By Danny Wright
West Ham welcome Everton to the London Stadium on Saturday in their next Premier League fixture.
Manager Slaven Bilic has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks as his side have slipped down the table having picked up just one win in their last nine outings.
Ronald Koeman’s side will no doubt prove to be a stern test for the Hammers and here, Football Insider reveals three things to expect from the Londoners against Everton.
Collins to retire 33-year-old
James Collins has come back into the first-team in Winton Reid’s absence and has done an admirable job. However the New Zealand international is ready to return against Everton and Bilic faces the decision with starting the in-form player, or his 33-year-old January signing – Jose Fonte. The ex-Southampton man has been horrific since moving to London, so much so that Collins could practically force him into early retirement if he puts in a good performance against the Toffees, should he start. No one would have seen this coming at the beginning of the season, but right now, the Welshman is a much better centre-back option than Fonte.
Boo-boys out in force
The Hammers cannot be expected to beat Everton on Saturday – Koeman and his men are in too rich a vain of form. Romelu Lukaku is the league’s top scorer and will probably condemn the east London club to yet another home defeat. Many of the London Stadium supporters have been very vocal with their unhappiness with results this season and when 90 minutes is reached, and their side have lost another game, the boo-boys will make themselves heard once more to pile more pressure on Bilic.
A limp attack
West Ham’s woes this season have been down to a severe lack of firepower in their squad and with Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll ruled out of the tie, it doesn’t look very likely that any player will be able to breach the Everton defence. Manuel Lanzini is the club’s biggest goal threat out of those who are fit to play, but he has only found the net seven times this season with his last strike coming over a month ago. Koeman will be without some of his key defenders against the Irons, but due to their poor home record and limp attack, West Ham can be expected to fire another blank on Saturday.
In other West Ham news, Bilic is expected to make four changes to his starting line-up against Everton.