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Irons locked into crucial battle

Everton and West Ham United, two teams recently facing adversity, find themselves locked in a crucial Premier League battle at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. Both sides arrive at the historic Merseyside ground bolstered by recent developments, aiming to build momentum and climb the table.

Irons locked into crucial battle

The Toffees’ pre-match mood has undoubtedly been lifted by a positive turn of events. Their hefty points deduction was reduced on appeal, providing a vital four points and breathing space in the relegation battle.

Irons locked into crucial battle

While currently sitting just above the drop zone, they can’t afford to relax, as a potential further deduction for another breach of Profit and Sustainability Rules looms large.
On the pitch, despite a respectable 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion in their last outing, Everton haven’t tasted victory at home in the league since December. Their form has been inconsistent, with a winless streak in the league since January’s FA Cup triumph.
Manager Sean Dyche will be hoping to capitalise on the renewed optimism and translate it into a crucial three points at home.
West Ham, on the other hand, finally ended their eight-game winless run in 2024 with a thrilling 4-2 victory against Brentford on Monday. This much-needed win propelled them to 8th place in the table, just outside the coveted European positions. However, their focus quickly shifts to a crucial Europa League last-16 first leg against Freiburg on Thursday, adding another layer of complexity to their demanding schedule.
Manager David Moyes will be keen to maintain the momentum gained from their Premier League win and build a winning streak. He also has the opportunity to seek revenge for Everton’s 1-0 victory at the London Stadium in October, but West Ham haven’t secured a double over the Toffees since the 2014-15 season under Roberto Martinez.
With regard to West Ham’s availability, Manchester City loanee Kalvin Phillips – whose start to life with the Irons has been disastrous to put it mildly – has served his one-game ban for his sending off against Nottingham Forest and is available again.
Phillips’s comeback means that Moyes is currently blessed with a fully-fit squad for the trip north, having welcomed Lucas Paqueta back to a Premier League starting lineup on Monday for the first time since his calf injury in December.
Edson Alvarez is now one yellow card away from reaching 10 for the season and incurring a two-match ban, but the Mexico international is sure to keep Phillips at bay as Moyes sends out an untouched team.

 

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

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