Eddie Howes’ Bournemouth side welcome West Ham United to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon for what should be an interesting Premier League encounter. Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers are looking to win their second successive league match, having beaten Arsenal at home last weekend. That victory over the Gunners followed on from an FA Cup third round victory over Championship side Birmingham City.
Bournemouth have endured a pretty terrible recent run, in contrast to the Hammers. They have lost four of their last five games in all competitions, with the other result being a draw against Watford. Transfer speculation surrounds the star players of these two sides at the moment, too. Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is reportedly being targeted as a signing by Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and the Hammers. West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic wants to leave the club for a big-money move to Shanghai SIPG of China, which might not happen.
West Ham vs Bournemouth Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Bournemouth
Bournemouth will be hoping that star striker Callum Wilson passes a fitness test on his thigh injury, otherwise their attack will be a little more blunt than usual in this game. As things stand, even with Wilson in the side, the Cherries are going to struggle in this game. Losing has become a habit for Howe’s side right now, and a habit that looks like it is going to be hard to shake. West Ham have not been the most consistent side this season, but they look to be settling down under Pellegrini now, the Arnautovic transfer situation aside. We predict a 1-0 West Ham win.
Our recommended tip: Hammers win 1X2
Our featured tip for this game comes courtesy of William Hill. The famous old bookie is offering a price of 2/1 on the 1X2 market on West Ham winning the game. We suspect that the Hammers will win the game 1-0, as stated above. Betting on the 1X2 market gives you more flexibility when it comes to the final score, and the odds of 2/1 are pretty good for a team in West Ham’s current form, considering the opposition. Bournemouth have fallen into a real slump recently, and we can’t see them turning the Hammers over this weekend.
These two sides have played each other just seven times in the Premier League. Bournemouth have won three of those clashes, and West Ham have been victorious twice. There have been two draws. At The Vitality Stadium, West Ham have beaten Bournemouth once, and the Cherries have beaten the Hammers once.
Earlier this season, Bournemouth beat the Hammers 2-1 at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic put the Hammers into a 1-0 lead with a 33rd minute penalty. Callum Wilson and Steve Cook scored second-half goals which secured the three points for the Cherries, though.
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Players to watch: Callum Wilson & Marko Arnautovic
If he passes his fitness test, all eyes are going to be on Callum Wilson in this game. Strongly linked with a move away from the Vitality Stadium, with West Ham reported as one of the teams who is chasing him, it could be a tricky afternoon for Wilson. If he plays he will be keen to show people why he is attracting such attention, but he might also be distracted.
Just like Wilson, West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic is under the microscope when it comes to transfers this week. While the player is apparently desperate to make his big-money move to China, club boss Pellegrini has stated that does not expect the player to stop playing as a way of forcing the deal to happen. If he plays, it will be interesting to see what effect the continued speculation has on the player’s performance.