The early results of the Roberto Martinez era have imbued Everton with a profound sense of continuity despite the Spaniard’s gentle adaptations to their playing style and they can nick a win against West Ham despite the Irons’ strong home record.
Everton go into the fixture as 13/10 favourites for maximum reward, with the hosts 2/1 for victory and the draw 23/10.
When Martinez came in to replace David Moyes, there was much concern as to whether Everton would lose some of the resoluteness that characterised them under the Scot, with the former Wigan man’s spell at the DW Stadium unlikely to be praised in too many defensive coaching textbooks.
Yet their results this term seem to indicate they are much the same outfit under the FA Cup-winning boss, both in terms of positives and negatives.
Much as in recent campaigns they have been troubled by Norwich at Carrow Road, struggled to score against lowly opposition (Cardiff) and proved more than a match for Chelsea at Goodison Park.
West Ham were immensely robust at the Boleyn Ground in their freshman season back at the top table in 2012/13, losing just four times.
However, the Toffees’ seemingly silky-smooth managerial transition bodes well for their prospects as they were one of the lucky sides to emerge from east London with three points.
Everton are unbeaten in ten against the Hammers and they’ve won a deeply beguiling five of the six away clashes in that period.
Sam Allardyce’s goal-threat has been ailing in the absence of Andy Carroll and his charges have now gone three league games without a goal, with Stoke’s Jermaine Pennant-inspired victory showing that a single strike may well be enough to douse the flames of the blunted hosts.
Between them these adversaries have kept clean sheets in five of their last six Premier League games so a war of attrition is expected and a saver on a tasty 3/4 about under 2.5 goals in the fixture may be the pragmatic punter’s angle on the fixture.
For bwin’s less risk averse members the 23/4 available on the Toffees doing a Stoke and boarding the bus back north with a 1-0 win looks the way to play at Upton Park.