By 90Min
September 15, 2018

The Premier League returns to Goodison Park on Sunday following the international break when Everton host bottom of the league West Ham. 

Everton are unbeaten so far this season after their opening four league games but sit seventh in the table after three draws and just one win. 

BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham, on the other hand, will be hoping to pick up their first points of the season after losing their opening four league games, when they face an injury-hit Everton. 

The Hammers scored just twice and conceded ten times in those four games, and so pressure is already building for the east London club. Here's all you need to know ahead of Sunday's match.


Classic Encounter


Everton 2-3 West Ham (Premier League 2016)

Everton hosted West Ham in March 2016, with the Hammers pushing for a top four finish. A win would have seen West Ham leapfrog Manchester United into fifth spot.

The Toffees started the better of the two sides and the Blues went 1-0 up after 13 minutes courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku strike from a tight angle. 

After scoring, Everton remained on the front foot. But in the build up of another promising attack, Lukaku's loose pass led to Kevin Mirallas lunging in with a two-footed tackle on Aaron Creswell - Mirallas was sent off after receiving his second yellow of the game. 

Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Despite playing with 10 men, Everton went 2-0 up in the second half. Aaron Lennon passed to Lukaku, it went back to Lennon, and within a flash the ball was in the back of the net, the former Tottenham ace speeding off to celebrate. 

But then, in a space of 12 minutes, the Hammers hit back three times. Two headed goals from Michail Antonio and Diafro Sakho levelled the game at 2-2, before West Ham's demigod Dimitri Payet brought Everton to their knees, scoring the winner in the 89th minute. 


Key Battle


Kurt Zouma vs Marko Arnautovic


Suspensions and injuries are unsettling Everton's defence, with the Blues yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season, conceding six goals in their opening four league games. 

Loan signing Kurt Zouma is set to start against West Ham, and his physicality will be needed to thwart Marko Arnautovic's advances. 

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Considering Arnautovic is West Ham's only goalscorer in the Premier League this season, he poses their most potent threat. 

Zouma versus Arnautovic will be a physical battle as both players are not afraid to use their strength to their advantage. Arnautovic scored and assisted the last time he faced Everton, and so Zouma will need to be on top of his game for his loan club. 


Team News


Everton are facing an injury crisis which was well under way before the recent international break, but national duty has claimed more casualties. 

In defence, Everton are without Phil Jagielka, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, and Seamus Coleman. James McCarthy and Andre Gomes are still nursing injuries, while Richarlison serves the final game of a three-game suspension. 

In better news, Theo Walcott, Idrissa Gueye, Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are fit enough to make the squad against West Ham after recovering from their respective injuries. 

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Jack Wilshere has an ankle injury which rules him out of the game on Sunday, and Javier Hernandez is set to miss out due to illness. Other than that, Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid, and Andy Carroll are all still out, recovering from their respective long-term injuries. 


Potential Everton Lineup: Pickford; Kenny, Zouma, Holgate, Digne; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson; Walcott, Tosun, Bernard. 


Potential West Ham Lineup: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Yarmolenko, Sanchez, Noble, Anderson, Antonio; Arnautovic.


Prediction


Everton have the home advantage on Sunday, but the Blues are far from able to field a full-strength side against a West Ham team desperate to pick up points after their poor start to the season. 

We'll likely see a competitive game at Goodison Park, and a draw would not be surprising given Everton's injuries and West Ham's struggles in front of goal so far this season. 

Prediction: Everton 0-0 West Ham

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