West Ham United v Everton

Pie shop share prices, old ladies queuing up to buy new cars and the truth about Tim Howard's beard. Yup it's time for more of Preview Percy's mad ramblings......

Next and for the second time this season we entertain Everton at the Boleyn. 3pm Saturday is the order of the day, what with the tv companies not being over interested in what is the classic example of a mid-table end of season clash. All the tube engineering work is out west though C2C services are being diverted from Fenchurch Street to Barking. You know Fenchurch Street - the station that the makers of Green Street thought they'd pretend was Manchester Piccadilly in the belief that nobody would notice.

Our visitors have had what probably qualifies as a disappointing season as they sit in 11th spot three point and two goals in difference behind us. All things are relative I suppose. Whilst we're all moaning about the disappointing end to the season we're experiencing I suppose in comparison with the similarly-placed Toffeemen we can at least look back to the first half of the season when we were having a bit of a laugh. In contrast the apex of Everton's season has been 9th spot, a position they attained after beating us 2-1 up at Goodison back in November. Since then their form has been the dictionary definition of inconsistent and, whilst nobody seriously had them marked down a relegation contenders, they have spent much of the season on the fringes of the scrap and they will have probably kept at least one eye on the state of affairs down there.

Their form did show a bit of an uplift after mid-March when they embarked on an unbeaten run that consisted of six wins and a draw. However, that run, which included the 3-0 win over the Salford Whingers, came to an end a couple of weeks ago when they went down 3-2 at Vils. This was followed up by last weekend's surprising 2-0 home defeat to Sunderland.

They probably had higher aspirations at the start of the season which saw current top scorer Romelu Lukaku sign on permanent terms after a successful loan season. He has 19 goals this season so far and seems to have a thing about scoring against us damn him. He's played against us five times in his career and has scored on each occasion, Git.

They'd have probably hoped for a better return out of their other summer striking signing Samuel Eto'o. Eto'o was released by Chelsea at the end of last season and the chance to stay in the country must have appealed when Everton came a-knocking. However, it appears to have not been the happiest of times for the Cameroonian who announced his retirement from international football whilst the ink was drying on his Everton contract back in August. Having had a chance to have a look at the city of Liverpool he did what most sane people do and legged it as soon as possible having scored 4 in 20, ending up taking his apostrophe to Genoa where he signed for Sapmdoria during the January window.

It might be thought then that there has been a lot placed on Lukaku's shoulders on the goalscoring front, especially given boss Martinez's penchant for playing one up front. The Belgian has had a decent spot of help from his compatriot Kevin Mirallis. Is it just me or is there something inherently just plain wrong about a chappie from the continent calling himself "Kevin"?

According to the work experience girl with an inappropriate number of rings through her lips he's scored 11 this season. His most notable contribution to the season was the penalty he took up at West Brom last January. Having been awarded the spot kick, regular penalty-taker Leighton Baines stepped up to the mark as usual only to be confronted by Mirallis who insisted that he should have the honour. After a debate Mirallis prevailed, only to pull the kick wide. Martinez substituted the player at the interval, though he claimed that the move was due to the player having picked up an injury. If that was the case it wouldn't have been a total surprise had the injury arisen as a result of a kicking received from his team mates. Meanwhile the other protagonist in that particular "penaltygate", Leighton Baines, will be stuck at home for this one having just had a season-ending ankle op.

In midfield they'll have recourse to the services of Ross Barkley. At the moment Barkley is in the lead for this year's Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered's prize for The Most Ridiculous Dive From A Non Liverpool Player To Successfully Con An Official for his tumble a good yard away from Kevin Nolan in the reverse fixture back in November (Obviously we had to bar Liverpool players from the competition on the grounds that we couldn't cope with the calculations).

That particular match saw nobody cover themselves in glory as James Tomkins did a Chico with the old face clutching thing, an act that saw him condemned by Hammers everywhere, resulting in a sheepish apology and a promise not to do it again. Frank Lampard for some reason felt the need to tell the world a while back that Barkley reminded him of a young Wayne Rooney. Whether or not that's the case who knows but shares in Liverpool pie manufacturers went through the roof once Lampard opened his gob and women of a certain age were seen queuing up outside car showrooms.

And so to us. Last week? Same old same old. Sat back and went 1-0 down then didn't take the chances afterwards. Which is always the danger when you start off trying to contain. Yet again the officials were about as much use as a Labour politician in Scotand of course. The decision to award a free kick to Villa against Nolan when Given was the one actually doing the fouling was par for the course. Since Valencia was also being simultaneously pulled-back at the time it was a double penalty really. Then there was another example of a lino getting lucky with an offside guess. Funny how they guess those when we're involved but let them run for certain other clubs. Meanwhile the next time that liar Riley goes to print to say what a great job his self-serving cartel is doing someone ought to raise the spectre of fraudulent misrepresentation in his smug face.

On the bright side things perked up a bit once the manager remembered that we'd signed Nene a few months ago. Valencia is ill-suited to the role he's been set of late and it'd be interesting to see whether starting the two together might work. Surely it's got to be worth a go hasn't it?

Winston Reid faces a late fitness test which, if passed, will bring Reece Burke's little run in the side to a conclusion. The word on the street is that Tomkins may be close to a return for the Newcastle trip but it's probably a week too early for him. Carroll & Sakho? See ya next season. Demel? Just see ya.

Prediction? Well it might be a bit odd if both sides are really going to give Europa League qualification a go - Barkley might be a bit more reluctant to do his dying swan act if the Fair Play League place is at risk. There again, since the Europa League starts so early (I think the first game kicked off in the street outside ten minutes ago) you might see the tackles flying in in an attempt to NOT qualify. So I'll plump for honours even and the contents of the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home or The Bewildered's swear box we set up to cover the vomit-inducing tv coverage of the Gerrard farewell (currently ?965.40) will be going on a 1-1 draw.

Enjoy the game!

When last we met at The Boleyn: Drew 2-2 AET (won 9-8 on penalties) A Cup 3rd Round January 2015. Thank God for Adrian - but for him we'd still be there now.

Danger Man: Romelu Lukaku - Going for scoring in six out of six against us.

Referee: Kevin Friend Did our 3-1 win up at Burnley back in October. Not seen since. Probably as useless as the rest of them.

Daft Fact Of The Week: One of the Everton nicknames that nobody really uses is "The School Of Science." This stems from the mysterious biological research facility located underneath Goodison Park where strange medical experiments are carried out in an attempt to produce the perfect footballer. Wayne Rooney and Tim Howard's beard are but two of the results of this insane tampering with nature.

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