On Saturday West Ham make the trip down to the South Coast to face Bournemouth who currently sit 14th in the Premier League, six points away from the Hammers. We have asked the Brace the Hammer writers to give us their predictions for this mid-table clash.
It’s looking like another mid-table finish for West Ham. In the Chelsea loss I felt that some of our players seemed to be already on their summer holidays. We could stand a good chance of getting a bounce back win against Bournemouth who are very out-of-form right now.
The Cherries have yet to record a league win in 2017 and are hemorrhaging goals at an alarming rate. It feels like a good time to play them, however they will also fancy their chances to get a result against a semi-motivated West Ham. Relegation isn’t a worry for the Hammers, nor does European football look likely, the highest we can realistically finish is ninth.
Bournemouth could be fired up for a win in front of their home fans and a victory would ease any lingering relegation doubts. They are five points clear from the danger zone and are probably safe, but a win would put these fears firmly to bed. I fear that Bournemouth have more motivation and will get a boost from their home fans.
My prediction is a 2-2 draw in this one, neither side can keep a clean sheet at present and this will create an exciting draw.
I’ve got a good feeling that as long as we're fit we can run up the score to 3-1 against a mediocre Bournemouth side. So I'm guessing West Ham win it 3-1.
2-1 West Ham
Bournemouth haven't won at home since mid-December and West Ham are playing better than their recent points suggest, probably deserving more, and perhaps would have got more with adequate purchases in the transfer window.
Nevertheless, Michail Antonio returns and André Ayew has a goal and assist to his name in two sub appearances while Manuel Lanzini’s form continues to sparkle in a grey season, I can see us conceding but fortunately our manager plays to win rather than to avoid defeat, and I think we will sneak all 3 points at the Vitality on Saturday.
3-1 to West Ham
Without Tyrone Mings to step on people's faces, West Ham should be able to press and control what's been a disappointing second half Bournemouth.
2-0 West Ham
With Bournemouth's poor run of form combined with Mings' suspension, the opportunity is ripe for a victory on the south coast. West Ham has had a very good record against teams that are below them in the table, even away from home. The bad taste from the Chelsea loss will be replaced with a good win away from home, with Lanzini and Carroll both scoring.
2-1 to West Ham
Bournemouth 2-1 West Ham
Most writers here are going with a Hammers win, but I'm contrary. The defense is not the most encouraging. If Winston Reid faces some time out, that will cause problems. Plus, José Fonte is a late fitness test. The right back position is always doubtful, although I'd like to see Sam Byram given time. Overall, it leaves questions as to how solid the Hammers will be.
West Ham can score if Slaven Bilic gets the tactics right. André Ayew should start this week after a goal and an assist off the bench two weeks in a row. If Andy Carroll is fully fit and the defense can stay reasonably together, three points could be on the cards. But, I'll be the outlier pick on the site.
What do you think?