Both West Ham United and Everton will be searching for their second wins of the season when they meet at Upton Park on Saturday.
Sam Allardyce's West Ham (1-2-1) have enjoyed a solid start, but appear to lack goals after failing to find the net in their last three league games. Allardyce is just two matches away from reaching 100 in charge of the London club, and "Big Sam" told the club's official website he is proud of the improvements he has overseen.
"There have been little or no hiccups and our progress has been exceptional during the time I've been here," said Allardyce. "I've worked as hard with the staff as I have with the players to instill a winning mentality and also make sure we look after ourselves as a squad as we're all in this together.
"On the defensive side we've been very good, conceding only one goal in four Barclays Premier League games provides a great platform to build on," continued the manager when asked about his team's lack of goals. "When you're in possession and you get to the creative side of your game you've got to take the opportunity when it arises to score a goal and then that gives you the chance to secure three points. When you score it obviously relieves the pressure from the defence and at the moment that's a concern, but hopefully it won't be the case against Everton on Saturday."
Everton (1-3-0) started the season with three straight draws under new manager Roberto Martinez, and the players seem to have adapted well to the Spaniard's more cultured style of play following last weekend's 1-0 win over Chelsea. Determined to play a passing game when in possession, Martinez reminded his players they must still remain aware of West Ham's physical threat.
"It's important we understand that West Ham have got a really strong unit and continuity in their playing staff," said Martinez. "They have followed on that winning feeling they had from getting promoted from the Championship and last season they were really strong, finishing 10th in the league. It was a terrific year for them and we are well aware of the quality and goal-scoring ability they have in dead ball situations.
"They are also really strong defensively. You can not underestimate them because they are very well organised and solid, and they have huge intensity in their defensive duties. They are a difficult team to score against. We will have to be aware, but clearly we cannot stop being ourselves and we need to go there and be as good as we can be."
West Ham have injury doubts over George McCartney (knee), but Andy Carroll (ankle), Stewart Downing (leg), Joe Cole (hamstring) and Alou Diarra (knee) are out. Everton have concerns over the fitness of Arouna Kone (knee), Steven Pienaar (knee), Darron Gibson (knee) and Antolin Alcaraz (groin).
The Toffees completed a double over the Hammers last season, coming behind to win this fixture 2-1 with goals from Victor Anichebe and Pienaar. West Ham have in fact failed to win any of their last 10 top-flight games against Everton - losing six and drawing four since a 1-0 win in April 2007.
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