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Jan 12, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at Dean Court
Bournemouth
1-3
West HamWest Ham United
Arter (17')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Payet (67'), Valencia (74', 84')

Preview: Bournemouth vs. West Ham United

Sports Mole previews Tuesday night's Premier League game between Bournemouth and West Ham United at the Vitality Stadium.

Having suffered just one defeat in their last eight Premier League fixtures, Bournemouth pose a threat ahead of Tuesday night's clash against West Ham United at the Vitality Stadium.

Eddie Howe's side have the advantage of a home crowd, but they will come up against an eight-game unbeaten Hammers team, who are just four points off a Champions League spot.


Bournemouth

Eddie Howe Manager of Bournemouth looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Bournemouth, England.© Getty Images

Plenty of people had written off Bournemouth's chances of staying in the top flight three months ago when they suffered four league defeats on the trot, but since then, they have managed to claim three victories, four draws and recorded just one loss.

At the moment, Howe's team reside 16th in the table, four points above relegation, and a victory tomorrow night could move them above 14th-placed Chelsea for 24 hours at least.

Last August, the Cherries entered the Premier League for the first time in the club's history promising attacking, free-flowing football and an adamance from Howe that he would not adapt his style for his opponents.

They were knocked by long-term injuries to Tyrone Mings, Max Gradel, Callum Wilson and Tommy Elphick and went on a downward spiral, losing to Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Newcastle United across October and November.

In December, when games come thick and fast, Bournemouth had a positive run, sealing victories over Chelsea, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion, and the only blip in their last eight league games is a 2-0 defeat to league leaders Arsenal.

Added to their positive results, the South Coast side have also been quick in the January transfer market by snapping up Juan Iturbe on a six-month loan from Roma and Benik Afobe from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a permanent deal thought to be worth in the region of £10m.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding their long-term position in the Premier League, Howe and the club's board are able to attract decent targets, who could play a big part in the Cherries' survival fight.

Bournemouth's problem this season has been conceding goals and they have allowed 34 to get shipped past them already, but they have been a lot more sturdy at the back of late having let in just two in their last three top-flight fixtures.

Recent form: WWWDLD
Recent form (all competitions): WWDLDW


West Ham United

Slaven Bilic manager of West Ham United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Stoke City at the Boleyn Ground on December 12, 2015© Getty Images

Slaven Bilic's side have proven that they can more than hold their own away from home as they have already administered wins over Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace this season.

The London club are on a three-game winning run following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup, although all three of those triumphs have come at Upton Park.

The Hammers have not lost any of their last seven games in the top flight and in 20 fixtures, they have only suffered defeat four times, suggesting that they head into Tuesday night's contest as favourites for an away win.

The team will be particularly boosted by their 2-0 win over Liverpool last week as they were comfortable winners, and Andy Carroll managed to get one over his former club by adding to the scoreline in the second half following Michail Antonio's 10-minute goal.

Carroll has worked his way back into contention at Upton Park following his lengthy spell on the sidelines with injuries, and he has paid back Bilic's faith by scoring in the team's last two league triumphs.

There have been questions over the striker's long-term future at West Ham, but Bilic recently told reporters: "We never said we were willing to sell Andy, not me, not the chairman. He's a very popular player. We do not want to sell him. I think he likes it here, he's very important in the dressing room. I know he is happy here."

West Ham have the chance to move within one point of fourth spot if they earn a victory tomorrow night, but in their last four league games on the road, they have come away with a draw.

Recent form: DDDDWW
Recent form (all competitions): DDDWWW


Team News

Benik Afobe in action for Wolves on October 24, 2015© Getty Images

New signing Afobe could make his debut for Bournemouth following his transfer from Wolves at the weekend, but the striker could be a substitute to begin with as he only arrived at the club a matter of days ago.

Simon Francis should return to the defence after serving his one-match ban in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in the third round of the FA Cup.

Joshua King is a doubt for the game, meaning that Glenn Murray could start up front on Tuesday night, but it is likely to be too soon for new loan signing Iturbe, who is waiting on clearance to play.

As for West Ham, Dimitri Payet could make his first start since November after recovering from an ankle injury. The midfielder has been named on the bench in the Hammers' last two games, but is in line to be in the first XI on Tuesday night.

Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini remain on the treatment table, but Carroll is likely to keep his spot up front, alongside Enner Valencia.

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Boruc; Daniels, Cook, Francis, Smith; Surman; Stanislas, Gosling, Arter, Ritchie; Murray

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Collins, Jenkinson; Payet, Kouyate, Noble, Antonio; Carroll, Valencia


Head To Head

Bournemouth have already had one over on the Hammers by claiming a 4-3 victory at Upton Park in August, with Wilson netting a hat-trick and Marc Pugh adding to the scoreline.

Overall, though, West Ham have the edge having sealed three victories in their last five meetings, but those matches span between 1929 and 2015.

Prior to this season, the two sides met in the League Cup in 1999, and it was the Hammers who progressed by grabbing a 2-0 win on home turf.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Bournemouth 1-2 West Ham United

Both sides are in decent form, and while Bournemouth have the home advantage, West Ham have proven that they can get the points that they need on away soil. In addition to that, Bilic's side have only lost two of their last 15 fixtures in all competitions, while Bournemouth have drawn four and lost three of their nine Premier League games at home. It could be a tight game, with just one goal edging it, but West Ham should just have enough to take all three points.



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AFC Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings in action during the Pre season friendly match between Exeter City and AFC Bournemouth at St James Park on July 18, 2015
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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
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ATHLETICS
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RUGBY SEVENS
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