Everton Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Tuesday 06 Jan 2015 14:24:00
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After ending a disappointing festive fixture programme with a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Day, West Ham United begin their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton in the all Premier League tie tonight.

The winners will face a trip to a Sky Bet League One club in the shape of either Doncaster Rovers or Bristol City in the fourth-round and that match will be played during the weekend of 24 January.

The Toffees have already hosted the Hammers this season in the league when they once again made use of their home advantage, thanks to a narrow 2-1 victory.

Both sides have had a difficult Christmas but in contrast to the Irons, Roberto Martinez's side have lost all of their last four games and a number of key players in the process, giving Sam Allardyce's men a great chance of picking up their first win at Everton since the 2005/6 campaign.

West Ham will certainly hope to improve on last season's showing in this competition. The bulk of the side that played Nottingham Forest at the same stage was made up of youth-team players and the East Londoners were comprehensively beaten 5-0 at the City Ground.

This year however, Big Sam looks set to name a number of senior players in his starting line-up. Having been suspended against the Baggies, James Tomkins faces a late fitness test, as he has now twisted his ankle in training. If he does not make it, then James Collins looks likely to keep his place. Cheikou Kouyate is away with Senegal, as they prepare for their African Nations cup campaign. Alex Song is also out, meaning Mark Noble, club captain Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis could all start.

Diafra Sakho suffered a back injury in the last game and is unavailable, while the manager may also decide to rest Andy Carroll and give starts to both Enner Valencia and Ricardo Vaz Te. Guy Demel, Joey O'Brien, Diego Poyet, Doneil Henry and Carlton Cole are also pushing to be involved, while news was confirmed earlier this afternoon that Mauro Zarate has finally completed his protracted loan move across London to fellow Premier League club Queens Park Rangers.

The match is a 7:45pm kick-off with Live coverage being screened by BT Sport from 7pm. The referee is Anthony Taylor.

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