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McDonald: Hammers can hurt Everton without Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini, Everton. Photo: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport Marouane Fellaini, Everton. Photo: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Thursday, December 20, 2012
1:05 PM

Assistant manager Neil McDonald believes West Ham can take full advantage of Marouane Fellaini’s absence when they face Everton at Upton Park on Saturday.

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Fellaini has been in sparkling form for David Moyes’ side this season, hitting eight goals in 16 games.

But the Belgian begins a three-match suspension against the Hammers for head-butting Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross last weekend, and McDonald thinks he’ll be a big miss for the Toffees.

“He has been their talisman this season and not only is he a very good midfielder he is also a big threat from set-pieces,” he said.

“They have lost a big part of their game so we need to take advantage of that as much as we can.”

Everton have only lost twice in 17 Premier League games this season and their strong start to the campaign has put them just two points behind fourth-place Tottenham.

And despite Fellaini’s absence, McDonald is expecting a serious test when they come to Upton Park.

“I think they have been brilliant. They are obviously very organised under David Moyes and they have got some fantastic players who give everything for one another.

“The game on Saturday will be tough but we have been very good at home and only lost twice to Arsenal and Liverpool.

“We look forward to playing anybody at home but they have started well and are in the top half for a reason so like I said it will be a tough game.”

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