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Preview: Everton vs West Ham – stats, team news, line-up

Preview: Everton vs West Ham - stats, team news, line-up

Everton are finally catching a break after a nightmare season. We’ve had cause for celebration in recent days after seeing our points deduction appeal bear positive results.

After being rocked with an unprecedented ten-point deduction for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), we have to credit the club for refusing to accept the outrageous punishment.

It may have taken a while, but plenty of Toffees faithful will be relieved that the club’s appeal has yielded a positive outcome, with the ten-point hit reduced to six.

The decision from the Appeal Board has put some much-needed distance between Sean Dyche’s troops and the danger zone. While there’s still a chance of another penalty hanging over our heads, we’ll take the win for now.

But we must build on the positive atmosphere around the club with our on-field performances. Our winless run in the Premier League currently stands at nine games (D5, L4), meaning another defeat will take the hugely concerning streak into double figures.

Last week’s draw against Brighton & Hove Albion showed some promise. Jarrad Branthwaite looked solid at the back and capped off another masterful defensive display with a goal.

However, he was unfortunate not to emerge from the contest as the match winner as a heartbreaking last-gasp equaliser from countryman Lewis Dunk helped 10-man Brighton snatch a point on the South Coast.

Nevertheless, a point is a point, especially considering we haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard lately.

It’s been a rough spell for the Toffees lately. While it’s easy to claim we’ve only lost one of our last five Premier League games (D4), we’re also winless in six games across all competitions (D4, L2). 

Our last Premier League victory feels like a lifetime ago, and rightly so, considering it came back in mid-December when we comfortably dispatched newly promoted Burnley at Turf Moor.

Thanks to the outcome of our appeal, we’ve gained four of our hard-earned points back, leaving Nottingham Forest and Brentford in our wake.

Five points are a buffer, but the West Ham clash is an absolute must-win. 

We’ve been on a winless streak since January, and another defeat would tie that horrible record from 2004, when we went seven league games without success at the start of the year.

Draws have become our speciality, but we need a couple of wins to truly climb out of this mess. Goodison Park will be rocking on Saturday, and we hope this could be another positive turning point our season desperately needs.

Team news

Our midfield could look a little light against West Ham. Idrissa Gueye limped off just four minutes into the second half against Brighton with a groin injury, and his availability remains a question mark.

Dele Alli, Andre Gomes, and Arnaut Danjuma are all unavailable, while youngster Lewis Dobbin is also a doubt with an ankle concern.

Gueye’s absence would likely see Amadou Onana step in, but the Belgian is also battling his own groin problem and faces a late fitness test, leaving the gaffer with a tough decision to make in the middle of the park.

Possible starting line-up:

(4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Ben Godfrey, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Vitaly Mykolenko; Jack Harrison, James Garner, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil; Abdoulaye Doucoure; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

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