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West Ham v Everton Preview



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West Ham United are safe from relegation this season and that’s something when you consider in the summer they lost their Messiah Carlos Tevez who almost single handedly rescued the West Ham ship after it had appeared to be sinking for much of the season.

The Hammers lie 10th in the table with 22 points from 15 matches and the mood is so much optimistic at Upton Park that manager Alan Curbishley is relishing Wednesday’s night’s Carling Cup quarter-final against Premiership rivals Everton and is even looking ahead to the semi-final.

Curbishley says:

If we can get a result against Everton then it will keep everything bubbling along. The fans love a cup run here at Upton Park. The crowd will be up for it.

West Ham might still possess the larger chunk of the players who were fighting for survival in the top flight last season but this season the Hammers have been more constructive and less shaky. That they have managed to come so far in the competition, which has to be said is not of much worth to the top Premiership clubs, speaks volumes about the club’s turnaround in fortune and they could just nick it against the Merseysiders at home.

Midfielder Nolberto Solano is cup-tied but Alan Curbishley need not worry much since slipping into his boots would be the classy Freddie Ljungberg. The highly rated Dean Ashton is also expected to start the match against Everton but the same cannot said of the West Ham winger Matthew Etherington who is suffering from a groin strain. West Ham striker Henri Camara too is cup-tied and won’t feature in the match.

Meanwhile, Everton too are riding on a high wave of buoyancy. The Merseysiders are just 3 points off a UEFA Cup place and take a strong side to Upton Park on Wednesday night for the Carling Cup tie. Everton though would be without Leighton Baines who is out with a torn hamstring and that could just make the West Ham attackers slightly more buoyant. But the promising Leon Osman is certainly playing against West Ham on Wednesday and David Moyes is expecting Osman to weave his magic and help Everton come away with a ticket to the semi-final.

So who will win tonight’s match? West Ham at home in the Premiership haven’t looked that comfortable and although it must be admitted that a Cup match is definitely a different ball game altogether, Curbishley must be geeing his players to keep their chin up. But will Everton spoil the mood at Upton Park?