Everton match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Everton
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 15 December
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset)

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Team news

Nolberto Solano and Henri Camara come back into contention after being cup-tied for the midweek defeat by the same opponents, when Carlton Cole (hip) and Luis Boa Morte (thigh) both had to come off. The match will be Cole's last before a one-match ban in the club's next game against Middlesbrough on 22 December.

Freddie Ljungberg and Dean Ashton could continue in the starting eleven, while young Kyel Reid will be hoping to at least retain his place on the bench. Mark Noble will be pushing for a start, after being an unused replacement in the first match. James Collins and Matthew Etherington are both battling to overcome groin problems while Lee Bowyer (hernia) is also hoping to return. Julien Faubert (achilles) and Bobby Zamora (knee) are on the comeback trail but a little way off.

Everton are without Leighton Baines for six weeks because of a hamstring injury suffered in Saturday's 3-0 home win against Fulham. It is expected that Joleon Lescott will again fill in at left-back, while Tony Hibbert and Nuno Valente are fit. There is plenty of competition for places with Andrew Johnson, Victor Anichebe and James McFadden all pushing hard for a place. Alan Stubbs remains out with a calf problem.


West Ham United go into the game on the back of strong league away form - and only one defeat in seven fixtures. An outstanding display at Chelsea, when they were hard done by in a 1-0 defeat, was followed by a 1-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers last Sunday. Curbishley's men have not lost in all eight league games this season where they have taken the lead.

In terms of league positions, West Ham United are in tenth place, three places and five points behind Everton with a game in hand. While the club (12 goals against) have the best defensive record after Manchester United (eight), Chelsea and Liverpool (both nine) in the top flight, Everton are also doing well at the back with six clean-sheets in their last eleven unbeaten games.

George McCartney is bidding to make his 20th appearance this season in all competitions - and is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every game to date, starting in each one. In terms of the Barclays Premier League, only Robert Green and Matthew Upson have played every minute of the 15 matches. Craig Bellamy, Bowyer, Ashton and Cole are the club's top scorers with four goals.

Yakubu, the midweek match-winner for Everton, is the club's top scorer with ten goals - eight of those have come in the top flight. Were the visitors to triumph, they could potentially move into fourth place - and a Champions League qualifying position. Everton are next in action on Thursday in a UEFA Cup group game at AZ Alkmaar although they have already qualified for the knockout phase.

Head to head (Last six Premier League meetings)

21 April 2007 - West Ham United 1-0 Everton
3 December 2006 - Everton 2-0 West Ham United
4 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-2 Everton
14 December 2005 - Everton 1-2 West Ham United
15 March 2003 - Everton 0-0 West Ham United
27 October 2002 - West Ham United 0-1 Everton

All-time record v Everton (all competitions) - W 36, D 23 L 57

General information

All tickets for this match have now SOLD OUT. For more information on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here
Weather: The forecast for is for a clear but chilly afternoon. The temperature is expected to be around the 5C mark.