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Fan v Fan: West Ham and Everton talk Saturday’s Premier League clash

06 Nov | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Fan v Fan: West Ham and Everton talk Saturday’s Premier League clash

The Hammers and Toffees supporters on their seasons so far, the visitors' incredible head-to-head record and iconic players from the past

In celebration of the final year at the Boleyn Ground, we’ll be chatting to fans – home and away – ahead of every Premier League match played at the famous East London stadium this season.

In the latest instalment of our ‘Fan v Fan’ series, Michael Oliver (@ReadWestHam) from www.readwestham.com and Daniel Kidd (@grandoldteam) from www.grandoldteam.com discuss Saturday’s encounter between the two sides.

Thoughts on your club’s season so far?

Michael: It has been a brilliant first quarter, but I’ve been trying to temper my expectations – you won’t be seeing me rave about a possible top-four finish any time soon.

If last week’s loss at Watford was a one-off then I would let it slide. However, we’ve seen it on several occasions this season: Bournemouth, Leicester and Sunderland.

We’ve not been as clinical or decisive against the so-called ‘lesser’ teams and it’s cost us. I fear West Ham and Slaven Bilic can only motivate themselves for the bigger games.

The manager puts it down to ‘individual errors’, like he did for the Bournemouth and Leicester defeats, but you have to now start thinking maybe it’s more than that.

Daniel: Last weekend’s 6-2 win against Sunderland was certainly a highlight in what has been a disappointing start to the season.

Although we were suspect defensively, we looked – and were – lethal going forward. That offers some confidence as we enter a run of games that should allow us to gain some momentum.

What do you make of the opposition threat?LukakuMichael: Everton are a bogey team for West Ham. We always struggle home and away against the Toffees, regardless of the club’s respective form.

They have great pace in attack with the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley.

Both excel at being direct, running at defenders with the ball and creating opportunities for the likes of Arouna Kone and Romelu Lukaku – two players who are also starting to find form.

Daniel: West Ham are looking decent this season, aren’t they? New manager syndrome and I think going out of the Europa League as early as they did will help them perhaps more than they realise.

They’re flying high and have had some great results, but could probably do with finding more consistency if they want to finish in a European place.

I recall a great win at Arsenal, then two home defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth followed by a win at Liverpool.

That was in August, but even in recent weeks, they beat Chelsea – albeit, not so hard these days – then lose to Watford.

Who are you relying on to make the difference?

Michael: It’s that man again, Dimitri Payet. He holds the key each and every week for West Ham.

His creative influence in the attacking third hasn’t gone unnoticed around the league and he is now recognised as one of the best on show at making things happen.

He, like Barkley, is a very direct player. He will attack and drive at retreating defenders and has the skill and agility to glide past challenges.

Gareth Barry will have a tough job of picking him up on Saturday.

Daniel: Deulofeu and Barkley spring immediately to mind, but, for me, as I’m sure all West Ham fans reading this will agree, it’s Lukaku.

He’s getting better and better and loves scoring past them. It’s a 100 per cent scoring record – six goals in six games against the Hammers.

And which player are you most worried about?

Michael: Lukaku, for all the reasons Daniel said.

And when he’s not scoring, he’s assisting. The Lukaku-to-Kone combination has produced three goals this season.

West Ham will be hoping Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna can be fit to start the game as both are very much needed in dealing with the athletic Belgian.

Daniel: Payet. With Phil Jagielka out, we’ll also need to be careful with Andy Carroll in the air – he’ll look to exploit Ramiro Funes Mori.

There’s been loads of meetings between the two sides over the years. Any that stand out?AdrianMichael: The game that immediately comes to mind is last season’s FA Cup fourth-round replay victory over Everton on penalties.

I was convinced we had that game sewn up when Everton went down to 10 men shortly after Enner Valencia gave us the lead, but they fought back bravely and Lukaku scored in extra-time to give them an unlikely lead.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Fortunately, Carlton Cole equalised and we all know what happened in the penalties.

That moment when Adrian is taking his gloves off in his run up, knowing he would score the winner will live with me for a very long-time.

It must be up there as one of the all-time great moments at the Boleyn.

Daniel: There’s so many! West Ham haven’t beaten us in 17 games.

Winning 3-2 in September 2013 was a cracker – Leighton Baines scored two tremendous free-kicks before Lukaku scored late to win it.

Last season’s victory was a good’un, with Lukaku scoring the winner at the death.

The one that particularly stands out, though, is in November 2008.

We were losing 1-0, but scored three goals – Joleon Lescott and Louis Saha with two – after 80 minutes to win 3-1.

Tony Cottee, Don Hutchinson, David Unsworth and, of course, Slaven Bilic have played for both sides. What are your memories of those players? Any favourites?TCMichael: Unfortunately I wasn’t around to see Cottee in his pomp, but he’ll always be recognised as one of the club’s greatest ever goalscorers.

He was instrumental in that magical 85/86 season when West Ham finished third in the league.

Cottee’s partnership with Frank McAvennie lives long in the memory of many West Ham fans and it is one we wish to see emulated in the future.

Daniel: Cottee and Unsworth are, of course, fan favourites. The latter is actually on Everton’s coaching staff and doing pretty well with the youngsters.

There isn’t much – if any – sentiment from Evertonians towards Bilic. He cost a small fortune at the time and barely kicked a ball in a team that was really struggling.

It also stuck in the throat that Everton were also paying a subsidy on his wages long after he left.

Which opposition player, from any era, would you have most wanted at your club?DeanMichael: It’s impossible to look any further than Dixie Dean. His goal record – nearly a goal every game – over such a prolonged period of time remains a truly special feat. The complete striker.

Daniel: Tough question, but I can’t look past Bobby Moore.

Now back to the present day. If you could combine both squads, what would be your starting XI?

Michael: It’s tough as there are many ‘push’ positions where it could go either way.

Here’s what I’d go with, though: Adrian; Coleman, Stones, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, McCarthy; Deulofeu, Payet, Barkley; Lukaku.

Daniel: Adrian; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; McCarthy, Song; Deulofeu, Barkley, Payet; Lukaku.

And, finally, predictions for Saturday’s match?

Michael: It’ll be a very tough match, as it always is with Everton. I think it will be open, though – both teams attacking and playing football the right way.

A well-contested 2-2 draw – with a customary goal from Lukaku, of course.

Daniel: Everton to win 2-1.

West Ham v Everton betting

READ: Ending Everton hoodoo will prove West Ham’s worth as European contenders

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