Preview: West Ham United vs. Everton
West Ham United welcome Everton to the London Stadium on Saturday in a crucial clash at the bottom of the Premier League.
The result of this game could determine who the next Premier League manager to be sacked will be.
In one of the most peculiar fixtures in the Premier League so far this season, there is huge jeopardy on it for both.
It is one that all neutrals will be keeping an eye on given the magnitude of what the result could mean for both clubs and their respective managers.
David Moyes and Frank Lampard are currently the two favourites to be sacked due to the fact their clubs are currently both in the bottom two of the form table.
Over the last seven matches, West Ham have picked up just one point, while Everton have collected two.
It has emerged in the last week that Moyes could be relieved of his duties should he lose here.
That is despite comfortably taking his side through as group winners in the UEFA Europa Conference League earlier in the season, but Premier League survival remains paramount given the financial benefits it will bring.
After winning six on the bounce at home, West Ham have followed it up by losing four in a row at the London Stadium, all against sides they would expect to beat, especially on home soil.
If West Ham were to find a win, though, it could spell the end for Lampard at Everton, but what is most surreal is that Moyes will be one of the favourites to take over from him at his old club.
Discontent among the Everton supporters has reached an all-time high following the fallout from their match with Southampton last week.
A protest from the supporters was overshadowed by allegations from their own board of assault and death threats being made towards members, something which has dominated headlines given the conflicting reports given from both sides.
Supporters are understandably irate given the lack of communication and the underachievement seen under the current board, as a second successive relegation battle is on the cards despite spending in excess of £500 million in the last half-decade.
Lampard is the sixth permanent manager they have hired in the last six-and-a-half years and the only thing keeping them off the bottom of the table is a slightly superior goal difference to Southampton, a very clear sign of the mess they find themselves in.
In a team devoid of attacking threat, they may prefer playing on the road where there is less pressure from the crowd to play aggressively and on the front foot.
Two of their best performances of the season came against Manchester City and Manchester United (both away) in recent weeks, where they played with a back five and allowed Demarai Gray to run riot on the counter.
At home, they have simply been woeful, as Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton have all come to Goodison Park and outplayed and outfought Everton since the resumption of the season.
While their home form was the critical factor that kept Everton up last season, the toxic atmosphere around the club caused by the now unrecoverable relationship between the fans and the board means it may be a blessing in disguise to be playing away from home at the moment.
West Ham United Premier League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
Everton Premier League form:
Everton form (all competitions):
We say: West Ham United 2-0 Everton
Despite their rotten run of form, it is hard to imagine a team with such quality as West Ham’s staying near the bottom for much longer.
Everton are in complete crisis, and there is the distinct possibility that is going to spill over onto the pitch, as they have shown no signs of being able to win a match recently.