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West Ham United will be looking to give their slender top-four hopes a boost when they resume their Premier League campaign at home to struggling Everton on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers suffered a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in their last league game before the international break, while Everton lost 4-0 to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup last time out.
West Ham have lost four of their last six matches in all competitions, but they managed to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 2-0 success over Sevilla on March 17, with the Hammers set to take on Lyon over two legs this month in a bid to make the semi-finals.
David Moyes’s side have only won one of their last three in the league, though, suffering two defeats in the process, including a 3-1 loss at Tottenham last time out, which has seen them drop into seventh position in the table.
West Ham are now six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who also have two games in hand, so the club face a serious battle to make the Champions League spots at this stage of the campaign, but they would secure a spot in next season’s European Cup by winning the Europa League.
Moyes’s team have the fifth-best home record in the Premier League this season, picking up 27 points from 15 matches, and they will be taking on an Everton side with the worst away record in England’s top flight this term, collecting just six points from 13 matches.
The Hammers will host Everton and travel to Brentford in their next two league games, and the capital outfit must ensure that they concentrate on the league despite the distraction of the Europa League.
Everton also have two games in hand on Watford, but they are level on matches with 19th-placed Burnley, who are just four points behind, so Frank Lampard’s side are very much in a relegation battle.
Another defeat this weekend, which would be their 17th in the league this term, would increase the pressure on the team, and the fact that they have won just once on their travels in England’s top flight this season means that confidence is likely to be low heading into the clash at London Stadium.
Everton actually won 1-0 away to West Ham in the corresponding match last season, but the Hammers recorded a 1-0 victory in the reverse game between the two sides at Goodison Park in October.
West Ham boss Moyes said during Friday’s press conference that both Vladimir Coufal and Jarrod Bowen have a chance of being available for selection against the Toffees.
Bowen, who has been out since the start of March, is expected to come back into the starting side, but Coufal is unlikely to be named in the starting XI at London Stadium.
Manuel Lanzini is also available despite being involved in a car crash on Thursday, but Angelo Ogbonna remains a long-term absentee for the Hammers.
There are not expected to be any major surprises for West Ham this weekend, with Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio all in line to start.
As for Everton, Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Tom Davies remain on the sidelines through injury, while Allan will serve the second of a three-match suspension.
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to start at the tip of the attack, with Richarlison, Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon also featuring in forward areas for the Toffees.
On-loan Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek could start in a deeper area for the visitors, while Lampard is likely to switch to a back four this weekend.
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Van de Beek, Doucoure; Gordon, Gray, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin