Goodison Park – Tuesday 6th January at 19:45 live on BT Sport 1
Tonight’s live FA Cup tie comes from Goodison Park as Everton host West Ham in this all Premier League clash. The two teams have had very different starts to the season, West Ham have exceeded expectation, whilst Everton have under achieved, sitting 13th in the League and are on a terrible run of form.
The Toffee’s have only won 1 of their last 7 league matches which has left them just 4 points above the relegation zone. Their confidence is low and will have to contend with more injury problems this evening as Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Darren Gibson, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and James McCarthy are all sidelined. John Stones should start to sure up their week defense, after missing the last 2 with an ankle injury. Roberto Martinez has 3 home fixtures starting with this tie and will be hoping to kick start their season with a much needed win. With Doncaster or Bristol City waiting in the 4th round, Roberto Martinez could be looking at the FA Cup as a decent silverware possibility.
West Ham’s impressive start to the season stuttered somewhat over the festive period, picking up just 1 point from a possible 9 which saw them go from 4th to 7th in the league. Those defeats came against Arsenal and top of the table Chelsea, both much better sides than the Everton team they will face tonight. History is not on the Hammer’s side however, they’ve not beaten the Toffee’s since 2007, Everton are unbeaten in 14 and have won the last 5 clashes between the two. West Ham also have some of their top players unavailable this evening, with Song and Kouyate both on International duty and Sakho undergoing tests on a back injury which may force him to pull out of the African Nations. West Ham will be looking to exploit Everton’s lack of confidence but will need to be strong in midfield to get something out of this one.
The bookies have priced this one up with Everton as favourites at 2.1, West Ham at 3.5 but shortening all the time, and the Draw as big as 3.8. Despite their poor form, I think Everton can nick this one. Their record against West Ham is excellent and I think they will be more up for this than their east London counterparts. My recommended trade is to back Everton -0.25 @ 1.99.
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