WEST HAM welcome Everton to the London Stadium for Saturday evening's Premier League showdown. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his betting thoughts.
West Ham v Everton | Saturday 30th March 2019, 17:30 | BT Sport
Saturday’s evening action from the Premier League comes from the London Stadium as Everton make the trip south to face West Ham.
Only two points and two clubs separate the two sides in the table, with West Ham sitting in ninth, whilst many Everton fans will be disappointed to see their club residing in 11th during Marco Silva’s first season in charge.
Despite the Toffees being in the bottom half of the table, they are only four points away from seventh spot, and due to domestic cup victories, that may well be enough to qualify for next season’s Europa League which gives both teams plenty still to play for.
Hammers flying high
Much has always been made about West Ham’s move to the London Stadium however under Manuel Pellegrini, the old Olympics venue has become somewhat of a fortress.
The Hammers are unbeaten in their last seven games here, including a win over Arsenal and impressing when holding title challenging Liverpool to a 1-1 draw.
It was a fortnight ago when the East London outfit came from 3-1 down to win late on against Huddersfield, which bought a third straight home win and will give the hosts confidence to seek a fourth.
Pellegrini will be pleased at the form of striker Javier Hernandez, who scored two second-half goals after coming off the bench to inspire the Huddersfield comeback, whilst Declan Rice is likely to be on cloud nine after making his international debut during the break.
Struggle for Silva so far
It’s fair to say that under Marco Silva, Everton have been somewhat underwhelming, and the Portuguese head coach will be under no illusions that he must improve on his side’s position if he is to keep his job for next season.
Everton do however come into the game on the back of a 2-0 home success over Chelsea, which would of gave them a much-needed boost after squandering a 2-0 lead against Newcastle the previous week. That triumph would give Silva some much needed breathing space.
Nevertheless, Everton’s general form will be of a greater concern to supporters and Silva alike. Prior to the much-needed victory over Chelsea, the Toffees had won just three times in 12 games, with those three wins coming against Bournemouth, Cardiff and Huddersfield.
Everton have failed to win back-to-back league games since October, but the Chelsea success may well have given them the much-needed lift to finish their season strong.
Irons finding consistency
Whilst West Ham’s ninth position is one of respect, they could easily be even higher had they not dropped some silly points earlier on in the season. However, consistency is becoming a lot more frequent for Pellegrini’s outfit.
The Irons seem to presumably up their game for when they come up against the top sides, especially at the London Stadium. The Hammers held Chelsea to a goalless draw back in September, sunk both Manchester United and Arsenal, and were unfortunate to only gain a point against Liverpool.
In all that however, Pellegrini will feel his side have dropped points against some of the lesser teams, such as defeats away to Burnley and Cardiff, but will be hoping his side can find the level towards the end of the season to bring European football back to the club.
Away day blues for Everton
Under Silva, Everton’s struggles on the road have been apparent and they don’t look like changing anytime soon.
In their last away game at Newcastle, the Blues looked on course for all three points after going 2-0 up, only to lose the game 3-2, where defensive vulnerabilities were fully exposed.
Under Silva, Everton have lost seven of their last 10 away games, having only triumphed against Cardiff, Huddersfield and Burnley.
Concerns will be away defeats to sides below them such as Newcastle, Southampton and Brighton, and they face an in-form West Ham side here.
The Betting Angle
West Ham’s home form is key here; they seem to have found a level of consistency that has made it difficult for away sides. If Everton were to win, they’d be bettering the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal an Manchester United here this season.
Everton’s road record is also a huge worry; the Blues simply can’t be trusted outside of Goodison Park. The Toffees were coasting at Newcastle three weeks ago yet lost the game and their most recent away wins came at relegation strugglers.
I can’t ignore West Ham’s impressive home record against a side with clear issues on their travels, and at 8/5, West Ham to win is the best bet.
West Ham v Everton – West Ham to win (8/5 Betfred)