Payet to light up Olympic Stadium for injury-hit Hammers
It’s been a gruelling week for Slaven Bilić and his West Ham side, ahead of their first ever competitive match at the Olympic Stadium. The Hammers went down to a late Diego Costa goal at Stamford Bridge in the Monday Night Football, then followed that up with a trip to Romania, where they drew 1-1 with Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are the first visitors to West Ham’s new home and it’s sure to be a memorable occasion.
Goal projections – West Ham 1.67 Bournemouth 1.05
Team news & predicted starting line-ups for West Ham v Bournemouth
With Aaron Creswell and Manuel Lanzini already ruled out with their respective knee ligament injuries, it must have been a bitter pill for Bilić to swallow to see club-record signing André Ayew limping off after a matter of minutes at Chelsea. If that wasn’t bad enough, his team then went on to lose to a last minute winner.
Bournemouth will also be looking to get their first points of the season on the board and Eddie Howe is likely to retain the core of the team that lost 3-1 to Manchester United.
Both managers are very flexible when it comes to playing formations, so this could be a fascinating tactical battle.
West Ham fantasy player to watch
Bilić may not have wanted to introduce Dimitri Payet, so soon after his exertions at Euro 2016, but his hand has almost been forced, so there’s a big chance that he will start against the Cherries.
If Payet rediscovers his 2015/16 form, he will quickly become a must-have on those fantasy football team-sheets again.
West Ham team news
In addition to Cresswell, Lanzini and Ayew, the Hammers also have a couple of other players struggling to shake off injuries, one of which is another of their summer signings Sofiane Feghouli. Diafro Sakho is also nursing a sore back.
All eyes will be on the West Ham team-sheet, to see if Payet his included from the start.
Predicted starting line-up for West Ham (4-3-3)
Bournemouth fantasy player to watch
Jordon Ibe, the club’s record signing, will need to start repaying that £15m price tag if he is to help the Cherries to retain their top flight status.
Despite losing to Manchester United, the signs were promising for Bournemouth, with Ibe keen to take on responsibility and live up to his star billing. It was a reasonable debut for the former Liverpool player.
Bournemouth team news
Tyrone Mings and Emerson Hyndham are ruled out for the Cherries, while this game is likely to come too soon for Junior Stanislas.
Josh King’s starting spot looks the most vulnerable from the side that faced Manchester United in Gameweek 1, with Marc Pugh and Max Gradel waiting in the wings. It’s worth mentioning that Pugh has scored in the 5 top divisions of English football.
Predicted starting line-up for Bournemouth (4-4-1-1)
Will West Ham get off to a winning start at the Olympic Stadium?