Pellegrini pleads for patience

Manuel Pellegrini has blamed West Ham United's poor start to the 2018/19 campaign on problems that stemmed from last season.

The Hammers lost 2-1 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday after slumping to a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool last weekend.

West Ham had taken a first-half lead against the Cherries through Marko Arnautovic's penalty, but goals by Callum Wilson and Steve Cook handed the three points to the visitors.

Under Slaven Bilic and then David Moyes last season the Hammers struggled, only moving away from relegation danger in the closing weeks of the campaign.

When asked whether or not the experiences from last season had caused West Ham's current woes, former Manchester City boss Pellegrini said: "I think so, yes…yes.

"That is one of the reasons why in the second half we changed so much trying to keep it 1-0. What they need is to try to work the 90 minutes in the way they did [the first] 45.

"We knew before that we need time when you have so many new players, a new manager and style of play.

"But, most of all, we need to forget about last season. We need to recover the trust in each player and what they can do. We need to recover the trust as a club and that is what me must do this week."

West Ham are 5/1 to be relegated this term and 13/2 to beat Arsenal in their next Premier League clash.

Howe has plan to stop Wilshere

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has identified Jack Wilshere as West Ham's main threat ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash between the two teams.

The Hammers, who signed Wilshere from Arsenal this summer, slumped to a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in their opening game of the campaign while the Cherries clinched a fine 2-0 win against Cardiff City.

Wilshere spent the 2016/17 season on loan with the Cherries, featuring in 27 Premier League matches for the club.

Howe said: "West Ham have a very experienced manager and they've recruited some really good players. This will be a good marker for us on where we stand.

"It was good to see Jack Wilshere when we played Arsenal last season. He could have a big bearing on the game and it's up to us to stop him."

Howe was pleased with his side's performance against the newly-promoted Bluebirds but believes his players can improve still further.

He added: "It was a nice thing for us to get that opening-day win – it gives you a nice confidence lift. Cardiff made it difficult for us and we didn't play to our best potential but we found a way to win, which is very pleasing."

Bournemouth can be backed at 5/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season while they are 14/5 to beat West Ham. Wilshere is 9/2 to score at any time in the encounter.

Hammers Try to Smash Cherries in Big Premier League Clash

West Ham United vs AFC Bournemouth

There are a good number of intriguing games happening in the second week of the Premier League. It may seem that there aren’t that many interesting games that will happen besides a big London Derby, but I can assure you that there is some quality football to watch if you know where to look.

A good example of such a fixture would be the game between West Ham and Bournemouth. The Hammers are coming off a big defeat against one of the Premier League favourites, but that doesn’t mean that they are a threat against the Cherries this early in the season.

This match is a battle of managers as much as it is between the players. The approaches Eddie Howe and Manuel Pellegrini will make ahead of this match will determine which side will win on this low-key cracker of a football match.

Talking Points

Bournemouth is definitely smaller in size and financial capability compared to most of the clubs in the Premier League, but it cannot be denied that they are now an established Premier League club under the brilliant Eddie Howe. The Cherries are expected to be competitive and stay up, and they can make a declaration of intent by winning against the Hammers.

They showcased how much they belonged in the English top flight by comfortably winning against Cardiff City. Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser showed the attacking quality that has helped keep the Cherries up in the Premier League over the past three seasons.

Moreover, they made impressive moves during the past summer window. They bolstered their ranks by acquiring Leganes left-back Diego Rico and promising youngster David Brooks. However, their biggest coup is the record signing of Jefferson Lerma from Levante. The Colombia international might make his debut in this big match, and his presence will definitely be a big thorn in Pellegrini’s attacking plans.

West Ham's first Premier League defeat won’t provoke any sort of knee-jerk reaction from Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini insists he has no plans to alter his attacking philosophy vs Bournemouth

However, it isn’t like the Hammers aren’t going to bring the game to Howe’s lovable side. Felipe Anderson, Carlos Sanchez, Lucas Perez, Jack Wilshere, and Issa Diop are the newest faces of a team that will still need time to get used to the system of a manager that won the Premier League with Manchester City.

Out of the many signings they made, Wilshere’s free transfer to London Stadium is easily one of the most impressive signings the club made in the offseason. While injuries have hampered what could have been a legendary career with Arsenal, his passing acumen and attacking capabilities easily makes him an important fixture in the West Ham midfield. The Cherries are more than familiar with his effectiveness on the midfield and will be on the lookout whenever he has the ball.

Their big defeat to Liverpool is the only thing that dominated the Premier League 2018 news pages for a couple of days, and that result could only be described as disappointing. However, success does not come overnight, and Pellegrini should have found issues he must address in order to make his team more effective moving forward.

If there’s one positive thing the West Ham faithful can be happy about, it will be the overall health of the squad. The entire squad, sans three long-term injuries, is fit for selection. The Chilean manager can select an entirely different squad to the team he fielded if he so wished to catch the Cherries off-guard.

History

 These two teams haven’t faced each other much throughout the existence of these two clubs, so it may be tough to decide on which West Ham vs Bournemouth odds to pick based on their head-to-head battles alone. However, their first Premier League meeting in 2015 isn’t the first time either team squared off against each other.

West Ham faced the then-Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic in the 1929 FA Cup where West Ham won over the Cherries 3-1 during the replay. They next met during the League Division Two, where West Ham won by 4-1, the biggest winning margin in their head-to-head history.

Their Premier League forays, however, are a mixed bag of results. Both teams won their respective home games during the Cherries’ first two seasons. Their most recent encounters were close draws, with the game at Dean Court ending in a thrilling six-goal fiesta.

Betting Tip

??
West Ham United vs AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 2.09
August 18, 22:00 (GMT+8)

The us Premier League market sees West Ham having the slight edge over Bournemouth, but they’re giving the Hammers too much credit and the Cherries, too little.

If we combine their head-to-head history and Bournemouth’s recent form during their league opener, it wouldn’t be weird to see the Cherries at least drawing or winning against West Ham. I think Eddie Howe is just too impressive of a manager to be easily beaten by Pellegrini this early in the season.

However, I still wouldn’t discount a draw from happening, since both squads are of similar quality. The 1X2 market offers intriguing odds of 3.40.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Pellegrini looks for improvement

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is keen to see his side improve on a poor performance in their opening Premier League game of the new season.

The Hammers were thumped 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, with Pellegrini admitting that having made a large number of summer signings means his side are far from settle just yet.

On Saturday afternoon the Irons welcome Bournemouth to the London Stadium and Pellegrini is hoping to see some signs of progress from his side.

The Chilean told reporters: "I was very disappointed with the result. It was the result we deserved and we played against a better team, a solid team, but you expect to play a little bit better.

"Every week is important when you bring so many players in and make so many changes. We have nine new players, so when you make so many (signings), every week you work on your team and every week it can be better.

"I don't think that game changes the way I am thinking. We are just trying to win every game that we play."

Pellegrini also confirmed that he has no new injury problems to contend with, although Andy Carroll, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini all remain sidelined.

Last season this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw and the same result on Saturday is available at 6/1, while the hosts are 2/1 to keep a clean sheet and 17/2 to edge a 1-0 victory over the Cherries.

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Francis vows to prove his worth

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis is determined to force his way back into Eddie Howe's starting eleven after being named as a substitute on Saturday.

The 33-year-old defender has been a regular starter for the Cherries in the last two years but had to settle for a second-half substitute appearance during the 2-0 win against Cardiff City.

Bournemouth visit West Ham United on Saturday and are 12/5 to win again, while they can be backed at 5/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

Francis, who missed the friendly victory against Marseille earlier this month, admitted: "It was tough but I had an inkling from the Marseille game that the manager may do it.

"Nobody could argue because the lads were excellent in that game but I had to show what I could do on Saturday.

"It's been a long time since I have come off the bench. I just want to help the team be in the right mind-set and, hopefully, I can. If I get a chance, like on Saturday with 25 minutes, you have to try to change the game."

Meanwhile, Howe has urged his established stars to maintain their high standards.

Summer signings Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico were not involved against the Bluebirds, with Howe saying: "Those players who have done so well for this football club over a long period of time have just showed the right attitude to keep going, learning, progressing and improving in the hardest league in the world – and they are excelling at this level.

"The ultimate aim is you hope the players who have been here a long time help nurture the new guys who come in."

Arter up for a fresh challenge

Experienced midfielder Harry Arter is looking forward to the challenge of making his mark after leaving Bournemouth to join Cardiff City on a season-long loan.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international has spent the last eight years with the Cherries, but has opted to try his luck with the Bluebirds, who are back in the Premier League after securing automatic promotion from the Championship.

And Arter is prepared to work hard to try and secure a regular starting spot for City, telling the club's official website: "It's a big change for me having been at the same club for so long. It's a new challenge and one that I'm very excited for.

"The challenge for the club is similar to the challenge for me; it's going to be a long hard season, but one that the club is prepared for and I certainly am too.

"No player ever comes in and has the right to play and I'm no different. I'm looking forward to trying to get into the team."

The Bluebirds further strengthened their midfield options on deadline day with the arrival of Real Betis schemer Victor Camarasa.

The 24-year-old, like Arter, joins on a season-long loan basis, having spent just one season with Los Verdiblancos after enjoying spells with Levante and Alaves.

Cardiff begin life back in the top-flight with a trip to the South Coast to take on Bournemouth, meaning that Arter will be unable to make his Bluebirds debut against his parent club.

City are 13/5 to claim a draw at the Vitality Stadium and are 7/2 to keep a clean sheet, with Cardiff 6/5 not to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Howe happy to finally land Lerma

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe believes new signing Jefferson Lerma has plenty of qualities which will help him impress in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old Colombia international midfielder featured for his country in all five of their games at the World Cup earlier this summer and has now completed a move to the Cherries from Spanish outfit Levante.

And, with a prolonged chase for Lerma finally over and a five-year contract signed and sealed, Howe is looking forward to seeing how his new club record signing gets on this season.

He told the club's official website: "It's no secret that Jefferson has been someone we have chased for a while this summer.

"It's been a complicated deal, but I am certain it will be worth all the hard work that people have put in to make this happen.

"Jefferson is an extremely talented player and a very good athlete who will bring a different type of play to our midfield.

"He has a lot of qualities that will be suited to the Premier League and I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Lerma becomes the third major signing made by Bournemouth this summer, with defender Diego Rico having joined from Leganes, while midfielder David Brooks has been recruited from Sheffield United.

The Cherries begin their Premier League campaign at home to newly-promoted Cardiff City on Saturday, with the two sides having last met in the Championship during the 2014/15 season.

Bournemouth can be backed at 10/11 to make a winning start and are 17/2 to claim a 2-0 victory over the Bluebirds, with the Cherries 6/4 to keep a clean sheet.

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Gunnarsson ready for Premier League return

Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson says there is a togetherness within the squad that can help them as they return to the Premier League.

The Bluebirds first season in the Premier League back in 2013-14 ended in instant relegation back to the Championship.

Gunnarsson scored their first goal then, in the 3-2 win over Manchester City, a rare highlight in a disappointing season.

However, Neil Warnock's side are back and Gunnarsson, returning from World Cup 2018 duty with Iceland, is ready for the challenge.

He says that those teams that have gone up and thrived are an example for Cardiff to follow as they seek to avoid another instant relegation.

He told the club's official website: "You look at the teams who have worked their way up like Bournemouth and Burnley, and it's about creating a togetherness in the team to go that extra mile for success and I can see that in our players.

"They're willing to go that extra mile and do anything to get that success and I'm hopeful we can stick together as a team and make that happen.

"The professionalism in this squad is second to none and we know what is expected of us. We know our strengths and we need to build on that. We've got a lot of leaders at this club and that's only a good thing."

The Bluebirds play their final pre-season fixture, at home to Real Betis before getting their Premier League season underway at AFC Bournemouth next Saturday.

They are 11/4 for the win, Eddie Howe's side are 19/20 with the draw 5/2.

Their first home game back in the top flight is a week later when Newcastle United are the visitors to the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff are 4/6 to be relegated at the end of the season while they are 16/1 to finish in the top half.

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Cherries close in on Lerma

Colombia international Jefferson Lerma, who has been linked with a move to Bournemouth, has handed in a transfer request at Levante.

The Spanish side have reportedly rejected a bid from the Cherries for Lerma, who helped his country reach the round of 16 at World Cup 2018.

The 23-year-old joined Levante, initially on a 12-month loan, in 2015 after starting his career in his homeland with Atletico Huila. He signed a permanent four-year deal in July 2016.

Meanwhile, boss Eddie Howe thinks Diego Rico will prove to be a big hit in the Premier League.

The defender joined the club for an undisclosed transfer fee – believed to have been £10.7million – from Leganes earlier this week.

The 25-year-old Spaniard penned a four-year contract with the Cherries, who are 5/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season.

Howe said: "Diego is a player we have been tracking throughout the summer and, although we had to be patient, it's great to finally be able to call him a Bournemouth player.

"He's a really nice footballer and someone who will fit our philosophy and style of play.

"Once he gets used to the way we play, we believe he can be a real force for this football club."

Bournemouth can be backed at 11/8 to earn over 43 points in the Premier League this season.

Howe expecting Rico to impress

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe has backed new signing Diego Rico to become a 'real force' for the club following his arrival from Leganes.

The 25-year-old Spaniard has joined the Cherries on a four-year contract, with an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region of £10million having secured his services.

And Howe has high hopes that the attacking left-back will prove to be a big hit at Dean Court, telling his club's official website: "Diego is a player we have been tracking throughout the summer and, although we had to be patient, it's great to finally be able to call him a Bournemouth player.

"He's a really nice footballer and someone who will fit our philosophy and style of play.

"Diego is fast, physical and aggressive in attack and aggressive defensively. He takes an excellent set-piece and has a powerful left foot.

"Once he gets used to the way we play, we believe he can be a real force for this football club."

Rico had spent the last two seasons with Leganes, having started his career with Real Zaragoza.

The Cherries, who finished in 12th place in the Premier League last season, have also drafted in Wales midfielder David Brooks from Sheffield United this summer.

They can be backed at 9/2 to be relegated next season, with Brighton & Hove Albion priced at 2/1 and Crystal Palace available at 11/2.

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