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Everton vs West Ham Carabao Cup preview - Can the Blues spirit themselves through to the quarter-finals?

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Toffees searching for sixth straight win to start the season

Everton FC v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Supporting Everton can feel like a life sentence sometimes. An endless cycle of dashed expectations and crushing disappointments, all while watching others succeed from afar.

Social media can be an equally dark place, probably even more so, particularly in these scary, uncertain and divisive times.

But, sometimes, the two come together in glorious fashion, reminding us of the creativity and kindness of human nature, and what supporting a football club should be all about.

Crystal Palace v Everton - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton’s successful ascent to the top of the music charts on Sunday is the perfect example. It was glorious to behold, Evertonians and social media at their very best.

Rivals mocked and scoffed, but Toffees fans didn’t care. Everton may well lose on Wednesday, but we are well used to the wheels coming off, just look at the last 25 years. If anything that’s all the more reason to enjoy this moment while it lasts.

Self-deprecation is a virtue fans of some other clubs could do with learning.

This wasn’t about crowing or boasting, it was about coming together and having a laugh, oh and annoying a few Miley Cyrus super-fans into the bargain.

And after the past few months I think we deserved a bit of light relief.

The opposition

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images

West Ham fans will be feeling slightly better about life after they got off the mark for the Premier League season with a 4-0 thrashing of Wolves on Sunday.

Back-to-back defeats against Newcastle and Arsenal had raised anxiety levels in east London, not helped by manager David Moyes testing positive for coronavirus and having to self-isolate.

Moyes managed the side from home on Sunday, speaking to coach Stuart Pearce on the phone who then passed on instructions to assistant boss Alan Irvine.

The win won’t completely satisfy a nervous fanbase increasingly concerned at the lack of transfer activity (familiar territory for Moyes, then).

A permanent deal for Tomas Soucek is the only deal so far, while there was widespread anger, including from some West Ham players, at the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom.

They head north having won two of the last five meetings between the teams, though that is as many as they had managed in the previous 25 going back to 2005. The Toffees are also unbeaten in their three League Cup meetings with the Hammers, including a quarter-final victory in 2007.

Recent form

Everton

  • Tottenham (A) Won 1-0
  • Salford (H - EFL Cup) Won 3-0
  • West Brom (H) Won 5-2
  • Fleetwood (A - EFL Cup) Won 4-2
  • Crystal Palace (A) Won 2-1

West Ham

  • Newcastle (H) Lost 2-0
  • Charlton (H)- EFL Cup Won 3-0
  • Arsenal (A) Lost 2-1
  • Hull (H - EFL Cup) Won 5-1)
  • Wolves (H) Won 4-0

Previous meeting

West Ham 1-1 Everton - 18 January, 2020

West Ham United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle /Everton FC via Getty Images

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header cancelled Issa Diop’s early opener to secure a 1-1 draw for the Toffees in what was a fairly forgetful encounter back in January.

Team news

After making 10 changes for the second round win over Salford, Carlo Ancelotti only made a handful for last week’s victory at Fleetwood, and I expect him to go even stronger still against the Hammers.

Anthony Gordon is one of those who should come in having starred in the previous two rounds but sat out recent league games. Fabian Delph could also feature as he continues his comeback from injury.

James Rodriguez and Allan have not even been named in the squad for the previous rounds, but could be included at least on the bench this time, given the upgrade in opposition.

Final word

It has been such a fun few days it would be very Everton if they mess things up on Wednesday, even if current form makes the Toffees favourites.

West Ham’s thumping win on Sunday means they will arrive at Goodison with renewed confidence, but the Toffees won’t have a much better chance to reach the quarter-finals.