West Ham v Everton
Saturday March 30, 17:30
Live on BT Sport
West Ham residing in the top-half
Before the international break, West Ham produced a thrilling late comeback to stop relegation-threatened Huddersfield moving off the bottom of the Premier League for the first time since December. The Hammers were 3-1 down with barely 15 minutes left before substitute Javier Hernandez inspired an incredible turnaround.
After Angelo Ogbonna thumped in a header to make it 3-2, Hernandez - who was introduced by Manuel Pellegrini at half-time - scored twice in the closing stages to spark jubilant celebrations at the London Stadium. Mark Noble had earlier converted a penalty for West Ham to give the capital club a lead before drama unfolded in east London.
Victory consolidated the Hammers place in the top half, staying ninth in the table - two points behind seventh-placed Wolves - after earning a third straight Premier League win at London Stadium for the first time. Pellegrini may now look to bring Hernandez back into the starting XI, along with Samir Nasri who also made a positive contribution from the bench.
Everton pick up overdue home success
Everton secured a first home since mid-January before the international break, beating Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park. The result was the perfect tonic for boss Marco Silva, who was under pressure after seeing his Toffees team surrender a two-goal lead to Newcastle just a week earlier. Victory also ended a rotten run of four defeats in six home outings.
Chelsea dominated possession in the first half, struck the post and wasted a great opportunity from close range. And their profligacy was punished after the break as Richarlison headed home for his 13th goal of the season and 20 minutes from time, Gylfi Sigurdsson notched the rebound from his own penalty to seal Everton's success.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a series of fine saves for Silva's side, while Yerry Mina, making his first Premier League start since 29th December, was a strong presence in defence. However, Mina is rated doubtful for the weekend having been forced off shortly before half-time in Colombia's friendly on Tuesday. Lucas Digne is also a potential doubt.
Hammers look a touch underrated
Since West Ham 2.6413/8 returned to the Premier League, the Hammers have W3-D2-L8 against Everton in league action. Nevertheless, the hosts have secured back-to-back 3-1 victories against the Toffees and come into this contest having suffered only nine defeats in 26 outings since September's international break [W12-D6-L9].
Manuel Pellegrini's posse have been dogged by inconsistency; taking points from home games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd this season, only to slip to away defeats at Brighton, Burnley, Bournemouth and Cardiff. But the Hammers are unbeaten in 17 games now in which they've scored and look capable of picking up a positive result here.
Exclude the bottom-four and Everton 2.942/1 have W6-D6-L13 under Marco Silva, including W1-D3-L8 on their travels. The Toffees have leaked at least twice in seven of those 12 away days, whilst their Expected Goals (xG) ratio on the road is an uninspiring 44%, leaving the Blues entrenched in the bottom-half of that metric.
The visitors have tabled W2-D4-L10 against top-half clubs this term and with West Ham boasting an W8-D3-L5 record at the London Stadium under Pellegrini, it's easy to support the 1.8810/11 available on the Hammers in the Draw No Bet market on Saturday evening.
Goals on the agenda
Only five of West Ham's most recent 15 fixtures have featured Over 2.5 Goals winners, although seven of the Hammers' eight encounters at home to Premier League clubs in the bottom-half have produced at least three goals at an average of 4.38 goals per-game.
Nine (60%) of Everton's 15 away days have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier as 2.73 goals per-game have been seen on average. That figure is just above the 2.64 Expected Goals (xG) per-game average in Blues matches, suggesting there could be mileage in 1.85 quotes for Over 2.5 Goals on Saturday.
With generous prices available, I'm happy to dive into Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market for an extra bit of insurance. Here, we can back West Ham in the Double Chance market, along with Over 1.5 Goals for a 9/10 poke.
This selection will see us paid out by any draw other than 0-0, as well as a West Ham victory that's not 1-0.