New year, new horizons for West Ham as David Moyes marks his second coming as Hammers boss with a clash against fellow strugglers Bournemouth.
Manuel Pellegrini was shown the door on Saturday after enduring a less than convincing start to the Premier League season, culminating in a humiliating 2-1 defeat to a second-string Leicester City on home turf.
The Hammers now find themselves languishing precariously just a point above the relegation zone, a position not too dissimilar to the one Eddie Howe currently finds himself in.
Bournemouth are also in perilous territory, making this contest in the capital an early six-pointer. But will Howe inflict further woe on the disillusioned Hammers? Or can Moyes begin a renaissance with an opening win?
Read on for West Ham vs Bournemouth preview, predictions, TV coverage information, team news and more.
When is West Ham vs Bournemouth and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: London Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 01 January 2020
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport
Last five meetings: West Ham vs Bournemouth
28 Sep 2019: Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham (Premier League)
19 Jan 2019: Bournemouth 2-0 West Ham (Premier League)
18 Aug 2018: West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth (Premier League)
20 Jan 2018: West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth (Premier League)
26 Dec 2017: Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: West Ham (DLLDD) 7-10 Bournemouth (DWWDD)
Ones to watch
West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski
Lukasz Fabianski made his much-anticipated return from a three-month hip injury against the Foxes on Saturday, but signs of ring-rustiness were immediately illustrated as the Polish goalkeeper conceded a penalty. He redeemed himself with a strong save from Demarai Gray, but the Birmingham-born winger would get the last laugh as he netted the winner later on.
That said, Fabianski’s return was met with an air of relief on the London Stadium terraces and Moyes can now look to stave off the threat of relegation with a fully-fledged squad, rather than having to make do with Fabianski’s less than sturdy deputies.
Key stat: In all nine of his appearances against Bournemouth, Fabianski is yet to win a match.
Bournemouth: Callum Wilson
Callum Wilson only mustered a 30-minute cameo as Bournemouth fell to a 2-0 reversal against Brighton at the weekend, but Howe may have been keeping one eye on Wednesday’s fixture as the England international rarely fires a blank against the Hammers.
In fact, in seven Premier League appearances against the Londoners, only twice has Wilson failed to find the back of the net. He netted earlier in this campaign and Howe will be hoping his star man picks up from where he left off.
Key stat: Wilson has scored seven goals in seven games against West Ham, more than against any other opponent across his career.
Aaron Cresswell was suspended for the weekend’s defeat against Leicester due to card accumulation, but will return for this midweek clash.
Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are unlikely to feature with a groin and hamstring injury respectively.
Predicted XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Masuaku; Rice, Noble, Anderson, Lanzini, Antonio; Haller.
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As has been the case for much of the season Howe still has a number of long-term absentees to contend with. Among those are Nathan Ake, Adam Smith, Arnaut Danjuma, Charlie Daniels, Lloyd Kelly and David Brooks.
Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Stacey; S Cook, Mepham, Rico; H Wilson, Billing, Gosling, Stanislas; C Wilson, King.
Both managers will likely approach this encounter with a ‘don’t lose’ mentality rather than going all out for three points and risk coming away with none. As such, we may see rather subdued affair, with both sides hesitant to throw significant numbers forward.
Moyes has been drafted in with the purpose of making West Ham a more resilient side and he will want to kickstart his second tenure with at least a point. Given the current landscape, a draw may well suit Howe too.