Hammers look to bounce back after Anfield thrashing

By Soccer Blog | Aug 17, 2018

West Ham’s first home game of the new league season sees Manuel Pellegrini’s men host Bournemouth at the London Stadium this weekend. The Hammers were no match for a rampant Liverpool side at Anfield last Sunday, with Jurgen Klopp’s side coasting to a comfortable 4-0 win that left the visitors at the bottom of the league table at the end of the opening week. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth however managed a 2-0 win over new boys Cardiff that sees them enter Round 2 in third place in the standings, behind Liverpool and Chelsea.

Pellegrini gave debuts to several of his new signings at Anfield- Lukas Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere, with another, Andriy Yarmolenko earning minutes off the bench. None of them will look back on their debuts fondly- this was a right “hammering” for the visitors, with Liverpool oozing quality across the pitch.

Pellegrini also chose to start with young Declan Rice in midfield, but the talented youngster found the stage too hot to handle, and was replaced at the interval by Robert Snodgrass. Wilshere started the game in the No.10 role, but dropped deeper after Rice was subbed off, and the England star, who spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Bournemouth, has been identified by Cherries boss Eddie Howe as a major threat to his side’s chances.

Jack W

As mentioned before, Bournemouth got the better of Cardiff in their opening fixture. A beautiful move that started deep inside the home side’s own half was finished off by Ryan Fraser for the first goal of the game on 24 minutes. Ten minutes later, Ecuele Manga was ruled to have fouled Callum Wilson in the box, but the latter’s spot kick was saved by Bluebirds keeper Neil Etheridge.

It was Wilson who however had the last laugh, scoring in second half stoppage time to seal all three points for the Cherries, with substitute Simon Francis setting up the goal.

Eddie Howe could give club record signing Jefferson Lerma his debut this weekend. Despite the contrasting results for both sides last weekend, Ladbrokes have West Ham as favourites at 21/20. If you fancy Bournemouth at 5/2, be sure to check this Ladbrokes code before putting some money on the Cherries.

Eddie Howe

Both of West Ham’s games against Bournemouth last season ended in draws. Austrian Marko Arnautovic, who cut a lonely figure upfront at Anfield, scored twice at the Vitality Stadium in a 3-3 thriller, while Javier Hernandez netted at the London Stadium in a 1-1 draw.

The referee for this one is Stuart Attwell, who was in charge for two West Ham league games last season- the 4-1 loss against Liverpool and the 1-1 draw away at Burnley.

West Ham v Bournemouth kicks off on 18 August, 2018 at 15.00 UK KO

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