Everton: Why West Ham United will be a trickier opponent than expected

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Everton unveil new manager Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park on December 23, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Everton unveil new manager Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park on December 23, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /

After eliminating Salford City (3-0)  and Fleetwood Town (5-2) in the first two rounds of the Carabao Cup, Everton will play host to fellow Premier League squad West Ham United.

As always a new team brings new problems for Everton and this fourth-round tie will be bring some new issues.

David Moyes, who managed Everton for more than 500 games, won’t be in the Hammers dugout for Wednesday night’s match as he remains in self isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, also missing will be central defender Issa Diop and midfielder Josh Cullen.

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This season, Diop had been an ever present for West Ham United, before the virus. He had two league outings as well as playing in the Hammers second round 3-0 win against Charlton as did Cullen. Cullen  has yet to make a league appearance for West Ham.

Diop played 32 times in the league for West Ham, last season. He scored  3 goals (2 with his head,  including one against Everton in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium last season.

Another former Evertonian will guide West Ham from the sideline in tonight’s match, Alan Irvine played 60 times and scored 4 goals in the Royal Blue of Everton. Irvine became Moyes assistant at West Ham United when his fellow Scot returned as  manager in 2019.

Until recently, West Ham United didn’t go into matches against the Toffees with a spring in their step. The Toffees have won 70 of the last 142 meetings and West Ham United 40. In the last five clashes, both teams have two wins and there is one draw.

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And the Hammers come into this Cup contest on a bit of a roll. They’ve their last two matches and outscored their opponents, 9-1 including a 4-0 thumping of Wolves, whose aim was to rerturn to Europe.

Sebastien Haller, West Ham’s record signing (£45 million) has started to buy that investment  bank. After scoring 7 times in all of last season; he’s scored five times this season, including braces in each of his last two League Cup contests, 3-0 against Charlton and 5-1 against Hull City. He added a well-taken header in a 4-0 romp against Wolves.

And it’s the win against Wolves, that will make Everton sit top and pay attention. Wolves finished ahead of both Everton and West Ham last season. Jarrad Bowen notched two against Wolves.

But there’s more to the Hammer’s attack, Andriy Yarmolenko added two against Hull.

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Perhaps it’s Robert Snodgrass, who the Merseysiders should keep an eye on. The 33-year-old Scot had 5 goals and 5 assists in 24 matches.  Snodgrass can deliver a good cross and is pretty deft with set pieces and Everton have shown a weakness in dealing with this situations.

Both Haller and Yarmolenko have good height (both are 6 feet 2 inches) and are good in the air. That may force Manager Carlo Ancelotti in starting Yerry Mina alongside Michael Keane,

This is trophy neither team has won and that will put additional pressure on Everton, something that really wan’t there in Everton’s first two cup ties. The Toffees will go into this match as favourites but must improve their free kick defence as they have looked shaky at times as well as dealing with an aerial assault better.

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Everton will move into the quarter-finals of the competition, but it might the toughest test for the Blues.