A mid-table clash with everything to play for

Last updated: January 16, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

. .

Kick-off: Saturday, 15:00
Venue: London Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Team Form: LDWDW
Away Team Form: LDWDW
Last Meeting: Bmouth 3 – 3 West Ham
Competition: Premier League

Typically around this part of the season, mid-table matches become lacklustre affairs in which neither team has much to play for. While it is still fairly early in the season, this is most definitely not to be one of those matches. With things as tight as they are in the bottom half of the table, even those just outside of the top 10 – like the two teams here – are still in real danger of being in a relegation battle. Add to that the nature of Bournemouth’s draw with West Ham less than a month ago – a last second equaliser that was allowed despite being both offside and handball – and we’ve got a real grudge match on our hands.

West Ham are two places and one point above their opponents, but that gap would be a vital three more points had that aforementioned goal been rightfully disallowed. As it stands though, both teams are poised very similarly; both have two draws and two wins in their last four. Marko Arnautovic is the key man of the moment for the Hammers. His transformation under Moyes has been massive and the Austrian has six goals in his last eight. A role upfront has unshackled the Austrian, but with West Ham’s injuries to their attacking line, Moyes’ hand may have been forced in giving Arnautovic that forward role. Nevertheless, he has excelled, and his goals have sent the Hammers on a great run. If they can tighten up in defence, they should be comfortably safe and earn another mid-table finish.

Bournemouth too have put together a great run after suffering three defeats in a row. They’re still paying the price from a terrible start to the season though, just four points above the relegation zone despite being in 12th place. Callum Wilson has made the forward role his once again, and got a goal and an assist in the hard-earned victory against Arsenal last week. That brought his tally to three goals and an assist in his last four. Like West Ham, Bournemouth will need to tighten up at the back. Just four clean sheets all season, none of which have come in the last ten games, is a poor record for a team that wants to stay in the Premier League. The two teams met in a highly entertaining 3-3 draw just a month ago on Boxing day, so there’s another chance for a winner to emerge and claim bragging rights, plus move one step closer to safety.

Team News

West Ham have injury problems at both ends of the pitch. Chicharito, Carroll, and Sakho are all doubts, while in defence, Reid, Fonte, and Byram remain injured.

Marko Arnautovic now has six goals in his last eight games, a fantastic change in form under Moyes.

Callum Wilson has once again made the forward role his own, with both Josh King and Jermaine Defoe out injured.

Eddie Howe has no other injury concerns and may well start the same team that beat Arsenal last week.

Expected Line-Ups:

West Ham (4-4-2): Adrián, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyaté, Obiang, Noble, Masuaku, Lanzini, Arnautovic
Subs: Hernández, A Ayew, Hart, Burke, Cullen, Rice
Injured: Fonte, Byram, Antonio, Fernandes
Doubtful: Reid, Hernández, Carroll, Sakho
Not available:
Bmouth (4-4-2): Begovic, Francis, S Cook, Aké, A Smith, L Cook, Gosling, Daniels, Ibe, Fraser, Wilson
Subs: Boruc, Surman, Pugh, Arter, Afobe, Mousset, Simpson
Injured: Mings, Defoe
Doubtful: Stanislas, King
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
West Ham So Far This Season Bournemouth So Far This Season
11th League Position 13th
4 (2) Wins (away) 4 (2)
4 – 1 vs. Stoke Biggest Win 4 – 0 vs. Huddersfield
2 (5) Draws (away) 3 (3)
0 – 5 vs Liverpoool Biggest Defeat 0 – 4 vs Everton
Marko Arnautovic (6) Top Goal Scorer Callum Wilson (6)
Y52, R2 Discipline Y37, R1
7 Failures to Score 10
6 Clean Sheets 4
47% Both Teams to Score Games 47%
60% Over 2.5 Goals 60%
40% Under 2.5 Goals 40%
  • West Ham have lost just one of their last eight games after a spectacular turn around in form under Moyes, although they are without a clean sheet in five, after earning three in a row in the games prior.
  • The two teams are finely balanced when it comes to stats this season. They’ve had the same proportion of both teams to score, over and under 2.5 goals, and are separated by just one point in the table.
  • The Hammers top the charts for the worst discipline record, suggesting there could be many cards in what is sure to be a fiery game.
  • Although unbeaten, Bournemouth too are without a clean sheet in four and have even less than West Ham over the season, with just four clean sheets in total.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
26/12/2017 Bournemouth 3 – 3 West Ham Premier League Collins 7′
11/03/2017 Bournemouth 3 – 2 West Ham Premier League Antonio 10′
21/08/2016 West Ham 1 – 0 Bournemouth Premier League Antonio 85′
12/01/2016 Bournemouth 1 – 3 West Ham Premier League Arter 17′
22/08/2015 West Ham 3 – 4 Bournemouth Premier League Wilson 11′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

This game is set to a be a fiery one and anything could happen. West Ham will be out for revenge after being robbed of three points by a wrongly allowed, last minute goal by Bournemouth on Boxing day last year.

We fancy the Hammers to win, although an FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday that went onto extra time could cause fatigue among the players. So, to play it a bit safer, we’ll be going with both teams to score at Ladbrokes. Neither team has kept in a clean sheet in their last five games, but they both have scored at least one goal in the last four.