Everton: Why the West Ham United clash is crucial for Everton

Everton (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

Everton host West Ham United on Sunday in a clash which should be seen as a derby for both the teams involved. The Toffees have racked up 14 points in the Premier League so far, winning 4, drawing 2 and losing just 1. Whereas West Ham have accumulated 11 points, winning 3, drawing 2 and losing 2 during the same time period.

Last season, West Ham finished in 6th which saw the them qualify for the 2021-22 UEFA Europa League group stages for the 1st time in their history. The Hammers were led by none other than former Everton manager David Moyes who had himself guided Everton to the 3rd qualifying round of the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League after his Everton side finished 4th during the 2004-05 Premier League season above arch-rivals Liverpool. Unfortunately for the Toffees, they lost to Villareal in both the legs and couldn’t qualify for the group stages.

The so-called top 6 sides of the Premier League always battle it out for the lucrative UEFA Champions League spots. Rafa Benitez has insisted that the team is taking one game at a time, a philosophy that helped him win two La Liga titles with Valencia. His intentions are clear that he doesn’t want to finish mid table but to compete against the best.

Last season, Everton managed to churn out points against big six, winning games against Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea but failing to take points against mid table sides especially at home. If the Toffees can manage to win such games and not drop points frequently, Benitez’s side have a genuine chance of finishing in European spots.

Can Everton defeat West Ham United?

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United look jaded this season and are currently in the bottom half of the table. Leicester City have been inconsistent of late and do not look like the side that finished 5th for two consecutive seasons from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

However, West Ham still look as dangerous as they were last season, even though this clash doesn’t decide the fate of West Ham nor that of Everton but it is surely a game against a side that is competing for the same spot in the table.

Currently there is a 3 point gap between Everton and West Ham, a win for the Toffees can help Rafa Benitez’ men increase that gap to 6 points by the end of Sunday. It will also show the club’s intent of finishing in a European spot this season, something that Everton last achieved back in the 2016-17 season, finishing 7th under Ronald Koeman’s stewardship.

Everton have had a decent start to the 2021-22 campaign and if they can defeat West Ham, fans should start considering this season to be a much more consistent one than the previous season and that the first few results weren’t just a fluke.

Next. Future Everton Right Back. dark

What is your predicted score against West Ham?