A defeat at home to West Ham could spell the end of Marco Silva’s tenure at Everton after four losses in a row and the Toffees lying in a lowly 18th in the table. However, I’m not sure the Portuguese manager is the root cause for Everton’s issues. The XG figures would say Everton are in a false position and Understat’s XG table has them in 5th place.
While those statistics can be taken with a pinch of salt after only eight league games, every time I watch Everton, I often feel it’s the small details that let them down rather than their overall style of play
Poor goalkeeping would be an example of this and Jordan Pickford seems to have rested on his laurels after an outstanding World Cup in 2018. His form since has been nowhere near that of a player aspiring to play for a top-six club.
Everton’s set-piece record under Silva has been a consistent issue. No team has conceded more goals from set-pieces than the Toffees this season following on from 2018/19 where they were top in the table in that unwanted statistic. Everton’s finishing also leaves something to be desired, with each of Moise Kean, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all guilty in this regard.
While the set-piece issue could be rightly used to criticise Silva, it also has to be pointed out that there remains an Idrissa Gueye shaped hole in Everton’s midfield. The Senegalese midfielder papered over a lot of cracks last season and has been outstanding for PSG since signing in the Summer. Of the 2 players signed to replace him. Fabian Delph is nowhere near Gueye’s level and Jean-Philippe Gbamin is out until December with a thigh injury having only played twice this season.
With Everton’s struggles, this would appear like an ideal opportunity for West Ham but their form has been far from reliable. A lack of urgency was palpable in a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace last time out and their XG stats make for grim reading, placing them 18th in the league.
Added to that, a 4-0 loss to Oxford in the league cup was a fairly alarming result. However, I do think they’ve some scope for improvement with some changes to their team, one of which would be Summer signing Pablo Fornals coming into the team instead of Manuel Lanzini. Fornals looked like a real talent for the Spain U-21 team in the Summer and has looked dangerous coming off the bench this year.
Fabian Balbuena could also come back into the side instead of Angelo Ogbonna at centre-half.
Given Everton struggles and what could be a toxic atmosphere at Goodison, West Ham are worth chancing here at 11/4.
Despite some inconsistency this year, a front three of Yarmolenko, Anderson and Haller will cause Everton problems on the counter attack and I wouldn’t be confident of Everton responding with vigour if they go behind.
Given Everton’s struggles at set-pieces, Declan Rice is worth a small bet at 17/1 to score anytime. The one-time wanna be Irish international is powerful in the air and should have more than two career league goals to his name.
Selections: West Ham to win @ 11/4
Selections: Declan Rice to score anytime @ 17/1
*Prices correct at time of publishing but are as fluid as Marco Silva’s career prospects