Howe hopes for Wilson boost

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe is hoping that striker Callum Wilson has not suffered a major injury setback, having only just returned to action.

Wilson scored a superb goal in the 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Saturday, but was forced off 17 minutes from time at Dean Court due to a knee problem, having been sidelined for just over a fortnight by a hamstring issue.

And Howe has been left waiting to find out the extent of the injury, telling reporters after also see Josh King limp off late on against the Irons: "We're going to have to see how they are, but Callum's seems the more serious, limping off which is unlike him.

"We're going to have to see what he's done. It's not the hamstring, it was something in his knee, but I have no idea how serious it is."

Meanwhile, Howe was full of praise for the defensive efforts of his players against the Hammers, with the Cherries keeping a first clean sheet in their last five league games.

He added: "The players have been questioned, but I thought they came through with flying colours. I thought it was really disciplined display full of hard work.

"We've put a lot of hard work into the last few weeks and concentrated on our defending. It goes without saying, after the run that we've been on, that's what we would do and I'm very pleased that the players got their rewards."

Bournemouth are now priced at 6/5 to finish in the top half of the table and 4/6 to end up in the bottom half of the table.

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Howe weighs up Wilson return

Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe will make a late decision on whether to hand striker Callum Wilson a recall for the clash with West Ham on Saturday.

The England international frontman has sat out the last two Cherries games due to a hamstring niggle and Howe is not about to take any chances with one of his most important players.

He told reporters ahead of the Hammers' visit to the South Coast: "He's been on the grass once this week and we will make a very late call on him. You have to be very careful with hamstring injuries."

Wilson has scored nine goals in 20 Premier League appearances so far this season and is 6/5 to score at any time on Saturday, with Bournemouth 11/8 to win the game and 9/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Howe has again attempted to play down talk of interest in Wilson from Chelsea, while confirming that his club have fielded no offers for any of their current squad.

He added: "We've had no interest in any of our players. Everything has just been speculation.

"I don't want to place any more pressure on Callum or any of my players by talking about things that aren't important. What's important is Callum working hard for the team and producing his best performances on a consistent basis.

"For him to be thinking about transfer fees, values and other clubs, I would recommend he focuses on Bournemouth."

Wilson scored a last-minute equaliser when Bournemouth and West Ham played out a 3-3 draw in this fixture last season.

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No Arnautovic movement yet

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed there is still no movement in a proposed exit for striker Marko Arnautovic.

The Austrian's agent last week suggested his brother wanted a move to China, with West Ham reportedly having been offered £35m for a player they acquired for £20m last year from Stoke City.

The Hammers however released a statement suggesting they would not be willing to sell, insisting Arnautovic had a contract they anticipated he would honour.

Ahead of this weekend's trip to Bournemouth, where West Ham are 9/5 to win, Pellegrini has revealed the forward is working well in training.

"He is working with the team without any problem. He has a contract here so we will know what happens with that in the coming days," said the Chilean.

Meanwhile Pellegrini has suggested that former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has returned to English football with a point to prove.

The 31-year-old ex-French international impressed last weekend on his debut as West Ham overcame Arsenal at the London Stadium.

"He has a lot of quality, in the way he wants to get some revenge in football. His quality, we never had any doubts about him," Pellegrini said.

West Ham are 18/1 to beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, while the game is 13/5 to end level.

Last weekend's match-winner Declan Rice continues to impress his boss.

"He is a player that will continue improving, he is just 20-years-old so he has a lot of time to continue growing as a player. I think he can play both positions [centre back and midfield] but I repeat that he is improving every day," added the West Ham boss.

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Arnautovic wants to go – Antonio

Michail Antonio has revealed Marko Arnautovic wants to leave West Ham and make a move to China this month.

The Austria international was the subjext of a £35million bid from an unnamed Chinese Super League club last week but that offer was rejected out of hand by the Hammers.

The East Londn outfit released a statement announcing they had no intention of selling their top goalscorer but it is understood the offer has turned the head of the former Stoke City forward.

Following Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal, boss Manuel Pellegrini admitted there was a chance Arnautovic could move on from the London Stadium.

Antonio has now lifted the lid on Arnautovic's mindset, claiming he wants the club to sell him to China.

He toldSky Sports' Goals on Sunday: "It's been quite tight-lipped, but everyone knows Marko wants to go. He's massive for the club, I think he's joint top goalscorer right now, so he's a big player for us.

"The fans love him, it's just one of those things where in his life right now, he feels it's another step for him and I think he's going to one of the best clubs over there, where he might be able to win some trophies.

"He's coming to the latter end of his career, maybe he just feels like before he retires he needs a new step, and this might be a step that he wants."

Antonio went on to say that if the 29-year-old did get his wish then it would be tricky for West Ham to find a replacement of similar quality.

Antonio added: "That's a difficult situation – we've got someone there with experience of playing who scores goals, right now who would we sign to replace him? That's where the problem lies."

Antonio and the rest of the squad will hope Arnautovic doesn't move on and is part of the squad that heads to the south coast for the clash with Bournemouth next Saturday.

The Cherries are 2/1 for the win, while West Ham are 2/1 and the draw is 12/5.

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Pellegrini: Rice becoming top player

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini feels match-winner Declan Rice is on the road to becoming a 'complete player' after his goal in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

The teenager scored shortly after half-time, firing a shot into the roof of the net having been teed-up by former Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri on his West Ham bow.

Rice, who can play at centre-back or in centre midfield, has been in the headlines recently as his international future draws attention.

He has earned three caps for the Republic of Ireland, all in friendlies, and the London-born man could yet decide to declare for England.

He was named man of the match after West Ham's lunchtime win over Arsenal and his manager feels he has the attributes to go right to the top.

"He is improving in every game," Pellegrini told Sky Sports.

"He has showed good technique and is good in aerial duels, I think we are seeing the complete player. At 19-years-old, I am sure we will see a top, top player."

Rice meanwhile admitted he was elated to nail his first Premier League goal, especially after missing a headed chance in the first half. He revealed his teammates have encouraged him to try his luck more often.

"I can't put it into the words. The lads are always on at me to take the shot on more. I have been getting into the box more recently and I was gutted with missing the header in the first half.

Arsenal failed to create the sort of scoring chances many would have expected and Pellegrini felt his players carried out their game plan effectively. If any side was going to score the games' second goal, the Chilean suggested it would have been West Ham

"I was pleased with the balance and consistency of the team. We did not allow Arsenal any chances despite their quality of players. We played with a mentality of a big team, always going for the second goal," he added.

West Ham are 2/1 to win their next game at Bournemouth next Saturday. The Cherries are 13/10 with the draw priced at 12/5.

Irons aiming to keep Arnautovic

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is eager to keep Marko Arnautovic at the club until at least the end of the season, amid talk of a big-money move to China.

The 29-year-old Austria international forward is reported to be the subject of a major bid from a Chinese club, with the player seemingly keen to explore the option.

However, ahead of a Saturday lunchtime Premier League derby clash with Arsenal, Pellegrini says he expects his player to focus on the job in hand.

He told reporters: "Those are all rumours. We know we have a very good player in Marko, a lot of clubs may want him to play for them. At the moment we have no news about him.

"I don't want to talk about things that might happen. Marko in this moment is a player of our team – players of his quality and other players like Declan Rice, Felipe Anderson, other clubs will want them, but that is one thing. I don't think they will go.

"I want to keep him, of course, but you never know what might happen in the future. Marko and all the other players involved in rumours have their heads here."

Arnautovic's brother and agent, Danijel, had earlier told Talksport: "West Ham bought Marko for peanuts. They paid £20million for him, which is nothing in the current market.

"They bought him to keep them in the Premier League last season and he did that. Now West Ham have a fantastic offer, which is close to double what they paid for him.

"He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles."

The Hammers are 13/5 to win on Saturday and are 12/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline, with Arnautovic 11/8 to score at any time in the game.

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Pellegrini eyes European opportunity

Head coach Manuel Pellegrini says his West Ham side should take the FA Cup very seriously this season, with a route back into European football on offer.

The Hammers started December by winning four Premier League games in a row, only to stutter over the festive period by claiming just one victory in their last four outings.

Next on the agenda is an FA Cup third-round visit from Championship play-off hopefuls Birmingham City, with Pellegrini clearly wanting to see his team try and make progress in the competition.

The Chilean told reporters: "To win a title with West Ham is one of the targets. I will always try to win. The FA Cup is a very important trophy and for any manager it's important to try to win.

"In this moment, we are at the beginning of the cup. We will try to continue in the FA Cup, like every other team.

"It's another option to win a title and another opportunity to qualify for Europe, so we will fight until the end."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini also confirmed that recent signing Samir Nasri will play some part in the game against the Blues on Saturday, adding: "Samir will be in the squad. We will see if he will start playing, but he will be important this year.

"He is looking well and he has lost some weight. I think football is like riding a bicycle, you never forget. He is motivated and working hard."

The Londoners are 1/2 to defeat Birmingham in 90 minutes and are 7/1 to claim a 1-0 victory, with the Irons 33/1 to go all the way and win the FA Cup this season, having already done so three times in their history.

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Hughton eager to mind the gap

Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Chris Hughton has called on his side to remain focused on maintaining a cushion between themselves and the relegation places.

The Seagulls are currently ten points of the Premier League drop zone, having ended a run of four games without a win by edging out Everton 1-0 at the Amex Stadium at the weekend.

However, Hughton has warned that nothing can be taken for granted, with a trip to the London Stadium to take on West Ham next on the agenda on Wednesday evening

He told his club's official website: "We've worked very hard to be where we are now and we have to be respectful that every single game we play is a difficult one.

"There'll be bigger and more experienced teams than us that will find it difficult – there's reminders every week in this league about that.

"My feeling is that we have to continue with the same mentality and the gap between ourselves and the bottom three will always be the most important thing for quite some time to develop as a team.

"We've made good progress during my time here and our objective when I arrived was to be where we are now in the Premier League."

Earlier this season the meeting of the two sides on the South Coast ended in a 1-0 victory for Albion, with Glenn Murray scoring the only goal of the game.

Veteran striker Murray is available at 7/4 to score at any time on Wednesday evening, with Brighton 11/4 to claim a draw in the capital, while a 1-1 final scoreline is priced at 13/2.

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Nasri signing bolsters Hammers

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is hopeful that attacking midfielder Samir Nasri will make a positive impact for the Hammers in the second half of the season.

The 31-year-old France international has been training with the Premier League club for some time in a bid to earn a contract, having been forced to take time away from the game due to off-field issues.

And his efforts have paid off, with Pellegrini happy to work with Nasri again, having previously been in charge of the player at Manchester City.

The Chilean told his club's official website: "He is a player I obviously know well from our time together at Manchester City.

"He has been working very hard here in recent weeks to build up his fitness and condition after a long period without playing and he is now very determined to return to his best.

"Samir will give us another dimension in our attacking play. He already has very good experience of the Premier League and we hope that he will have a positive impact on the team between now and the end of the season."

Nasri started his career with Marseille, before enjoying spells with Arsenal and the Citizens, while he has also featured for Sevilla and Antalyspor.

He has won 41 caps for his country, while in his time in Manchester he helped City to two Premier League titles and a League Cup success.

West Ham can be backed at 4/6 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season and are 40/1 to claim a top-six finish.

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Pellegrini: We lacked energy

Manuel Pellegrini blamed tiredness for his West Ham United side's poor performance in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Burnley.

Goals from Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil secured victory for Sean Dyche's side who could easily have won the match by a much wider margin.

The Hammers had been in a run of good form and a victory at Turf Moor would have lifted them up to seventh in the table but they produced a lack-lustre display against the Clarets, 4/11 to be relegated this season.

West Ham had played on Thursday at Southampton, 24 hours after Burnley had been thrashed 5-1 at home by Everton.

Pellegrini thought that had been a factor in his side's limp display, with the Chilean saying: "It's frustrating because we wanted to win this game.

"It was a good opportunity to go to seventh position in the table but I think we lacked the energy to win it. We arrived back from Southampton at 2am on Friday, and then 48 hours later I am sure that affected the recovery because that's the only reason why we played the way we did.

"It wasn't only that we didn't create many chances, they also created a lot of chances. 2-0 was not the score that they deserved – they deserved at least a couple more."

West Ham are 19/20 to defeat Brighton on Wednesday and 7/1 to beat the Seagulls 1-0.