Everton V West Ham at Goodison Park : Match Preview

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29 October 2016
Everton V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Boss Koeman calls on 'personalities' to drag Everton out of slump

Ronald Koeman is looking to the "personalities" in his Everton side to steer the Toffees back into brighter form.

Everton made an excellent start in the Premier League this season as they followed up an opening home draw with Tottenham by winning the next four games on the bounce.

But they have failed to take maximum points in any of the four fixtures since then, with a clash against West Ham at Goodison Park next up on Sunday.

Koeman, who left Southampton to take over as Everton boss in June, has stressed it cannot be "always sunny" for any club - but has also emphasised a swift improvement in results is needed.

"Of course, we know if you don't win in your last four in the Premier League, then every time you come more close to a must-win game," the Dutchman said.

"We need to turn it around.

"It happened also at Southampton - it is not always sunny. You don't win always. You get in difficult, tough times and then, really, you need to support each other. That's important.

"If everything goes well it's easy to come in the team and play. But we need now really the personalities to turn it around.

"And I think we have enough personalities in the team."

Everton, who went into the weekend in sixth place in the table, have conceded eight goals and scored 13 in their nine games so far.

They have scored only three in the last four, and Koeman wants to see the Merseyside outfit develop more of a cutting edge in attack, with Romelu Lukaku, who has netted six times in total, receiving more support.

"Overall I am happy about the defensive organisation in the team, but not our offensive aspect," Koeman said.

"We need to improve and be more clinical. We need to have more productivity.

"It's a big difference between Romelu and the rest in scoring goals and we need to make that better."

Koeman is confident Sunday will yield a "good" result against a West Ham side - 15th at the start of the weekend - who have won their last two league games.

"What I have learned is if you are in a tough time, stay calm and do your job," Koeman said.

"I believe in the way we do our job at Everton and results will come.

"We need to be prepared for the next (match) and it is a difficult one, but we play at home and I'm really confident in a good result."

Leighton Baines and James McCarthy will both miss out.

Full-back Baines has not been involved for five games due to a hamstring problem, while midfielder McCarthy, who sat out at Burnley, has recently developed a similar issue.

Forward Enner Valencia, who is on loan at Everton from West Ham, is ineligible against his parent club.

Slaven Bilic will be on familiar territory when West Ham attempt to put Wednesday's crowd trouble behind them.

Bilic played for two seasons at Everton after leaving Upton Park in 1997.

The contrast between the old-school charm of Goodison Park and the vast open spaces at West Ham's new London Stadium could not be greater, even if the violent scenes at the EFL Cup game against Chelsea were an unwelcome throwback to the 1980s.

And Bilic admits he remains a fan of Everton's tight ground - and not just because West Ham clinched a dramatic 3-2 win there last season.

"It's a great stadium to play at," he said. "I love the stadium, and not because I played there.

"It's going to be packed, it's a great stadium and also because we have a great memory from last year. Okay, I played there and everything but it's mostly because of the stadium and the crowd is very good there."

Unfortunately for Bilic West Ham will also face a familiar foe in the shape of Lukaku.

The Belgium striker has scored every time he has played against West Ham, a total of eight goals in as many appearances and a stat that not even Bilic could quite compute.

"They have so many options up front," he added.

"They are a very physical side, they have pace up front. They have Lukaku who, I don't know how many he has scored - eight goals in 10 games against us, or whatever I read yesterday.

"So he is always scoring against us, unfortunately, so that's also going to be interesting.

"It will be a great game. They need points. We need points."

Bilic has another attacking weapon of his own, though, with B#20.5million summer signing Andre Ayew finally fit again.

The former Swansea frontman had been sidelined by a thigh injury suffered against Chelsea in the opening game of the season, but made his comeback as a late sub against the same opposition on Wednesday.


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