On August 22nd, Bournemouth will travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham. After an opening day win against London rivals Arsenal, West Ham lost their last match to hot starters Leicester City. They’ll look to get back on track this weekend against newly promoted Bournemouth. On the flip side, despite two encouraging performances against Aston Villa and Liverpool, Bournemouth sit second from bottom and are yet to score their first top flight goal. While Eddie Howe can take some positives from their first two performances, they’ll need to start taking some points quickly.
It may only be August. but West Ham already have themselves a bit of a fitness crisis up front. Already without Enner Valencia until mid-October and Andy Carroll until mid-September, the Hammers look to have lost Mauro Zarate until after the international break with a hamstring injury he picked up in training. Both Reece Oxford and Joey O’Brien will have late fitness tests to determine whether they can take part this weekend.
Bournemouth on the other hand don’t have too many injuries to deal with. Both Christian Atsu and Shaun MacDonald could be making their return this weekend, as both deal with knocks, but are expected to be ready for the weekend. This game does come a week too late for Harry Arter as the Ireland international is still about a week away from fitness.
These two sides have only ever met five times, and the last time they faced each other was in 1999. In those five match ups, West Ham are unbeaten with three wins and two losses. The Hammers have never been held scoreless against the Cherries. They also hold a 100% record at home against the newly promoted side. Bournemouth are one of only two teams that have not scored a goal yet this season, with the other being West Brom.
West Ham: Dimitri Payet
West Ham made a number of high profile moves in the transfer market this summer. The most notable one was the acquisition of Marseille star Dimitri Payet. After starring last season in Ligue 1, the Frenchman is making a big impression in the Premier League so far. After an assist against Arsenal, he marked his Premier League home debut with a goal. He’ll look to exploit the space in between the lines that the 4-4-2 of Bournemouth typically leaves. He’ll look to be the Hammers’ creative focal point in this one. After creating very few chances as a team against Leicester, Payet will look to carry the team and create some clear cut chances for his teammates to put away and lift them to victory.
Bournemouth: Matt Ritchie
While Bournemouth have lost their first two matches, one of the positives they can take from their start of the season is that their star from last season, Matt Ritchie, has not looked out of his depth at Premier League level. While he, along with the rest pf the team, has been unable to put it all together, he’s looked threatening cutting in from the right hand side. His dangerous left foot led them to the Premier League last year and Eddie Howe will hope it will help keep them in the Premier League this year.
Much to the disappointment of Bournemouth fans, I see West Ham getting a win from this one. I feel like the Hammers have too much quality in their squad and will be able to snatch the three points and pile on the misery for the Cherries.
Prediction: 2-1 West Ham
Have a wager!
- West Ham are 5/4 to win at home via Bet365
- Bournemouth are at 23/10 via Paddy Power to win away!
- The draw is at 5/2 with BetVictor!