Weblog: The football punter

West Ham could earn first points at Everton

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Four consecutive league defeats have tempered the pre-season enthusiasm at West Ham but the Londoners can grab their first points of the campaign at Everton.

Heavy summer investments had West Ham supporters dreaming of being the best of the rest in the Premier League but four games in Manuel Pellegrini’s men are already playing catch-up as they find themselves bottom of the table without a point.

Despite their sloppy start there have been some positives for the Hammers and they have done enough to suggest they can avoid defeat at Goodison Park.

The summer arrivals of Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop, Andriy Yarmolenko and Carlos Sanchez have significantly bolstered their squad and given the huge turnaround in personnel, it’s understandable they have taken time to hit their stride.

The international break may have come as a blessing in disguise and with home league fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester United lying in wait, Pellegrini needs a positive result to ease the pressure.

The Hammers have conceded seven goals in their two away trips so far, but those drubbings came at Liverpool (4-0) and Arsenal (3-1). Everton, without the services of the suspended Richarlison, can’t field the same attacking quality.

Brazilian sensation Richarlison, who has notched three goals in his three league appearances, is a big loss for the Toffees and his absence was highlighted in their 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield prior to the international break.

Everton struggled to break down the resilient Terriers, scoring from their only shot on target, and they were lacking ideas.

That stalemate was Everton’s third of the campaign, following draws at Wolves and Bournemouth, and they look short enough given their only win of the season was a narrow 2-1 success over Southampton.

Javier Hernandez is sidelined through illness for the Hammers but they still pose a serious threat with Marko Arnautovic spearheading their attack and their chances at Goodison may have been underestimated.

West Ham or draw double chance

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Match in Focus


Real Madrid v Levante

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Real Madrid have failed to score in four successive matches
Expert verdict
Real Madrid need to get back to winning ways but they may struggle to see off improving Levante, who have won their last two games, against Alaves and Getafe. Levante will be buoyed by the pair of draws they chalked up against Real last season, though this term they have the third-worst defence in La Liga.