Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Billic expects West Ham star to be fit to face Everton

Billic expects West Ham star to be fit to face Everton

It is our target; we know it's really hard and a battle between Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Lukaku is the top scoring Premier League player in 2017, netting 14 times with just 23 shots on target.

A victory over Everton this weekend would move the Hammers to level on points with Watford in 10th, but they face a tough task this weekend, with Ronald Koeman's men harbouring ambitions of qualifying for Europe.

West Ham are without long-term injury victim Michail Antonio and fellow midfielder Sam Byram, who was sent off at Sunderland last Saturday.

Then there are the rumours of a "done deal" with Manchester City for ageing right back Pablo Zabaleta, who will also turn 33 during next season.

Everton's habit of drawing away games (they've drawn four of their last seven) means we wouldn't put anyone off backing the stalemate, but the value looks to us to lie in the goals market.

His latest injury was caused by miskicking the ball as he went to shoot, as the luckless West Ham striker suffered a recurrence of a groin problem during the opening five minutes of the 2-2 draw with the Black Cats.

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Everton will be without Enner Valencia as he is ineligible to play against his parent club.

James McCarthy will be missing again because of a hamstring injury, whilst the game will come too soon for Mo Besic, who will play for the Everton Under-23s on Friday night. However, they are without a home win since beating Crystal Palace 3-0 in January.

Phil Jagielka has scored in each of his last three games for Everton; as many as he had scored in his previous 71 in the Premier League.

The Hammers have 16 points fewer after 33 games than they had at this stage last season.

While there is still an eight-week wait for the next qualifier, at home to Austria, boss O'Neill already has a number of issues to contend with and a loss of form for his No. 1 keeper is not part of the plans. Though if supporting Everton has taught me anything it is to expect the unexpected.

"With keepers they need confidence like every other player".

West Ham are reportedly preparing a shock move for Lazio Coach Simone Inzaghi.

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