Saturday 22nd August 2015 sees AFC Bournemouth visit Upton Park to take on West Ham, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeat in their last games, which coincidentally were both the subject of some costly refereeing mistakes.
The two sides have only played each other three times in their history (since AFC Bournemouth became known by their current name back in 1972) with West Ham being victorious twice and drawing once; those matches have seen the boys in Claret and Blue score 7 times whilst only conceding 2 goals. The Cherries have yet to notch up a win against their opponents on Saturday.
Those games saw Slaven Bilic’s current right-hand man, Julian Dicks, get himself on the score sheet when they won 4-1 at Upton Park in 1990, other scorers in this fixture include Ian Bishop, Martin Allen, Frank Lampard, and Marc Keller (remember him, no? Click here to remind yourself).
Biggest win: West Ham 4 vs 1 Bournemouth – Division Two – 11th Apr 1990
Highest attendance: 22,067 – Worthington Cup 3rd Round at Upton Park – West Ham won 2-0
The Hammers have a win and a loss to their name so far this season; after putting in a magnificent performance away at Arsenal to win 2-0 in their opening game, with goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate, they then faced a determined Leicester side at Upton Park and were swiftly brought back down to earth, losing 2-1 (Dimitri Payet with a finely taken goal) in match that saw goalkeeper Adrian controversially sent off in stoppage time. The other end of the pitch saw Schmeichel get away with a WWE-style clothesline on Diafra Sakho as he was through on goal. Consistency at it’s best! The only real positive for West Ham from that game was their performance in the second half where they threw everything at Leicester but just couldn’t grab an equalizer.
Bournemouth on the other hand are still waiting for their first win of their maiden Premier League campaign, they’ve lost both of their games so far. At home on the opening day against Aston Villa they went down 1-0 courtesy of a header from new Villa signing Rudy Gestede, the Cherries then followed that up with an away trip to Anfield which saw them again lose by a solitary goal, this time scored by another new signing Christian Benteke…with more than a sniff of off-side from Philippe Coutinho. They also saw a Tommy Elphick goal disallowed that would have given them the lead after five minutes.
The referees are doing well this season so far, with both teams being on the receiving end of some dubious decisions. Will we see a fair game this time where the result is not dictated by a refereeing blunder or will one of these sides be cursing the man in the middle come the final whistle?
TEAM NEWS – WEST HAM
West Ham should field a strong side despite losing Mauro Zarate to a hamstring injury and Reece Oxford picking up a knock, both in training during the week, to add to their growing injury list, and with the continued absence of Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho will continue to lead the line up front. Following Adrian’s red card against Leicester Darren Randolph should provide cover in goal, though Hammers fans will be hoping he doesn’t suffer from a repeat performance of last season when he conceded 12 goals against The Cherries in two games.
Injuries: Enner Valencia (Knee), Andy Carroll (MCL Knee Ligament), Mauro Zarate (Hamstring)
Doubtful: Joey O’Brien (Hamstring), Reece Oxford (Slight knock)
Suspensions: Adrian – misses games against Bournemouth, Newcastle, and Liverpool due to red card at home to Leicester
Prediction: 3-1 win to West Ham with goals from Sakho, Payet, and Reid