Coleman calls for consistency

Everton defender Seamus Coleman has challenged his team to show better consistency and build on their 2-0 Premier League win at home to Chelsea last time out.

The Toffees had won just one of their previous six league games before they saw off the Londoners at Goodison Park on Sunday, with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson their goalscorers.

And Coleman says the challenge after the international break will be to back that performance up with another when they visit West ham on Saturday 30 thMarch.

He told his club's official website: "We are capable of results like the one against Chelsea, but it is about being consistent and I think that is the next step for us, because we want to be challenging the top six in future.

"The frustration this season has come from having one or two good results and performances, but then slipping away in the next game.

"We want to build on these three points and that is the challenge for us now.

"We needed the result against Chelsea – it was important to win against one of the top six in front of our own fans and show we are capable of beating those teams."

Everton can be backed at 7/4 to win at the London Stadium a week on Saturday, while the Mereysiders are 5/6 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table come the end of the season.

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Hammers aim for top seven

Javier Hernandez says that West Ham have the top seven firmly in their sights after coming from behind to beat Huddersfield 4-3.

The Terriers, bottom of the Premier League table and well adrift of safety had only scored 15 goals in 30 league games before their trip to the London Stadium.

However, after 65 minutes they were leading 3-1, goals from Juninho Bacuna and a double from Karlam Grant.

They were well on course for their first away win since November but the Hammers fought back in a thrilling game.

Mark Noble gave them an early lead with a penalty but they were trailing 3-1 when Angelo Ogbonna headed a second and then two late goals from Hernandez turned the game around.

The win means that West Ham are ninth in the table but are just two points off Wolves who are seventh.

It means the Hammers have plenty to aim for towards the end of the season according to Hernandez.

He said: "Against Cardiff we didn't play so well but we did it in the second half today. The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world so every game home or away is always tough.

"I always try to do my best, to give my best performances for this club, hopefully we can finish in the top seven."

In other games on Saturday Leicester won 2-1 at Burnley despite playing for most of the game with 10 men, Harry Maguire getting sent off in just the fourth minute.

It finished all square at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth and Newcastle drawing 2-2 though the visitors had to wait until almost the last kick of the game to equalise, Matt Ritchie scoring against his old club to earn a point for Rafa Benitez's side.

West Ham are at home to Everton after the international break and are 11/8 for the win with the Toffees 2/1 and the draw 9/4. The Hammers are 17/2 to win the game 1-0.

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Arnautovic set for Irons start

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has dropped a major hint that forward Marko Arnautovic will start the Premier League game against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Austria international, who has scored seven Premier League goals so far this season, has not begun a game for the Hammers since the 3-0 defeat at Wolves at the end of January.

However, Pellegrini is preparing to recall Arnautovic for the visit of the rock-bottom Terriers to the London Stadium, with the hosts looking to consolidate their position in the top half of the Premier League standings.

He told reporters at his pre-match briefing: "Marko was out of the team for several reasons, first because his mind was out when he had the option to go to China.

"After that he returned and he didn't work for about a week, so he needed some time to recover his performance.

"After that he was sick and was going to start against Manchester City, but he felt bad on the day.

"They are the reasons why he's started on the bench, but he's ready to return to his (starting) position."

Earlier this season the Irons earned a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium, with Felipe Anderson cancelling out an early opener for the hosts from Alex Pritchard.

West Ham are available at 8/15 to win the game on Saturday, with Arnautovic priced at 13/10 to score at any time in the match.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini's side are 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table come the end of the season.

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Pellegrini welcomes tough choice

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is pleased to have a number of attacking options to choose from as he aims to help his side finish the season on a positive note.

The Hammers have lost just one of their last five Premier League games and that was a narrow 1-0 reverse at reigning champions Manchester City.

And Pellegrini had been pleased with the form shown by Javier Hernandez, while he is delighted to have Marko Arnautovic fully recovered from injury and challenging for a starting spot.

Ahead of a Saturday trip to take on Cardiff City, the Chilean told reporters: "Javier is in a good moment – his commitment with the team, he is making good movements in attack.

"Maybe, as with all other strikers, they want to score more goals, but he is involved in the play that allows us to score.

"We also have now coming back Marko Arnautovic, so I think we also have an option also not only in the starting eleven, but we have important options on the bench also.

"I always say for a manager it is more difficult when you don't have players (to choose from). Having good options for me is a solution, not a problem."

Arnautovic and Hernandez both started when the Bluebirds were beaten 3-1 at the London Stadium earlier this season.

The Irons can be backed at 21/20 to claim all three points at the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend, with the draw priced at 23/10, while Arnautovic is available at 8/5 to score at any time in the game.

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Bamba blow rocks Bluebirds

Cardiff City will be without Sol Bamba for the reminder of their battle to avoid relegation, with the central defender having suffered a serious knee injury.

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international, who been with the Bluebirds for just over two years, had to be stretchered off just after half-time of the 2-0 defeat at Wolves on Saturday afternoon.

City boss Neil Warnock was concerned straight after the game that the injury might be a long-term one and his worst fears have now been realised.

He told the clubs official website: "Unfortunately our biggest fears have been confirmed regarding the injury Sol suffered at Wolves on Saturday.

"Scans have shown that Sol has ruptured his ACL, he will have an operation on Wednesday and therefore miss the rest of the season.

"It is a major blow to the squad, but I know all of our supporters will join me in wishing him the very best during his recovery."

Bamba had only missed one Premier League game so far this season, scoring four goals in 28 appearances.

The Bluebirds are currently inside the bottom three in the top-flight and are two points adrift of safety following three consecutive defeats – to Watford, Everton and Wolves.

Next up for City is a Saturday visit from West Ham, with the meeting of the two sides at the London Stadium earlier this season having finished 3-1 to the hosts.

Cardiff are 11/5 to secure victory on Saturday and are 10/1 to edge a 1-0 win, with the draw available at 12/5.

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Lanzini pleased to be back

Fit-again West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini says he is happy to be back in action, following a lengthy spell out of action due to a knee injury.

The 26-year-old Argentina international only made his first appearance of the season within the last fortnight and now has three outings under his belt, including a first start in the 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.

And Lanzini is clearly enjoying himself, telling the Evening Standard: "I am feeling good now, I am feeling happy.

"It was a long injury, it was eight months and it was difficult at the time, but now I am feeling good and I am close to being 100 per cent, so I am happy about that."

Meanwhile, Irons goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has urged his team-mates to keep up the good work until the end of the current campaign, to set themselves up nicely for next season.

He told the club's official website: "If we compare our performances and results from the start of the season to what is happening now, then there's a massive difference.

"I think we're making progress, but then again we have nine games to go and we want to finish strongly, as high as possible in the table.

"That's our challenge towards the end of the season and, hopefully, we will be able to do that."

The Hammers have lost only one of their last five Premier League games and are 4/9 to finish in the top half of the table come the end of the season, with Everton 10/11 and Leicester City 5/4.

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Pellegrini won’t write off Wilshere

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini remains hopeful that Jack Wilshere will be able to return to action before the end of the season.

Pellegrini signed Wilshere last summer but the former Arsenal midfielder has started just four Premier League games for the Hammers this season because of two ankle injuries.

The 27-year-old has not played since December and recent reports have indicated that he has suffered several setbacks in his recovery and will sit out the remainder of the campaign.

He has not yet been able to return to training but Pellegrini remains upbeat and hopes the England international will be back to full-fitness before the season ends in May.

"We must wait for Jack when he comes back and how he feels," said the former Manchester City and Malaga boss. "Those [reports] are all rumours we cannot confirm 100 per cent.

"Will he feature again this season? Just resting a couple of months will not be easy for him to recover his best shape as a player but the important thing for me is that he must feel that he is OK, has no pain in his ankle. After that, we will see what happens with him."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini has Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell available again for this weekend's trip to Newcastle United after they missed the midweek defeat to Manchester City.

However, Fabian Balbuena will once again miss out although he is expected to be available for the game against Cardiff City later this month.

West Ham, 8/13 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season, are 23/20 to beat Newcastle on Saturday and 8/1 to win the match from behind.

Benitez urges more from Magpies

Rafael Benitez suggests there is 'no chance' anyone at Newcastle will be feeling they are safe in the Premier League after a 2-0 win over Burnley.

It was a second home success in four days for the Magpies after they beat ten-man Huddersfield on Saturday and the win hoisted Newcastle up to 13th in the table, seven points clear of Southampton in the third relegation spot.

Fabian Schar opened the scoring in stunning fashion midway through the first half, crashing a 30-yard shot in off the upright.

The impressive Sean Longstaff doubled the Magpies lead before the break, and they were fairly comfortable in seeing out their fourth win six games.

Burnley's unbeaten eight-game Premier League run came to an end and Newcastle leapfrogged their visitors in the table but Benitez says this isn't the time to be getting falsely secure.

"Winning games you have more confidence but we have to take one game at a time. We are where we are now because we focused on that and we have to keep doing the same," said the Spaniard.

"We cannot think the job is done, no chance. We have confidence and we have to keep going. We can lose games but we have to approach every game with the same mentality and the players know it is like that."

With his side now 33/1 to be relegated, Benitez is confident that Newcastle can finish the season in strong fashion and secure their top flight status for another term.

"I know my staff and since a long time ago we have finished stronger at the end of the season. Sometimes you can lose games but we finish stronger," he added.

"Last year we were safe with five games to play. It's something I was expecting and hopefully we can carry on winning games."

Newcastle are 3/1 to win away at West Ham on Saturday evening. The Hammers are 1/1 for the London Stadium clash, with the draw available at 11/5.

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Cresswell welcomes Lanzini return

West Ham left-back Aaron Cresswell has called the return of playmaker Manuel Lanzini following a serious knee injury like a new signing for the Hammers.

Twenty-six-year-old Argentina international Lanzini made his first appearance of the season in the 3-1 Premier League win over Fulham last Friday, coming on for the final 14 minutes of the game at the London Stadium.

And Cresswell was delighted to see his colleague back on the pitch, telling the club's official website: "He's obviously been out for a long time and for us it's like a new signing coming in for us now. Everyone knows his quality and it's great that he's back.

"He had a couple of chances to score, but it wasn't to be. But I'm sure he'll only get better between now and the end of the season."

Meanwhile, ahead of a Wednesday evening trip to the Etihad Stadium to take on Carabao Cup winners Manchester City, Irons head coach Manuel Pellegrini spoke of his plans to tread carefully with his use of Lanzini.

He added: "We must be careful with Manu. He did very well in his 15 minutes and the important thing was that he was not afraid and remembering his knee.

"We will see what the best way is to get minutes in every game, but you must be careful when you give more minutes."

West Ham have lost their last six games against the Citizens in all competitions, shipping no fewer than 22 goals in the process.

City are 1/6 to win the game on Wednesday and are 7/1 to claim a 3-0 victory, with the visitors 8/1 to secure a draw in Manchester.

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Ranieri accepts miracle is needed

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri admitted that his side need a miracle to avoid relegation from the Premier League following a 3-1 derby defeat at West Ham.

An early Ryan Babel goal gave the Cottagers hope for a positive outcome at the London Stadium, but they were well beaten by the final whistle, leaving them still eight points adrift of safety with just nine games to play.

Ranieri, whose side have now lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions and whose last win came just under a month ago against Brighton, said: "I know it's very, very difficult, but we have to fight.

"It's tough but we must believe. We must continue to fight, because I don't like players who give up.

"The level of confidence increases when you win and now that's a long time ago, but they train well and this means they believe.

"It will be a miracle, but we must fight together. If you fight you have one chance, if you don't, you won’t."

The next challenge for Fulham comes on Wednesday evening when they head to the South Coast to take on Southampton, who were beaten 3-2 when the two teams met at Craven Cottage three months ago.

The hosts are 10/11 to win the game on Wednesday, with Southampton 17/2 to claim a 2-0 victory, while Fulham can be backed at 11/1 to edge a 1-0 win.

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