Everton v West Ham United - All you need to know
West Ham United kick-off 2021 with a trip to Premier League high-fliers Everton.
David Moyes returns to the club he managed 518 times between March 2002 and June 2013. The Scot led Everton to four top-six finishes and an FA Cup final in 2009 and won three LMA Manager of the Year awards during his time at Goodison Park.
Now in his second spell as West Ham manager, his Hammers start the New Year sitting tenth in the table, having collected 23 points from their opening 16 fixtures, while the Blues begin 2021 fourth in the standings with 29 points from 15 matches, having won their last four in a row.
The Irons are making their second visit of the season to the blue half of Merseyside, having previously lost 4-1 there in the EFL Cup fourth round in late September.
The Liverpool City Region moved into Tier 3 of COVID-19 restrictions on New Year's Eve, meaning the game will be played without supporters present.
The match will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes could make changes to his starting eleven after seeing his side play twice in three days after Christmas.
Injury-wise, the Scot has a near fully-fit squad to choose from, but left wing-back Arthur Masuaku is definitely unavailable after undergoing surgery to mend a long-standing knee problem.
Everton have not played since Boxing Day after their fixture with Manchester City was postponed due to COVID-19. The Toffees could welcome back Colombia attacking midfielder James Rodriguez from a lower-leg injury, while Brazilian forward Richarlison could be back after suffering a concussion in the Blues' EFL Cup quarter-final defeat by Manchester United before Christmas.
Carlo Ancelotti will definitely be without Allan (hamstring), Lucas Digne (ankle/foot), Fabian Delph (thigh) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (lower leg).
The opposition – Everton
Everton are enjoying a fine season under experienced Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has won exactly half his 40 matches in charge since being appointed in December 2019.
The Blues have won nine of their 15 Premier League matches, scoring 26 goals in the process, and kicked-off 2021 fourth in the table and just three points behind leaders and neighbours Liverpool.
Leading the charge for Ancelotti's men is England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has scored 14 goals in all competitions, including an EFL Cup fourth-round hat-trick against West Ham United in late September.
He is far from the only threat the Blues possess, though, as experienced attacking midfielders James Rodriguez, Gylfi Sigurdsson and forward Richarlison have also been in good form this term.
At the back, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is protected by a defence that includes Three Lions teammate Michael Keane, Colombian Yerry Mina and versatile youngster Ben Godfrey - one of four signings made by the Toffees this autumn.
Everton have not finished in the top four since early in David Moyes' successful spell in charge at Goodison Park in 2003/04, and have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup and Community Shield in 1995, but there is real optimism that the good times might be about to return to the club.
Off the pitch, too, things are moving forward, with plans for a new stadium in the Bramley-Moore Dock area of the city advancing, with the hope that it will be open in time for the 2023/24 campaign.
West Ham United and Everton meet for the 49th time in the Premier League on New Year's Day.
The Toffees have had the best of the previous 48 games by far, winning 26 to the Hammers' nine, with 13 draws. Everton have scored 86 goals in those 48 matches to West Ham's 45, and kept 19 clean sheets to the Irons' five. The Blues won last season's meeting on Merseyside 2-0.
It is not all doom and gloom, though!
West Ham have won at Goodison Park twice in the last five seasons, 3-2 in 2015/16 and 3-1 in 2018/19.
The 3-2 win in March 2016 was the Hammers' first there since December 2005 and the first time since 2000 that the Irons had come from two goals down to win a Premier League fixture.
Overall, West Ham's biggest-ever win at Goodison Park came back in April 1929, when Vivian Gibbins scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 First Division victory.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant Referees: Simon Beck and Edward Smart
Fourth Official: Andrew Madley
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton
Kevin Friend takes charge of a West Ham United fixture for the second time this season. Both matches have taken place on Merseyside, as Friend was also the referee for the Hammers' 2-1 Premier League defeat at Liverpool in October.
Overall, the 49-year-old has officiated the Irons on 21 occasions, with the first being a 5-0 Championship win over Plymouth Argyle at the Boleyn Ground in February 2005.
Friend has refereed as West Ham v Everton fixture once previously - the Blues' 2-1 Premier League win at the Boleyn Ground in May 2015.
Born in Bristol in July 1971, the 49-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and kicked-off his refereeing career in the local Senior League and Midland Football Alliance.
He joined the Select Group of match officials in 2009/10, taking charge of his first Premier League fixture at Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 2009.
He has refereed a number of high-profile fixtures during his career, including the 2012 FA Community Shield, 2013 League Cup final and 2019 FA Cup final.