Jack Lang is expecting attack to trump defence when the Irons host the Cherries...
"In Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautović – both of whom were rested in midweek – the hosts have a pair of attackers capable of terrorising any defence on their day"
West Ham United v Bournemouth
Irons moving on up
Their midweek success over Shrewsbury Town is not destined to live long in the memory, but the outlook continues to get ever rosier from West Ham. The Irons have now gone five games unbeaten in all competitions - for the first time since April - and with the relegation battle looking ever more distant (now [17.0] to go down) the prospect of a prolonged run in the FA Cup will surely be an attractive one to the fans. Wigan are next up in that competition.
In the Premier League, too, opportunity knocks. Three of West Ham's next four games are at home, with Crystal Palace and Watford pitching up at the London Stadium after Bournemouth. With a non-scary trip to Brighton also on the horizon, it would be no great shock to see David Moyes's charges climb into the top half in the weeks ahead. And that's no small achievement given their early-season woes.
Survival the aim of the game for visitors
Bournemouth helped us claim a 6/4 winner last weekend, frustrating Arsenal in the first half at the Vitality Stadium. But that was not the limit of their ambitions: they dug in after falling behind and eventually ground out an excellent 2-1 win, Jordon Ibe popping up with his first goal for the club.
The Cherries are now unbeaten in four in the Premier League - a run that has come at just the right time. Survival is clearly the priority for the remainder of the season, and it was no major surprise that Eddie Howe rung the changes for the cup game against Wigan in midweek. He must hope, however, that the 3-0 defeat at the DW Stadium does not dent confidence as Bournemouth return to league matters this weekend.
West Ham will have their tails up after recent results and it is no major surprise that they are solid favourites to pick up three more points on Saturday. In Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautović - both rested on Tuesday night - they have a pair of attackers capable of terrorising any defence on their day, and Bournemouth have kept just one league clean sheet in eight.
Yet there is an unpredictability about the Cherries that stops us backing their hosts at odds of [2.0]. Howe's men showed real spirit against Arsenal and their habit of raining shots in on goal could cause the odd issue for West Ham, who were frugal in their first few games under Moyes but have conceded in their last five league games.
The goal markets hold more appeal, then, especially when you throw in the fact that the five previous Premier League meetings between these teams have produced 23 goals scored at an average of 4.6 per game. Both teams are better on the front foot and this should be another exciting encounter.
Both teams to score is the safe option at [1.8] and over 2.5 goals another option at [1.93]. But it's worth taking a chance on there being four goals or more, as there have been in four of the last four meetings.
There's one outstanding candidate for a goalscorer bet. Arnautović has rediscovered his mojo under Moyes to the tune of six goals in seven Premier League games, so looks an excellent choice at [2.6] against a shaky defence.
Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2017/18