Arnautovic confirms injury setback

West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has signalled that he will be out of action for the foreseeable future, having injured a hamstring against Cardiff City.

The 29-year-old Austria international has been the standout performer for the Londoners so far this season, scoring five Premier League goals, despite having to contend with a number of injury problems.

However, Arnautovic, who has not found the net in his last four games, accepts that he now requires rest and recuperation, making him a major doubt for the hectic festive period coming up.

He posted on Instagram: "Thank you so much for all your messages. I will be out for a while, but I will do everything to come back strong and quick."

Meanwhile, Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini played down the severity of the ankle injury which kept summer signing Jack Wilshere out of the victory over the Bluebirds.

The former Arsenal midfielder has only played five times since joining the Irons, but Pellegrini is confident that the England international will be back in contention sooner rather than later, having picked up his latest knock during training.

He told reporters: "Jack has a small pain in his ankle, not the one he injured before."

Next up for West Ham is a London derby against Crystal Palace at the London Stadium on Saturday, with this fixture having ended in a 1-1 draw last season.

The Irons are 11/10 to claim a third consecutive league victory on Saturday and are 10/1 to win the game 2-0, with the hosts 7/4 to keep a clean sheet.

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Arnautovic fit to face Magpies

West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has overcome hip and knee problems and is fit to feature against Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Austria international, who has scored five Premier League goals already this season, limped on late on in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, but Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini says his player has trained well throughout the week.

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "Marko worked the whole week without any problems. He has one day more to recover for the game, but he's okay, he is fit to play."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini also confirmed that both Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere could feature, with the England international duo having both undergone ankle surgery over the summer.

The Chilean added: "Andy is one step further forward than Jack because he played 45 minutes in the game against Brentford and was on the bench last week.

"Both worked without problems this week, so may be in the squad on Saturday."

Pellegrini concluded that he does not see the clash with the Magpies as any more important than any other match, with the hosts resurgent after winning three consecutive Premier League games.

"For me, the pressure is always exactly the same," Pellegrini added. "I never divide the games into game you can win or lose. I never think we can lose, we always try to win.

"It's important to have a strong mind. Our mentality is to understand that there are no weaker teams and we must try to play our best."

The Irons, who have lost on their last three visits to Tyneside, are 11/5 to earn a draw on Saturday, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 11/2.

Meanwhile, West Ham are 16/1 to be relegated come the end of the season, with Newcastle available at 5/1.

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Wilshere to miss Everton clash

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will miss West Ham United's Premier League fixture at Everton on Sunday because of an ankle injury.

Wilshere will have a scan on the injury next week to discover the full extent of the problem.

There is more bad news for beleaguered Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as Mexico international Javier Hernandez is ill and could also miss Sunday's game.

Pellegrini said: "The team news is that Javier Hernandez is sick. He has had a virus for the last 10 days, so he's at home this week.

"Jack felt a pain in his ankle two days ago, so we will see in the next days what the prognosis is. He doesn't have a chance to play on Sunday. On Tuesday, we will see after he has a medical review what the situation is."

West Ham have lost their first four Premier League matches of the campaign and are 9/4 to be relegated this season. They can be backed at 1/1 to lose again at Everton on Sunday.

Pellegrini is determined to lift the Hammers off the foot of the table, but is refusing to panic, adding: "The most important thing in the Premier League is to arrive in December with a fresh team, so we are having a lot of rest, especially in the international break."

Wilshere up for Gunners return

West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere is relishing a return to former club Arsenal next weekend, the first time he will feature as an opposing player at the Emirates Stadium.

The 25-year-old had spent the whole of his professional career to date with the Gunners, before opting to move on in the summer after being told that his first-team opportunities would be limited under new head coach Unai Emery.

The England international soon secured a switch to the Hammers and they and Arsenal go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon, with both teams having lost their opening two Premier League games of the new season.

And Wilshere is looking forward to being able to prove a point to his former employers, telling the official West Ham matchday programme at the weekend: "They have got a new manager, but I know the players.

"Hopefully, it will be a good time to play them. I have got to try and block all the emotion out. First of all I have got to concentrate on football.

"It will be a strange one for as I was never able to go there and play when I went on loan as you cannot play against your parent club, but it is one I am looking forward to.

"It is down to me to prove a point to Arsenal that they were wrong to get rid of me."

The Irons are without a win in their last six meetings with their London rivals, but can be backed at 13/2 to take all three points on Saturday, with the draw priced at 4/1.

West Ham are available at 2/1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season.

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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 offers Hernandez support

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini expects Mexico and former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez to be a major players for the Hammers this season.

The 30-year-old frontman struggled to make an impact in his first season at the London Stadium, scoring eight goals in 28 Premier League appearances, although 12 of those outings came as a substitute.

And Pellegrini says he has spoken to Hernandez to assure him that there is a big future for him with the Irons, despite talk of a possible summer move away from the club.

He told reporters: "I spoke with Javier before he played the World Cup when I signed here and I told him that he would be a very important player here with me."

Pellegrini and the Hammers have been busy in the transfer market this summer, signing goalkeeper Laukasz Fabianski, defenders Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks and Fabian Balbuena, midfielders Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere and forward Andriy Yarmolenko.

And Pellegrini is eager to get the maximum out of former Arsenal schemer Wilshere, as he hopes to help the England international avoid the sort of injury problems which have stalled his career.

He added: "Undoubtedly he had quite a few injuries in the past, but the season he played at Bournemouth he played a lot of games. Last season he did not have too many injuries.

"We are trying to do a different thing with him so he can be comfortable and not to try to play every game of the season, because he must work in a different way."

West Ham are available at 5/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season, while they are 4/7 to finish in the bottom half.

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How Can the Gunners Improve Their Arsenal Post-Wenger?

Where do you even begin with the direction Arsenal should take moving forward in this transfer window?

It hasn’t been long since Arsene Wenger, the Gunners’ long-time manager, stepped down and ended a long, successful era of Arsenal football. However, every Arsenal supporter knows that the Frenchman hasn’t succeeded in the latter years of his reign.

Those days are long behind them, however, as they look forward to a new future. Fans are looking for the latest bit of Arsenal news over the summer window as they anticipate Unai Emery’s maiden voyage in the Premier League.

The club has already seen a bit of a roster shuffle ever since the summer took over. There were some interesting additions and losses that have made the current look of the squad an interesting one indeed.

However, the window is still far from over and there is over a month left of football before Emery can finalise the composition of his squad. Making key acquisitions can immediately transform his squad into instant title contenders, and he must make his moves here.

However, we must look at what Arsenal lost this summer in order to understand which players the Gunners should get in the window.

Key losses and possible departures

There haven’t been many losses among the Arsenal ranks. However, Arsenal are currently experiencing a drain of midfield talent.

They lost both Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, important players in Arsene Wenger’s teams during the early half of the 2010s, have left the Emirates for Villareal and West Ham, specifically.

Arsenal News: Last June 19, 2018.  Midfielder Jack Wilshere announced his departure from Arsenal due to his contract expiring at the end of June

Jack Wilshere controls the ball during a Europa League match between Arsenal and AC Milan

While it’s very understandable that Cazorla was let go of the club for a free, it is a huge miss that they weren’t able to tie Wilshere down to a new contract before selling him off to the Hammers. They could have made a killing with the man who was left out of a very successful England squad in Russia given his performances for Arsenal when healthy.

While they have lost Per Mertesacker to retirement, they still have enough talent to supplement their back line. However, it seems like their keeper pool will take a hit: Petr Cech is linked to a return to Stamford Bridge while David Ospina is linked to a Mexican club.

Of course, rumours about Aaron Ramsey’s possible departure from the club will also leave the club with too many defenders and too few men to operate in the midfield. Moreover, Wenger had a lot of problems finding the perfect defensive line:  the Gunners allowed the most amount of goals in the Top Six of last season’s Premier League with 51 conceded goals.

With that being said, these key signings could alter their future football results for the better.

Benjamin Pavard, VfB Stuttgart

Many of France’s faithful supporters had no idea who this young defender from a mediocre Bundesliga side is when players such as Dimitri Payet and Moussa Sissoko are not named to the World Cup squad.

However, he made sure that everyone knew who he is after that brilliant strike against Argentina. He quickly made himself a darling among French fans and Arsenal fans after his superb defending helped Les Bleus lift the World Cup trophy a second time.

Of course, Emery must make a compelling offer quick: almost every big club will be after the young Stuttgart star. He must make his decision quick or he will see the 22-year-old defender sold as quickly as the many Juventus shirts donning Cristiano Ronaldo’s name.

If they want to get a keeper, however, Danijel Subasic is a worthy pick-up. The Monaco keeper played a sublime tournament in Russia, making many key saves.

Andre Gomes, Barcelona

Andre Gomes had a great debut season with Barcelona in 2016/17 but quickly found himself out of a regular spot in the Barcelona rotation over the past twelve months. It’s likely that he will have to leave Camp Nou if he wants to play more regular team football. He will have no shortage of suitors after a quality showing for Portugal during the World Cup.

Football Results: Andre Gomes struggled in Camp Nou, scoring only 3 goals in his 78 appearances

Andre Gomes fights for the ball against Saul Niguez

He will fill up the gaping hole left behind by Cazorla and Wilshere in the creative role. Without the pressure of playing behind Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, Gomes will likely thrive in the central role, supplying through passes and lobs to either Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Given the midfield shortage the Gunners are experiencing, signing Gomes would be a masterstroke of an acquisition. While the man struggled to find a home in Barca, he should be able to flourish again under the less glaring lights of the Emirates.

Bernard, Without Club

Bernard is currently without a place to call home, but the Brazil international has proven his worth with the quality of play he showed for Shakhtar Donetsk. In his 95 league appearances for the Ukranian club, he has scored 14 goals and netted 24 assists.

The months following the January window showed just how much they missed the attacking talent of Alexis Sanchez on the wings. For Emery and Arsenal, finding a player of equal quality and gravitas as the Chile international would help them return to the lofty spots of the Champions League.

Sure, it would be nice to get a more famous name with the numerous Marco Reus and Ousmane Dembele highlights circulating the internet. However, both would probably too expensive for the North London club to acquire with the number of key players they also have to acquire.

Arsenal might be big favourites to snag Bernard, but they have huge rivals for his signature in Liverpool. It will be interesting who will get him in the end. Nevertheless, the Premier League will be blessed with the presence of another top football talent.

 

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Yarmolenko boosts Irons’ options

West Ham are confident that they have added a quality, versatile attacking option by signing Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund.

The 28-year-old Ukraine international has signed a four-year contract with the Hammers, having ended his stay with BVB after just a single campaign which saw him score six goals in 26 appearances in all competitions.

And Irons director of football Mario Husillos believes that a change of scenery will help Yarmolenko rediscover the sort of form which saw him score 137 times in 341 games for Dynamo Kyiv.

He told the club's official website: "When we had the opportunity to sign him, we did not hesitate, because he really is the kind of player that we were looking for.

"He is a left-footed player who can play on the right and is very quick, very good one-on-one against a defender.

"He gives the team a lot of attacking options and scores goals, is fast on the counter-attack and provides aerial threat with his height.

"At Dortmund, he had some good matches but perhaps didn't quite show his very best. However, I think Manuel Pellegrini is the perfect coach for Andriy and his style of play."

The arrival of Yarmolenko comes a couple of days after the Hammers completed the signing of England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who opted against signing a new contract at Arsenal.

The Irons are priced at 9/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table next season and are available at 4/11 to end up in the bottom half.

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Premier League News: Transfer Summer Continues to Heat Up

The World Cup may have taken the attention of the football world, but that doesn’t stop Premier League teams from wheeling and dealing this offseason.

With the new campaign a little over a month away, transfer negotiations continue to heat up in the English top flight. Most clubs have already made significant signings and acquisitions this summer, while there are teams that are closing in on their top targets despite failing to make a splash in the opening of the transfer window.

Today, we take a look at the latest Premier League news and rumours and determine who are the biggest winners and losers of the recent transfers.

Notable Transfers and Signings

One of the biggest moves of the summer isn’t a transfer, but it sure has big implications in the Premier League.

Earlier this month, Liverpool made a statement and basically told their opponents that they are here to compete when they signed Mohamed Salah to a new long-term contract. According to reports, the Egyptian King signed a lucrative deal without a release clause to stay at Anfield until 2023.

Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the Reds last season and is undoubtedly Liverpool’s most prized asset.

Meanwhile, in terms of transfers, West Ham are making huge waves with their acquisitions. After bringing in Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski last month, the Hammers are now set to complete a move for former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Premier League news: Former Arsenal's Jack Wilshere close to seal a deal with West Ham United

Jack Wilshere in action against Marcos Alonso during Arsenal’s League Cup first leg match against Chelsea in January

Wilshere is a free agent after leaving Arsenal and is reportedly on his way to London Stadium having undergone a medical. According to the latest updates, the 26-year-old midfielder is close to signing a three-year deal with the club after productive discussions with West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Talking about Arsenal, new manager Unai Emery is slowly filling up spots following an exodus of players. After getting Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner (formerly of Juventus) as a free agent and Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, the Gunners have agreed to a deal to bring veteran defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund.

Papastathopoulos, nonetheless, isn’t the only Bundesliga player taking his talents to the Premier League. Highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Bernardo is moving to the English top flight as well after a successful capture from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elsewhere, Newcastle United sign South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, fresh from captaining the Korea Republic national team in the World Cup. Meanwhile, Watford officially signed former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent deal.

Deulofeu spent the second half of the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Vicarage Road after failing to find his stride in the Barcelona rotation.

Who’s Next?

There are still plenty of big-name stars out there that could find new homes in the coming days. Brazil keeper Alisson, for one, is said to have “agreed terms” to sign for Chelsea.

Alisson started in all of the Selecao’s World Cup matches and conceded just three goals, though the last two against Belgium led to their quarter-final exit in the tournament.

Interestingly, Alisson is tipped to replace Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, with the current Blues No.1 keen to return to Spain.

On the other hand, after bringing in Naby Keita and Fabinho, Liverpool are said to be considering a bid for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala amid reports that the Bianconeri are positioned to acquire Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United, meanwhile, have allegedly prepared a €40 million bid for PSV striker Hirving Lozano.

Chucky, who played hero in Mexico’s opening World Cup victory over Germany, has attracted a wealth of interest after his solid performance in the World Cup. Arsenal have also been linked with the 22-year-old attacker.

Xherdan Shaqiri is also an interesting name that continues to float around. Both Liverpool and United are eager to secure the services of the Swiss winger, but they might have to give up a player as relegated Stoke City are considering a loan signing as part of the deal.

On other news, Dimitri Payet could make a shock return to West Ham after leaving the club two years ago, while newly promoted Fulham F.C. joined Chelsea and Arsenal in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri from Nice.

Perhaps the biggest name to watch this transfer window is Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. The Italian’s future with the club is still in limbo and rumours that he could be sacked soon intensified after sources confirm that the club is leaning on appointing former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.

Premier League news: Former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri close to manage Chelsea in the upcoming season

Maurizio Sarri instructs Napoli players during a Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk in September 2017

Winners and Losers

Well, there’s no doubt that the biggest winners here are the EPL fans considering the arrival of quality talents from other leagues.

Sure enough, a move that will alter the Premier League betting odds is yet to be done, but there’s no doubt it has been a great transfer week for the league.

Liverpool and EPL win big by keeping one of their brightest stars in Salah, while West Ham continue to hoard talent that could pay off huge dividends.

Wilshere is a risky signing given his injury history, but he could be a valuable addition to a West Ham team in dire need of playmaking.

Chelsea, perhaps, are the biggest losers as they are yet to make a major signing, unlike their Top 4 rivals. Not to mention that the uncertainty over their manager keeps things difficult for them in making significant acquisitions.

 

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