After he played 90 minutes against Chelsea, we knew it was a risk to play him in two matches in a short period.”
Silva has Kurt Zouma eligible again after he missed the win over his parent club last time and, barring any late training-ground injuries, he would resume his partnership with Michael Keane in central defence with Lucas Digne apparently fit to play despite missing out on France's win over Iceland on Monday.
The fullback was sidelined by a thigh strain he picked up in training with the French squad last weekend but Silva said in his press conference that he will be available to face the Hammers.
The rest of the side is likely to be unchanged given Silva's need to get some consistency out of his side — which would mean Dominic Calvert-Lewin continuing up front (despite Cenk Tosun's two-goal salvo for Turkey in the week) and Richarlison operating wide on the right.
[It's] fantastic news for me,” Silva said of Tosun's performance against Moldova. “I know he is ready if I decide to start with him or if I decide to put him in during the match. It is most important for his confidence.
“I spoke with him yesterday about how important it is for him to score goals. I am sure Tosun will be more confident.”
While West Ham have lost on the road to the likes of Cardiff and Bournemouth in recent weeks, they have racked up an impressive run of results at home where they are unbeaten since before Christmas.
They have beaten Arsenal and held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in that time and come back from 2-0 down to beat Huddersfield 4-3 last time out, further underscoring the resilience that Manuel Pellegrini has been able to instill in his charges.
As such, this will be a difficult assignment for Everton and a test of the strength they showed in the second half against Chelsea; the last three away wins came against teams in the bottom four.
Kick-off: 5:30pm, Saturday 30 March, 2019
Referee: Paul Tierney
Last Time: West Ham United 3-1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (83)
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1 Posted 29/03/2019 at 06:00:16
2 Posted 29/03/2019 at 06:40:11
The club cant afford any more mediocre seasons, if its ever to break on through and be a consistent top 7 side.
Tomorrow is winnable, but which EFC will turn up and will the team play the full 95 minutes?
3 Posted 29/03/2019 at 07:22:04
Safe from relegation summer hols booked.
4 Posted 29/03/2019 at 07:23:12
Ok, its a tough game, these are six home games without defeat and theyve beaten United and Arsenal at the London Stadium this season aswell as held Liverpool so its a tough trip.
From an Everton perspective though the one thing that pisses me off season after season is our shitty away form, we never seem to win more than four and thats why we never have a higher placed finish.
Its a game I want to see us try and win and not just sit back on a draw.
We put it a good performance against Chelsea two weeks ago and got a great win so dont throw it away with another cheap loss tomorrow, that would be maddeningly symptomatic of Evertons season.
5 Posted 29/03/2019 at 07:28:55
6 Posted 29/03/2019 at 07:47:46
That lineup makes sense Lyndon, I hope the bench includes Lookman as Id like to see him on the park for at least half an hour - perhaps at the expense of Richarlison given his travel the last week.
2-1 blues, DCL to score first.
7 Posted 29/03/2019 at 08:07:40
They were essentially the same. I couldnt predict this if I tried.
8 Posted 29/03/2019 at 08:11:32
I think the players are playing for their future, but maybe Im an optimist, and think if we play badly it might just be because of a lack of ability, or even just a lack of mentality?
Hopefully we can play like we did at Newcastle, but show more nouse and courage, if we are able to get infront, because this wont be an easy game, when you look at the stats that Jim, has just given us, especially with West Ham, looking to do the double over Everton, for the first time since the seventies.
9 Posted 29/03/2019 at 08:50:24
10 Posted 29/03/2019 at 09:15:25
11 Posted 29/03/2019 at 09:36:11
If we play like we did in the second half against Chelsea then we will win, that's the bench mark going forward.
12 Posted 29/03/2019 at 09:41:08
13 Posted 29/03/2019 at 10:10:56
How that turns out is anyones guess. As they say in the land down under it could be “chocolates or boiled lollies”.
I hope that Lyndons team starts the game. I think we can win this one.
Up the Blues!!!
14 Posted 29/03/2019 at 10:33:34
West Ham could move to 7th with a win, so it comes down to if we want to be part of that competition.
Wolves and Watford seem to be the most cohesive teams in that mini-league - West Ham, Everton and Leicester are erratic but have some decent players.
I wonder if West Ham have the more combative midfield with Rice in it, I fancy them to win it at home - but if we play like we did second half at Chelsea then there is room for optimism.
15 Posted 29/03/2019 at 10:36:30
As others have said our away form against teams above us in the league is consistently abject. It is not much better at home with West Ham strolling to a 3-1 win in September. Our record in London has been poor for many seasons and even worse since one of our few happy hunting grounds, Upton Park, closed. I hope for a 95 minute performance and will be happy if we get a draw.
16 Posted 29/03/2019 at 10:58:37
17 Posted 29/03/2019 at 11:06:18
In a majority of games this season, we have been unable to play both halves well, we are better at home 2nd half and better away in the 1st half. Is it the manager or the players?
18 Posted 29/03/2019 at 11:40:22
Our last win in London was at Crystal Palace in January 2017, and prior to that it was at West Ham (Boleyn) in May 2015.
So that says it all really.
20 Posted 29/03/2019 at 13:27:03
21 Posted 29/03/2019 at 13:43:44
If we do get 3 points then we could well end the weekend only a point or two off top 8 which is strange given how poor a season it has been for the most part. We'd also still be very much in the battle for 7th which I think would actually represent a pretty decent achievement given that there the competition is alot fiercer for that spot this year.
22 Posted 29/03/2019 at 13:53:09
23 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:02:13
Id say we are definitely due a win in London and whats more, take a look at the remaining away matches...
Our last four away trips are all to London lol.
24 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:04:59
25 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:28:38
We cant keep a clean sheet but neither can they and to concede 3 against A Huddersfield side whose major problem is they cant score goals shows West Ham's inconsistency too.
As others have posted this is a very unpredictable game but we need to show up.
26 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:48:22
But, for so many who subscribe to these columns it has been more than a quarter of a century of waiting for better times so we need no lectures from anybody on how to manage our expectations.
For what it's worth, my oft stated view is that as far as Premier dominance is concerned, we are well and truly fucked - destined to be 'also rans' forever more. That's if we can stay in that particular field !
27 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:50:37
28 Posted 29/03/2019 at 14:55:01
You have to be realistic. These things take time. Look at Preston. Their owner was replaced, two of their stars passed away. But they made the first step in the recovery with the expansion of the ground as they look towards getting back to the top. OK, so it's been 115 years since the Deepdale renovation but Rome wasn't built in a day.
29 Posted 29/03/2019 at 15:16:27
Having said that, it seems no time since I saw Tom Finney - 'The Preston Plumber'- run us ragged whilst registering a 4-0 Goodison mauling on the opening day in (I think) the mid fifties.
30 Posted 29/03/2019 at 15:40:42
31 Posted 29/03/2019 at 17:01:27
32 Posted 29/03/2019 at 17:03:57
Hypothetical scenario for you:
Zouma doesn't sign and returns to Chelsea. Mina is injured.
What's our CB pairing?
I'm not being a dick or asking to be shitty-clever. I'm asking an honest question. Who plays for you if that's the case?
33 Posted 29/03/2019 at 17:20:04
Mike, he is just another waste of money, needs moving on as soon as possible.
34 Posted 29/03/2019 at 17:33:53
35 Posted 29/03/2019 at 17:49:57
But despite starting most games over the last few months Bernard is yet to score a league goal, and quite honestly I cant remember him having to many shots on target. By the way I am not advocating Walcott play either as he has only scored 1 league goal since August. But with such poor goal returns from these 2 the pressure on our only 2 regular scorers Sigurdsson and Richarlison is immense.
I accept that Bernard is feeling his way in the Premier league and maybe he might have to play in a different role. But if that role is the one occupied at present by Sigurdsson then the same criteria still applies he needs to score goals. Now if he is struggling scoring playing in a front 3 then the chances of him becoming a regular scorer playing in the number 10 role looks even harder. Bernard is a nice footballer with a good first touch but he has to contribute with goals, otherwise give Lookman the same amount of games and see what his goal return is.
36 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:05:26
You are right to question that issue but I do have a feeling we may get Zouma and Mina will either sort himself out or move on.
In addition Williams (who?) and Jags will not be around.
However we have Peniington, who is getting rave reviews and Holgate, who seems to be doing well, Feeney, Galloway (questionable) and Connolly(would be a good sweeper imo) to be considered before we go chasing the market.
37 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:27:06
38 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:31:42
And that doesn't account for Pennington, who just this morning was nominated by Sport Bury as Ipswich's player of the season, a lonely light in a catastrophic year for them:
"But for me, the best player of the worst Ipswich season in my lifetime has to be Matthew Pennington.The Everton youngster has been quality and an absolute rock at times." (https://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/sport/ipswich-town-column-my-player-of-the-season-9065633/)
At 24, I would expect Matty to get one final chance to impress Silva this summer. Who knows, maybe he truly has made the step up.
So I'm with Jay #36. With so many other needs, I wouldn't spend dime one on a CB. Wait and see how things shake out.
39 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:34:46
40 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:47:09
My issue with Bernard isn't necessarily goals, it is assists. I know he looks good on the ball and all but in raw terms there isn't enough product. He kind of reminds me of Pienaar in that respect. It is well and good entertaining but at the end of the day goals win games. The other issue we have is that, his lack of goals/assists would be less of an issue if one or more of Davies, Gomez, Schneiderlin, McCarthy or Niasse were chipping in with double figures of each but they are not. At the minute it seems like we have two passengers in the team (Rich/Siggi) who we can't drop simply because while doing little else, that do get a goal each about once every three games. I am not saying these guys are terrible players but we don't have the right balance in the team at all.
41 Posted 29/03/2019 at 18:53:18
I agree on Pennington. I imagine he along with Williams (not Ashley the other one), Dowell, Robinson will all be back at Finch Farm in the summer and given the once over before they are sold or pushed into the first team squad. I imagine Holgate will stick around. If Penn and Holgate prove themselves then they could be in contention with a fit Mina and Keane, assuming Jags is off to the glue factory.
42 Posted 29/03/2019 at 19:18:07
No more of this split personality of playing shite for 45 and playing great for 45, we are good enough to harness the good and get consistent. Marco will be telling them as much.
Correct Score : West Bubbles 1 Evertoffees 2
43 Posted 29/03/2019 at 19:19:08
Both Lookmam and the fading Walcott are better options. In my view.
44 Posted 29/03/2019 at 19:24:37
You compare Bernard to Henderson and Milner, its very rare that Milner plays in the front 3 and Henderson never plays there. If you want to compare wide players who play in a front 3 like Bernard try Salah,Mane or Son from Spurs or Hazard or William from Chelsea or Rashford and Martial from Man Utd.
That is what you are looking for in a wide player, goals and assists not just someone who is neat and tidy and helps his fullback defensively.
45 Posted 29/03/2019 at 19:43:41
I suspect though that beach balls and Ambre Solaire will be the attitude of the team, maybe this will help.
They've been playing a tight & nervous game lately, so let's see if relaxed minds can get points.
46 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:06:02
Re: Bernard, I actually think he could have double digit assists right now if we were more clinical in front of goal. He creates a lot. A perfect example was the end of the Watford match, in which he put an excellent, last-gasp cross into the box... and Tosun hammered the header over the bar (and was offsides anyway).
47 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:07:19
I tipped us to win against Chelsea, not because of logical deduction, it just felt right!
So by the same token this doesn't.
48 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:15:39
Probably unsure of best starting 11. Both have some very good players on paper that can win and change games in the blink of an eye but realistically this is achieved once a month, not once a week.
Always liked Noble for them. Reminds me a little of Osman with a bit more strength and know how. The kind of dependable, steady player every team needs. Sets the benchmark in terms of miniman effort but can score a few goals too. That is what we lack. Hopefully Gomes or Mooy can be that for us.
49 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:21:30
That is the Jekyll and Hyde possibilities of both us and West Ham, and the attitude of the players after the International Break, will they be able to carry whatever momentum we had after the Chelsea game into this game?
50 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:43:41
Jags is probably our only good experienced defender but sadly he's a few years past his best when this partnership should have been developing. Stones wanted a move, I can't blame him so that left the Argentinean lad who's name escapes me followed by Holgate.
Both suffered injuries and the argintinean lad wasn't really fancied and sold. I think this was a mistake as it left inexperienced kids to cover without being nurtured through.
We now have several good 24/ 25 year olds but they all lack top class experience and I don't think we can challenge next season without bringing in someone better and more importantly an experienced leader.
We should all know the spine of the team is so important for consistency and we have a promising but fairly inexperienced spine from keeper through to striker. Sometimes I'm surprised we do as well as we do because I think our spine is a mid table team.
Now that sounds harsh but I'm not sure many would make a top 6 match day squad never mind team. So being realistic we are on par. But I hope the young players are going to quickly improve and get good on the job experience.
We are learning the hard way, but I believe we are learning and improving which gives me hope for next season. We just need a top class striker and good experienced defender. I don't want another 22 year old for the future, I want them ready now!
51 Posted 29/03/2019 at 20:55:33
If, before most of our matches, we damply contemplate how we are probably going to lose it will be little surprise if our forebodings come true.
Let's expect in our marrow to win, players and crowd alike, and see what happens. It's what Shankly did for the shite, what Ferguson did for United. They made their sides feel great and play as though they were, until the brave pretence became reality.
52 Posted 29/03/2019 at 21:22:08
They always seem to start slow and lethargic without much intensity which may be part of the Silva strategy, or is it ?
I really don't think that the squad is anywhere near competitive enough to challenge for the top six nor do they have the mental resolve to get at other teams when the opportunities arise ala the Barcodes game recently.
I have said they lack a really strong leader such as a Peter Reid and until that is addressed I will not expect the team to progress much beyond what they are this season.
53 Posted 29/03/2019 at 22:11:39
54 Posted 29/03/2019 at 22:55:16
55 Posted 30/03/2019 at 00:45:00
56 Posted 30/03/2019 at 01:52:01
57 Posted 30/03/2019 at 02:52:38
Similar issues - lack of a goalscorer (their main striker out of sorts and out of favour after having his dream move to china knocked back) and pouros defense, but in Anderson they have a dangerous player who will stretch our defence, whilst Antonio and Lanzini are both capable - bothing coming back from serious injuries, but capable. So their front 3 is dangerous. In Hernandez they have a striker who does almost nothing, but he is just the type to score a goal against our leakish defense. And of course, Rice will make a battle to dominate midfield.
Should be a good game, and I expect goals from both teams.
My bet is 4-3 to the toffeemen, a Brace for DCL, a first PL goal for Bernard, and Keane to get one from a corner.
58 Posted 30/03/2019 at 03:04:04
I always had a bit of respect over the years for Fulham and West Ham, because they always try to play open entertaining football, hope tomorrow is no different, but with the proviso, that they are not better than us. 😂
59 Posted 30/03/2019 at 05:55:34
Forget excuses, if he can't do better than Allardyce's finish, then what's the point? I don't see an improvement in the team, going forward-yes, defence-not so much.
The top brass have hired a first division manager, a relegation manager, Koeman-i could go on all day, a relegation saving manager then another relegation manager. Fucking boss, plus kids won't walk around Liverpool wearing Umbro trackies.
I wish I had the optimistic attitude of our American cousin's.
60 Posted 30/03/2019 at 07:53:54
Id take a draw and hopefully not a Soton swat performance, which was rank with many very poor away days over the years.
Its got to be in the physio today and on a big pitch, full house but strange atmosphere at the new West Ham ground, its a great chance to go and smash out a good performance.
Ill wait in hope to see if the players have kept the belief and fight from the Chelsea, second half game.
Maybe also worth a squad place for Anthony Gordon, in the run in at some time, this season, as he does look like a skill full player with plenty of heart and fight.
We wait in hope.
61 Posted 30/03/2019 at 08:19:03
Im taking my best mate who just happens to be a red so hoping for a good converting performance from the blues!
First outing for my new “nil satis” tattoo as well!!
And its sunny!!
62 Posted 30/03/2019 at 08:26:57
With that I mind it depends which Everton team turns up, if we put in a shift we should win, however with our Jekyll and Hyde season I would not be putting any money on anything other than a draw.
63 Posted 30/03/2019 at 08:46:47
64 Posted 30/03/2019 at 09:16:24
Hope he stinks today though !!!
65 Posted 30/03/2019 at 09:37:35
We don't have the players to fit the system and so, as Kieran says we are unbalanced. Ross Barkley isn't quite it in that position (it doesn't matter because his game is coming on so good now) and that's why Chelsea have suffered a bit with shape. I believe we have the players at Everton but are unbalanced because of Sigurdsson and we have many players who don't possess the intensity to play the modern game well like Schneiderlin and, I'm sorry, Gomes
66 Posted 30/03/2019 at 09:51:29
I keep telling myself every week that I'm going to win the lottery, its not happened yet.
67 Posted 30/03/2019 at 10:08:32
68 Posted 30/03/2019 at 10:34:37
69 Posted 30/03/2019 at 10:35:37
It becomes difficult though when things go pear shaped on a regular basis.
We all weigh up the pros and cons and make a personal judgement on the outcome.
70 Posted 30/03/2019 at 11:11:19
I am not feeling a draw here whichever way it goes. My (non intuitive) prediction? I do not envision a classic but maybe a scrappy 2-1 win - with a penalty somewhere.
71 Posted 30/03/2019 at 11:16:34
We have Davies, who has great potential despite a slightly underwhelming year. Gomes can offer much more too, and has the ability to control the tempo of games, and has the physical attributes to become a real driving force in midfield.
Also, if you look at Liverpool's midfield of Milner, Fabinho, Henderson - whilst it runs hard, it lacks goals and creativity,and will likely cost them their beat chance of a title, as they are too reliant on Salah and the brilliant Mané, but as a result have drawn too many games.
72 Posted 30/03/2019 at 11:44:20
73 Posted 30/03/2019 at 11:51:11
But really he is a creator. I read somewhere that he creates more chances for us than any other player except Digne and Sigurdsson, who also take the majority of set pieces. Trouble is that we have not always been clinical.
Tough game today. I'd probably take a draw with a good performance although we owe them for what happened at Goodison. We're still yet to get many (any?) points from a losing position, I wonder if we might remedy that today?
74 Posted 30/03/2019 at 12:07:46
He has great skill, movement, and passing. Maybe he won't be a definite starter for a top-6 team, but an excellent option to have and expect him to have a good season next year.
However, I feel he will always be slightly lacking fitness wise - since his first game he has always seemed to fade after 60 minutes, and this hasn't improved as the season and his fitness progressed. But in Lookman, Richarilson and Bernard, our left sided options are pretty decent - added to the likely return of Vlasic ( despite being a more cetnral player)
75 Posted 30/03/2019 at 12:11:23
76 Posted 30/03/2019 at 12:19:06
To be always looking for reasons why we cant win ? And then what gaining some cheap pleasure at being right when your team gets beat like you predicted.
Your thoughts aren't simplistic at all, they are crucial to build a successful club, it's what we want the club promote on every level.
The first level is us.
77 Posted 30/03/2019 at 14:14:36
78 Posted 30/03/2019 at 14:41:06
79 Posted 30/03/2019 at 15:19:04
81 Posted 30/03/2019 at 16:36:30
Why in the world aren't we minimally 7th, even in this transition year?
Burnley are beating Wolves currently. If that holds and Leicester win, we're 4 points off 7th.
Surely we should be "best of the rest" this season?
If we go through the motions and pack it in today, finding all the excuses (international break, road game in London, etc.), I'm going to be frustrated.
The week where Tim Cahill announces he's hanging up his boots, I want an effort he would be proud of. I'm not asking too much in my opinion.
82 Posted 30/03/2019 at 16:46:46
Not sure if its going to go down to 7th now, but a £1 million per league placing is worth plugging away for .
83 Posted 30/03/2019 at 16:51:14
84 Posted 30/03/2019 at 16:52:55
85 Posted 30/03/2019 at 17:04:59
It's the principle of it all to me - finishing behind Wolves, Leicester, Watford, West Ham? It just instinctively pisses me off.
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