Everton sit seventh in the Premier League table after four games played and it’s entirely plausible that this will be their finishing position come the final standings in May.
Marco Silva was the popular appointment during the summer and the Portuguese arrived with a reputation for attacking football which will please a group of supporters who were distinctly unimpressed by the pragmatic approach to the game employed by Sam Allardyce.
Performances and results have thus far been a mixed bag. While the Toffees were unbeaten going into the international break, games against Wolves, Southampton, Bournemouth and Huddersfield did not represent a particularly difficult opening.
There have been two red cards already and Richarlison will serve the final game of his ban for this clash against a West Ham side who have yet to register a point after four attempts this term.
Everton Heavy Favourites
It is principally for this reason that Everton are trading at odds-on, with Ladbrokes chalking up 20/23 which is likely to be a popular order although not for those who remember the way in which the Toffees failed to break down Huddersfield a fortnight ago.
Silva bemoaned a Terriers side putting eleven men behind the ball, although it might become a common theme at Goodison Park where visiting teams will largely regard a point as a good outcome and West Ham probably fit into this bracket.
The Hammers weren’t really expected to get anything from trips to Anfield and the Emirates Stadium before the international break, although the two home defeats against Bournemouth and Wolves means that the London side continue their uneasy relationship with the London Stadium.
Indeed, their most positive attacking performance probably came against Arsenal where the game was firmly in the balance at 1-1 and it was striking as to how well Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic operated on the counter-attack.
Therefore, Unibet’s odds of 31/10 about an away win in this clash does make some appeal, with Manuel Pellegrini desperate to get some points on the board and retain the faith of owners not renowned for being patient when it comes to the hiring and firing of managers.
It doesn’t help when you can’t keep a clean sheet, although West Ham only conceded a late winner against Wolves when pushing further forward. Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop look fairly robust in front of Lukasz Fabianski who can lay claim to being among the best keepers in the top flight.
Arnautovic in With a Chance?
We’re keen to get against Everton and Arnautovic is 13/2 with Unibet to open the scoring at Goodison Park, with the Toffees defence hardly the best at keeping clean sheets right now.
Both teams have found the net in all four Everton matches and it’s easy enough to see this happening on Sunday, with bet365 offering 8/11 that the net bulges at either end irrespective of the final outcome.
We can’t forget the disgruntlement that accompanied Everton’s 1-1 draw against Huddersfield and the absence of Richarlison along with the injury sustained by Theo Walcott means we might even go for a crazy away win scoreline.
West Ham are definitely dangerous on the counter and a 3-0 win in their favour can be backed at a humongous 67/1 with Unibet which would ease the pressure on Pellegrini and heap plenty on Silva instead.