Everton match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Everton
The Boleyn Ground
Saturday 8 November
Referee: Mark Halsey
WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* West Ham United return to home soil after two away trips to Middlesbrough and Manchester United. The team will be hoping to carry on where they left off at the Riverside when they ended a run of four straight defeats by collecting a well-deserved point. A minute's silence will be observed before kick-off to mark Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

* A home win on Saturday would see the hosts climb one point above the visitors in the Barclays Premier League standings.

* The draw at Middlesbrough - the team's first this season - combined with the four wins and six defeats so far leave West Ham United on 13 points with a goal difference of minus four. The visitors are on 15 points after four wins, three draws and four defeats with the same goal difference as their hosts.

* Honours have been pretty even between the two sides of late. In the last three seasons in the Barclays Premier League each side have won two with two finishing all square. They only major advantage gained was last season in the December quarter-final of the Carling Cup when Yakubu scored an 88th minute winner to send the Toffees through.

* That month proved to be a good one for the team from Merseyside. After Yakubu's late intervention to earn a semi-final place, the teams met again at the Boleyn Ground with the Nigerian striker getting on the scoresheet for a second time in a 2-0 win.

* Only a late Mido strike in their last game prevented West Ham United from keeping their first clean sheet since February's 1-0 win at Fulham - they will be hoping to go one better on Saturday

* The highest the home side could climb is seventh, while a win for Everton would only solidify their hold on that position.

* West Ham United are next in action on 15 November as they play host to Portsmouth in the Barclays Premier League. Everton are at home to Middlesbrough the same day.

Last time out

Saturday 1 November 2008 - Middlesbrough 1-1 West Ham United

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Faubert, Collison, Mullins, Boa Morte (Bowyer 84), Bellamy, Sears (Etherington 73)
Subs not used: Walker, Lopez, Tristan, Tomkins, Di Michele
Goal: Mullins 21

Saturday 1 November 2008 - Everton 1-0 Fulham

Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Arteta, Osman, Fellaini (Saha 61), Pienaar (Anichebe 76), Cahill, Yakubu (Vaughan 84)
Subs not used: Nash, Hibbert, Baines, Rodwell
Goal: Saha 87

Team news

* Scott Parker is fit to return after his calf injury so Gianfranco Zola must decide whether to recall him or keep faith with the central midfield of Jack Collison and Hayden Mullins who performed admirably at Middlesbrough.

* Parker is one yellow card away from an automatic one-match suspension.

* Valon Behrami is still not available with the calf injury picked up against Manchester United. Diego Tristan will hope for his debut although he suffered a kick to his foot during a reserve game in the week. Freddie Sears will hope to keep his place but David Di Michele is also itching for a return.

* Carlton Cole will serve the last game of his three-match suspension so Zola may stick with the partnership of Freddie Sears and Craig Bellamy in the 4-4-1-1 used at the Riverside.

* Mark Noble is recovering well from his calf injury but is not expected to be ready for the game while Calum Davenport is also on the sidelines. In his place, James Tomkins was an unused substitute against Boro.

* Of the long-term quartet. Jonathan Spector is edging ever closer to full fitness after training with the first team this week following his hip injury. Kieron Dyer is hoping to step his training up within the next few weeks. Danny Gabbidon continues to work hard at Chadwell Heath on his abdominal injury while Dean Ashton's rehabilitation from his ankle surgery is also ongoing.

* Robert Green and Matthew Upson are the only West Ham United players to have played every minute of every Barclays Premier League game this season. Only Phil Jagielka can claim that in the Everton ranks.

* Everton are without the suspended Marouane Fellaini after picking up a one-match ban for five yellow cards this season. There is also a doubt over Yakubu (heel) and Steven Pienaar (knee).

* Leon Osman will be looking to score against the Hammers for the fourth season in a row.

* West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola said: "It was important not to lose that game [against Middlesbrough]. I think it has produced something because the players are much more confident this week and I'm pleased. Sometimes it's not enough to play good football. You need confidence and the result was a good one and it will help us."

* Speaking to Everton's official website, defender Phil Jagielka said: "Hopefully we've turned a corner. We knew it wasn't going to be that far away, it was just a case of eradicating those little mistakes that ended up being big mistakes….But we know that if we don't get the result we need on Saturday we could be back in the bottom half of the league - that's just the way it is at the moment."


* The last meeting between the clubs was a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on 22 March this year. Yakubu put the home side ahead within ten minutes before Dean Ashton equalised with a thunderous header in the 68th minute.

The lineups were:

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Carsley, Cahill (Fernandes 10), Osman, Yakubu, Anichebe
Subs not used: Wessels, Hibbert, Gravesen, Nuno Valente
Goal: Yakubu 8

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Tomkins, McCartney, Ljungberg (Solano 80), Parker (Spector 82), Mullins, Noble, Boa Morte (Sears 50), Ashton
Subs not used Walker, Cole
Goal: Ashton 68

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

22 March 2008 - Everton 1-1 West Ham United
15 December 2008 - West Ham United 0-2 Everton
12 December 2008 - West Ham United 1-2 Everton (Carling Cup)
21 April 2007 - West Ham United 1-0 Everton
03 December 2006 - Everton 2-0 West Ham United
04 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-2 Everton

Overall record v Everton (all competitions): W 36, D 24, L 58

Barclays Premier League fixtures

Saturday 8 November 2008
Arsenal v Manchester United (12.45pm)
Hull City v Bolton Wanderers
Sunderland v Portsmouth
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion (5.30pm)
Wigan Athletic v Stoke City (12.45pm)

Sunday 9 November
Blackburn Rovers v Chelsea (1.30pm)
Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur
Fulham v Newcastle United (4pm)

General information
For ticket information click here. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here

Weather: The forecast is for a cloudy and rainy day with a top temperature of 13C.