Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 10/11
If it hadn’t been for two late goals conceded in matches against Chelsea and Astra Giurgiu, West Ham players would be in much better spirits now, but, anyhow, the pressure is on to try and beat Bournemouth. The Cherries were powerless to prevent heavily reinforced Man Utd from winning at Vitality Stadium, but they will now attempt to pile more misery on the Hammers.
Dimitri Payet’s decision to remain with West Ham when he could have joined just about any club in the world is a true testament to the club’s ambition and if one of world’s best footballers sees no reason to leave the Hammers, then he must be onto something. It is fair to say that manager Slaven Bilic has transformed the club with a help from co-owners Sullivan and Gold, and many believe that West Ham could mount a serious top 4 challenge this season. That will be no easy task considering that most top clubs have seriously strengthened their ranks this summer, while the Hammers didn’t exactly manage to bring in all their top targets. They were unfortunate to have marquee signing Andre Ayew pick up a serious injury on his debut, but the likes of Calleri, Tore, Feghouli, Masuaku and Nordtveit should improve the quality of the squad. It is perfectly clear that West Ham have yet to hit the ground running, as witnessed by under-par showings in matches against Chelsea and Astra Giurgiu, while the players will also have to work on their concentration in the dying moments of games, having conceded late goals in both matches. But, with quite a few key players rested in midweek, the Hammers might just return to the right track against Bournemouth.
Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll, Winston Reid and few other first team regulars will be recalled, while Jonathan Calleri is expected to be handed his Premier League debut.
Aaron Cresswell and Andre Ayew are the two long-term casualties and they will not be back before the end of the year.
Bournemouth are in many ways similar to West Ham seeing as how they’ve also got a manager who has been seriously exceeding expectations and many believe Eddie Howe is the main reason why the Cherries not only gained promotion to the Premier League, but also impressed in their maiden campaign. The main objective now is to avoid the second-season syndrome, and the club have invested considerable amount of money to ensure that does not happen. While star striker Callum Wilson is finally fully fit, the club have recruited Jordon Ibe, Brad Smith, Lee Cook, Marc Wilson, Nathan Ake and Lys Mousset, but it is now the matter of integrating the summer recruits as quickly as possible. The team did not have the best of starts to the new Premier League season as they were beaten at home by Manchester United, and they will be in for a difficult task at the Olympic Stadium in London as well. The Cherries have lost three of last four away fixtures in the league and they have every reason to fear the trip to London, especially seeing as how West Ham are desperate to make amends for back-to-back setbacks against Chelsea and Astra Giurgiu.
New signing Marc Wilson lacks match fitness and is unlikely to start, while Benik Afobe and Max Gradel are pushing for starting places.
There are no fresh selection worries for manager Eddie Howe, but Junior Stanislas and Tyrone Mings are out injured.
Key Factors to Consider
- Away side won both fixtures between the two teams last term
- No fewer than 11 goals were scored in those matches
- This will be the first Premier League game at Olympic Stadium
- Both teams scored in three of West Ham’s last four games
- Bournemouth lost three of last four away matches in EPL
West Ham have been far from impressive in their last two fixtures, but with Dimitri Payet and few other key men back to the side, they will have too much quality for Bournemouth. The Cherries will be under pressure having lost to Man Utd at home, and we doubt they will get anything from the Olympic Stadium.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 10/11