Everton travel to Upton Park on Saturday, hoping to build upon last week’s impressive win over Chelsea with three points against West Ham (10 a.m. ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
After picking up three draws in their first three outings, Roberto Martinez was under pressure to prove that he was the right man to lead Everton. What better way to do that than a victory over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea? The goal came from a surprising source: Scotland international Steven Naismith, celebrating his birthday in style with a header from close range.
That win moved Everton into ninth, with six points, but if the Toffees can’t build upon the win, it’ll be right back to doubting Robert. Martinez will be hoping his squad shows some coherency today, although late signing James McCarthy and loanee Romelu Lukaku remain on the bench. Gareth Barry, who was surprisingly impressive against Chelsea, keeps his starting place.
West Ham sit just one position and one point back from Everton, but they’re not feeling quite as optimistic these days. After a 1-0 loss to Stoke City before the international break, the Irons drew 0-0 with Southampton last time out. That means West Ham haven’t scored in the league since the first week, when they beat Cardiff City 0-0. Where’s Andy Carroll when you need him?
West Ham Starting XI: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Nolan, Jarvis, Rat, Maiga, Morrison, Noble, O’Brien, Collins, Diame
Everton Starting XI: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Naismith, Mirallas, Osman, Barry, Barkley, Jelavic