English Premiership

Bilic keen to beat Everton

2015-11-06 08:38
Slaven Bilic (Getty Images)

London - Slaven Bilic accepts West Ham's meeting with his former club Everton on Saturday will carry extra significance as he attempts to reignite his side's unexpected top four challenge.

Bilic spent part of his playing career in England with the Merseysiders but his priority now is to ensure the Hammers respond to last weekend's defeat at Watford that left them in sixth place, a point behind fourth place Manchester United.

"Is it a special game for me?" asked West Ham manager Bilic of the match against Everton at Upton Park.

"On one hand yes, on the other no. Every game is special for different reasons. Everton are a great side, big club with good players. It's a great test for us and I am looking forward to it, definitely yes."

The Hammers' 2-0 loss at Vicarage Road came on the back of impressive victories over Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Bilic said he was left perplexed by his side's display against Watford but insisted he knew what needed to be fixed when Everton visit east London.

"Our game against Watford was strange, not for the Premier League, but for us. We weren't near to our usual levels but overall we look dangerous too, we are scoring quite a lot," Bilic said.

"We lost at Watford, but we know why we lost and we can learn from that and make sure it doesn't happen again."

West Ham will again be without striker Diafra Sakho but Bilic has been lifted by the return to fitness of Enner Valencia, the Ecuador forward.

"Diafra Sakho is still out, it is nothing major, he did normal training on Thursday last week but then felt something in his thigh.

"Unfortunately it is a small tear and he is out for Saturday's game. He should be back for our first game after the international break.

"Enner is fit. We've got options at the moment. From a fitness perspective he is in a good way, he just needs to get his match fitness up. He is very close to being ready, but it depends which game that'll be."

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur, Vicarage Road 14:30
Norwich City v AFC Bournemouth, Carrow Road 17:00
Arsenal v Sheffield United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Etihad Stadium 17:00
West Ham United v Everton, London Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Newcastle United v Chelsea, St. James' Park 19:30
Sunday, 19 January 2020
Burnley v Leicester City, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v Manchester United, Anfield 18:30
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Sheffield United v Manchester City, Bramall Lane 21:30
Everton v Newcastle United, Goodison Park 21:30
Crystal Palace v Southampton, Selhurst Park 21:30
Aston Villa v Watford, Villa Park 21:30
AFC Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion, Vitality Stadium 21:30
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 22:15
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