West Ham v Everton: Lukaku can get the Toffees out of sticky situation
If it wasn’t for Romelu Lukaku slotting home in the 92nd minute a week ago, West Ham would be looking forward to an FA Cup fourth round tie against either Bristol City or Doncaster.
But the intervention from the Belgian forward gave Everton the impetus they needed to begin to look like they were emerging from a slump of four straight defeats.
With the Toffees priced up as 2/1 underdogs for this tie, the bookies are expecting another tough battle against the Hammers, who are 5/4 favourites, with the draw priced at 12/5.
It looks tough to call but Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones fancies the replay to follow a similar pattern to the original tie.
Sam Allardyce’s men have been reasonably quick out of the blocks in recent weeks, netting the opening goal of the game in their last three matches.
James Collins’ glancing header put them on their way to what looked like a rare victory at Goodison Park last time out, and could be a threat again at set-pieces.
The visitors look likely to keep up their end of the bargain, with the Merseyside club falling behind in five of their last six games.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has highlighted how important Lukaku will be for them this season.
The former Wigan gaffer has told journalists how the powerhouse “is back to his best from a physical point of view”, and that his recent performances are “a sign of what is to come in the second half of the season”.
The equaliser last time out was Lukaku’s fourth goal in four matches against West Ham since his move from Chelsea, so clearly has a penchant for upsetting Hammers fans.
With West Ham drawing their last three games 1-1 and Everton doing the same in their last two we could have had a punt at the correct score market (11/2).
But, on paper, there is more attacking prowess within both these sides than they have been showing of late, and a 2-2 or 3-3 shouldn’t be ruled out of hand.
Everton have scored two or more goals in six of their last seven visits to the Boleyn Ground, but with only one side conceding more goals this season, it wouldn’t be a shock to see West Ham match whatever they total.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.