West Ham may have found wins tough to come by in recent weeks but can be reasonably satisfied with nine points from eight very difficult fixtures featuring the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
In spite of dropping from the heady heights of sixth to a more realistic 11th, they continue to be the highest placed side promoted from the Championship.
It has been an excellent year for David Moyes’ side; they are chasing Champions League football this season after turning their 2011/12 campaign around, usurping neighbours Liverpool to finish 7th.
Everton, though, for all their improvements this season will not be at full strength at Upton Park: Kevin Miralas and Phil Neville are still injured while Marouane Fellaini will be missing through suspension.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Everton 2 (Bilyaletdinov, Fellaini) West Ham 2 (Spector, Piquionne) Premier League, January 2011
West Ham 1 (Hibbert OG) Everton 1 (Coleman), Premier League, December 2010
Everton 2 (Bilyaletdinov, Yakubu) West Ham 2 (Da Costa, Ilan) Premier League, April 2010
Everton have lost just twice in the league this season, with only the reigning Champions Manchester City suffering fewer defeats.
Everton have an impressive recent record against the Hammers and are unbeaten in their last nine meetings in all competitions. Moreover, they have avoided defeated in their last four league visits to Upton Park, winning three times.
So far this season Sam Allardyce’s side have won just one of their nine games against clubs in the top half (W1, D4, L4).
Only four teams have let in fewer than the 20 goals West Ham have conceded in the league this season. They have kept six clean sheets.
West Ham to win: 3.1
Stoke to win: 2.6
Still Everton’s biggest away victory in the Premier League, their 4-0 triumph in February 2000 was largely thanks to Nick Barmby who scored a hat trick.
The winger, who would join Liverpool the following season, opened the scoring after eight minutes and completed his three-goal haul with two goals in six second half minutes.
Joe-Max Moore completed the rout.
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm on MOTD