FA Cup third round
Goodison Park (Kick off: 7:45pm, 6th January 2015)
Roberto Martinez continues to contend with a hefty injury list ahead of Tuesday night’s encounter with West Ham United, whilst Antolin Alcaraz will sit out the contest after being sent off in the defeat at Hull City for two bookable offences.
The Spaniard is able to call upon club captain Phil Jagielka once more, however, after the 32 year old played the full 90 minutes on Humberside, whilst James McCarthy and Steven Pienaar are hoped to be passed fit for the visit of the Hammers.
Sam Allardyce’s high flying Londonder will be without both Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate, as the pair head off to join up with the Senegalese national side ahead of this month’s African Cup of Nations, but James Tomkins is available for selection after serving his own suspension.
Head to Head
The Blues have taken on the Irons 64 times at Goodison Park in league and cup competitions, with the Toffees coming out on top on 41 occasions in all domestic clashes between the two sides.
Everton are also on a 14 match unbeaten streak home and away against Tuesday’s visitors, with 10 wins and 4 draws being recorded since the Hammers last beat the Blues 1-0 at Upton Park back in April 2007. The East London club last triumphed at Goodison Park in December 2005, and the Toffees will be looking to inflict further misery on Allardyce’s men on Tuesday evening.
However, matches between the two clubs in the FA Cup recently does not make for good reading for Everton – the Blues having failed to beat West Ham in the previous five encounters in the prestigious cup competition.
Everton 2-1 West Ham United (Saturday 22nd November 2014)
Leon Osman slotted home the winner late on in the last clash between Everton and West Ham back in November.
The diminutive midfielder, making his 400th appearance for the Toffees, managed to keep pace with both Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o before sidefooting home the latter’s cross to earn the Blues all three points.
Earlier, Lukaku had fired the L4 outfit ahead after Ross Barkley’s initial effort had been blocked by Winston Reid, before substitute Mauro Zarate’s double deflected shot looped over Tim Howard minutes after the second half had commenced.
Everton last met West Ham in the FA Cup almost 24 years ago, in March 1991, but it was the Hammers that progressed to the semi finals that year as goals from Colin Foster and Stuart Slater secured a last four berth for the Londoners. Dave Watson registered a late consolation for the Toffees at Upton Park, but it wasn’t enough as the Blues crashed out.
Everton: Kevin Mirallas
The Blues will be hoping that the Belgian is on form against West Ham United in two days time, especially since the 27 year old has scored four times and assisted two goals since returning from a hamstring layoff, and his pace, trickery and invention will be needed against what is expected to be a resolute Hammers defence.
West Ham United: Andy Carroll
With Everton notably suspectible to balls crossed into the box, and with Diafra Sakho absent for a month due to his commitments with Senegal, it is expected that Carroll will be the Hammers’ main dangerman at Goodison Park on Tuesday evening and, with three goals in his last six starts for Allardyce’s charges, the Toffees will have to be at their best to restrict the threat posed by the 25 year old.