West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is confident Darren Randolph will have no mental scars from his previous Bournemouth nightmares when he stands in for suspended goalkeeper Adrian on Saturday.
Adrian was unsuccessful with an appeal against a three-match ban after being sent off late in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City for a dangerous challenge on Jamie Vardy.
Randolph, a close-season signing from Birmingham City, is set to deputise between the posts in the Spaniard’s absence and will be keen to erase his recent memories of playing against the Cherries.
In his last three matches versus Bournemouth, Randolph has conceded 16 goals – half of those coming in an 8-0 hammering for Birmingham last October.
Nevertheless, Bilic – who described Adrian’s punishment as “unbelievable” – has backed his deputy.
“Darren is doing well and he is an experienced goalkeeper, an international, so I’m expecting him to be in goal,” Bilic said ahead of the contest at Upton Park.
“It’s very short-sighted to say he has a problem with Bournemouth. It happened once. When I played in Germany [with Karlsruher] we beat Valencia 7-0 in the UEFA Cup, but it was once.
“You can’t say that we were better than Valencia as a club, so I believe in Randy. He is experienced, he is good and he played in so many games and what happened with Bournemouth could happen to anyone or to him against any other team.”
Bilic will be without Mauro Zarate, who picked up a hamstring injury in training and joins fellow forwards Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia (both knee) on the sidelines.
In Bournemouth, West Ham face a team who have failed to pick up a point in their first two matches since winning promotion from the Championship.
However, Eddie Howe’s men received plenty of plaudits for their showing in a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Monday, only a controversial Christian Benteke goal separating the sides.
Bournemouth – who are playing West Ham in the league for the first time since 1990 – will be keen to get off the mark sooner rather than later, but Howe is remaining positive.
“We are upbeat going into this one,” he said. “Our performances in the past two games have been good.
“We saw West Ham’s game against Leicester and we know they are a good side. It’s going to be a tough game at Upton Park, but it’s one we are looking forward to.”
Howe says Bournemouth have no new injury worries, with Harry Arter (groin) the only absentee.