Betting preview: Everton vs West Ham – Andros Townsend can add to David Moyes’ Goodison Park woes

Everton host West Ham United on Sunday afternoon in an intriguing fixture that will see former favourite David Moyes return to Goodison Park.

Moyes was linked with an emotional return to Everton over the summer, before Rafa Benitez joined the club. Unsurprisingly he remained at West Ham hoping to build on their sensational season last campaign.

Meanwhile, Benitez is looking to improve his new-look Everton side and make a shock challenge for European soccer.

When, where and how to watch

When: Sunday, October 17, 2pm BST

Where: Goodison Park

How to watch: Sky Sports

Everton vs West Ham Best bets

Declan Rice to be carded

Andros Townsend to score at any time

Both teams to score

Rafa Benitez growing on fans?

Everton manager Rafael Benitez received a backlash from fans because of his Liverpool connections

There were protests over the announcement of Benitez as Everton manager because of his time at Merseyside rivals Liverpool. During his stint at the Reds, the Spaniard won the Champions League and an FA Cup but most notably, he claimed Everton had a small club mentality.

However, results can soon change the mind of fans and the table doesn’t lie. Everton currently sit in fifth position with 14 points from seven fixtures although looks are deceiving, especially when you inspect the sides they have faced.

Their four wins so far have come against Brighton, Burnley, Southampton and Norwich City, plus a couple of draws against Leeds and most recently Manchester United.

West Ham have struggled with the schedule so far this season with the addition of Thursday night Europa League action.

It is no secret West Ham have a thin squad and there are question marks as to whether they can equal performances from last season – where they finished sixth.

Tomas Soucek, West Ham’s player of the season in 2020/21, is struggling to replicate his stunning form in that season and quite frankly looks exhausted.

Declan Rice has been pushing forward more than he did in the last campaign, creating gaps in the middle of the park for the opposition.

Rice is the heartbeat of West Ham but there is added pressure on him as the team’s star man, and mixed with the below par performances of Soucek he has already picked up three bookings this season as he battles to cover every blade of grass.

Then there is Michail Antonio – the club’s only senior striker. The forward is a handful for any defence, as Leeds United experienced in September. West Ham fan mutters a silent prayer everytime he is involved in a robust challenge. The striker has only started 24 league games in three seasons due to injuries, and if he comes through this season unscathed it’ll be a minor miracle.

He has scored five goals and made three assists for West Ham domestically this season and has produced the second most attempts at goal (27), Mo Salah is the only player with more (28).

Even if you remove Antonio from the mix, West Ham still have goals across the team and have notched up 14 in the Premier League so far, averaging two goals a game. Everton are one goal shy of matching them so both teams to score looks like a wise bet here.

Previous three meetings

West Ham 0-1 Everton (May 9, 2021)

Everton dented the hopes of Champions League qualification for West Ham with an away victory thanks to a sole goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The England forward latched on to an inviting ball by Ben Godfrey, who slotted the ball past Lukasz Fabianski inside the far post. The goal saw Calvert-Lewin net his 16th league goal of the season and it handed Everton their 11th victory on the road, the second most at the time with Manchester City only winning more (13).

It left West Ham five points behind Leicester City in fourth position with three games remaining.

Everton 0-1 West Ham (January 1, 2021)

West Ham United's Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

David Moyes won his first game at Goodison Park since leaving as manager in 2013 after a late Tomas Soucek goal gave his side victory.

Aaron Cresswell’s deflected shot fell into the path of Soucek, who tapped home in the 85th minute of a largely uneventful game.

Everton 4-1 West Ham (September 30, 2020)

Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged a hat-trick against West Ham in the League Cup

Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged his second hat-trick of the season as Everton progressed into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring in the 11th minute before sealing victory with two goals in six minutes towards the end.

In between, Robert Snodgrass netted the only goal for West Ham while Richarlison was also on the scoresheet for Everton. It was a heavy defeat which saw West Ham without David Moyes, who was isolating at home after testing positive for Covid-19.

10 head-to-heads between Everton and West Ham

Everton wins: 3

Draws: 2

West Ham wins: 5

Everton goals: 16

West Ham goals: 9

Andros Townsend has the X-Factor

Everton were looking for the Hollywood story when they appointed managerial legend Carlo Ancelotti in 2019. James Rodriguez followed him in 2020 and they enjoyed an exciting start to last season.

However, the wheels came off in the second half of the campaign and they eventually slumped to 10th position – a disappointing end to a season which had the credentials of possible European qualification.

Ancelotti packed his bags this summer, rejoined Real Madrid and was replaced by ex-Los Blancos coach Benitez. Instead of targeting big name signings, Benitez picked Demarai Gray for around £1million from Bayer Leverkusen and Andros Townsend on a free transfer.

On paper they hardly appeared to be the most exciting signings, but so far so good for the duo who have created the most chances for Everton. Townsend in particular looks rejuvenated having scored five goals in all competitions, including an equaliser against Man United which saw the ex-England ace copy Cristiano Ronaldo‘s celebration in front of the icon himself.

Three Premier League goals ties Townsend for his third best return already, with 2018/19 being his most successful in front of the net for Crystal Palace (six). Based on his form under Benitez, Townsend will fancy his chances of adding to his tally.

Moyes’ record vs Everton

David Moyes enjoyed an 11-year stint at Everton, guiding them to a Champions League spot as well as consistently finishing between fifth and eighth position. He left Everton as a club legend and joined Man United looking to follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson.

We all know what happened there. But the worst was yet to come – Moyes would face a second successive sacking at Real Sociedad and then a relegation with Sunderland. However, his second stint as Hammers boss has seen the real David Moyes stand up and he is becoming a firm favourite at West Ham.

One thing Moyes will want to change is his record against Everton with two victories and eight defeats in his 11 meetings against them.

Read more: Where next for Raheem Sterling? Barcelona, Liverpool, Spurs, Newcastle…

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