After losing their opening league games against Newcastle and Arsenal, West Ham have relieved the doom and gloom with a sensational 4-0 triumph hosting Wolves.
Throwing League Cup games into the mix, the Hammers have now won three of four outings by a minimum three-goal margin, though it’s worth noting that two of these came against League One opposition in the shape of Charlton and Hull, while each victory came on home turf.
Everton appear an entirely different proposition and have made a fantastic start to the new campaign.
They’ve maintained a perfect record across their opening five games and while we wouldn’t read too much into three-goal margin victories of their own over Salford and Fleetwood, their top-flight performances have earned rave reviews.
Tottenham, West Brom and Palace have all been dispatched so far and although they benefitted from another VAR handball controversy against the latter, they were the better team on the day and had second-half chances to extend their lead.
Sebastien Haller To Score Anytime
Everton’s summer spending has undeniably strengthened the midfield and attack, but question marks remain over their defensive resolve, especially with Palace’s initial equalizer coming via a corner.
Set pieces have been a major source of weakness for the Toffees and since the start of last season, no team still in the division has conceded more than the 18 goals they’ve let in from such situations (excluding penalties).
Sebastien Haller has five goals this term already, with two of those via headers, and standing at 1.9 metres is one of West Ham’s biggest threats in the air.
West Ham were one of the better teams attacking set pieces last term, so there should certainly be opportunities to test Jordan Pickford, who had a nightmare in the previous round against Fleetwood as his teammates spared his blushes.
Both Teams To Score
Both teams scored in seven of Everton’s final eight Premier League games against bottom-half teams last term, including their most recent head to head with the Hammers, while it’s already happened in encounters with West Brom and Palace during the new campaign.
In fact, at Goodison Park alone, that market has also landed in seven of their eight encounters with any top-flight team since February.
Even the exception saw a goalless stalemate in the Merseyside derby, which has often been low-scoring in recent years with five of the last six seeing just one strike or none at all.
Although Everton have made a great start to the season and Ancelotti appears to be taking this tournament seriously given his team selection against Fleetwood in the previous round, with both Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin starting, we wouldn’t want to touch the match outcome here.
The Toffees have failed to beat the likes of Newcastle, Southampton, Villa and Bournemouth on home turf in 2020 so far, while West Ham turned heads with their display last time out.
Although the visitors have lost eight of their past 11 on their travels against Premier League sides, it’s worth noting that all but one of those defeats came when visiting teams that finished above Everton in the table last term.