We look ahead to Thursday’s game at the London Stadium with our West Ham vs Bournemouth prediction and preview. Will the Irons stretch their unbeaten run to six Premier League matches?
West Ham vs Bournemouth Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts a West Ham win prior to kick-off. The hosts beat Bournemouth in 54.9% of the 10,000 simulations, with the Cherries winning 19.8%.
- Throughout all teams’ last 10 Premier League games, only Liverpool (24) have picked up more points than West Ham’s 21 (six wins, three draws, one loss).
- Excluding penalties, only Nottingham Forest (11) have conceded more goals from set-pieces than Bournemouth (9) in the Premier League this season. West Ham’s James Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, has created more chances from set-plays than any other player (28).
It often feels like debates over David Moyes’ position at West Ham will never go away, but a five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League has the Hammers dreaming of Europe again. They enter Matchday 22 sixth in the table, five points adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham. How will they fare against Bournemouth, who are looking to rediscover their momentum after back-to-back losses?
Across all teams’ last 10 Premier League matches, only Liverpool (24) have earned more points than West Ham’s 21, with Moyes’ men recording six wins in that time, drawing three times and losing once.
However, there has been a feeling among sections of the Hammers’ fanbase, partly fuelled by their recent FA Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City, that the team’s performances are underwhelming. West Ham have 35 points, compared to 24 in Opta’s expected points model. Their 11-point negative differential is the biggest any side has between actual points and expected points this season.
They were frustrated last time out as Sheffield United twice fought back in the teams’ feisty 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane. Maxwel Cornet and James Ward-Prowse netted for West Ham, only for Oli McBurnie to score the Blades’ second equaliser from the penalty spot 13 minutes into stoppage time after he was fouled by Alphonse Areola. It was the latest Premier League goal scored since records began in 2006-07.
Moyes will have been irritated by the way West Ham let their hosts back into that game after Rhian Brewster’s red card gave them a numerical advantage. Vladimír Coufal made it 10-versus-10 by picking up two quickfire yellow cards late on, and he will be banned for Thursday’s game as a result. Saïd Benrahma is also suspended following his red card against Bristol City, while Lucas Paquetá is still sidelined.
However, West Ham could receive a huge boost with forward Mohammed Kudus returning from international duty following Ghana’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, while Michail Antonio is closing in on a return after over two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
The return of Kudus, in particular, could be key for a side that excels on the counter attack. Only Nottingham Forest (seven) have scored more goals from fast breaks in the Premier League this season than West Ham’s six, which have come from three different players with Ward-Prowse, Kudus and Jarrod Bowen each netting two apiece.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, are looking to respond to back-to-back Premier League defeats to Tottenham and Liverpool. The Cherries did return to winning ways in the FA Cup last Thursday, routing Championship side Swansea City 5-0 with Lloyd Kelly, Alex Scott, Luis Sinisterra, David Brooks and Dominic Solanke all scoring before half-time.
That represented their biggest margin of victory in the FA Cup since November 1986, when they beat Fareham Town 7-2 in the first round as a third-tier side.
The Cherries have come a long way since then, and with boss Andoni Iraola finding his feet after a tricky start to life in England, they are just four points adrift of the top half with a game in hand. Between 28 October (when Bournemouth earned their first Premier League win of the season against Burnley) and the start of Matchday 22, only Liverpool (28) and Aston Villa (24) bettered their return of 22 points.
Key to their revival has been the form of Solanke, who has 12 Premier League goals this campaign. Only Joshua King in 2016-17 (16) and Callum Wilson in 2018-19 (14) have ever scored more in a single top-flight campaign for Bournemouth.
Tyler Adams and Hamed Traorè are long-term absentees, but Iraola’s only new injury concern is regarding young full-back James Hill, who came off with an ankle problem against Swansea.
One area of concern for the Cherries could be dead-ball situations. Excluding penalties, only Forest (11) have conceded more goals from set-pieces than Bournemouth’s nine in the Premier League this season. West Ham’s Ward-Prowse, meanwhile, has created more chances from set-pieces than any other player this term (28).
West Ham vs Bournemouth Head-to-Head
West Ham have won three of their last four Premier League games against Bournemouth (drawing the other), having been winless in six against them before this run began (three draws, three losses).
The two teams played out a 1-1 draw on the south coast back on MD 1, with Solanke scoring a late equaliser to salvage a point for Bournemouth after Bowen put West Ham ahead.
The Cherries have endured contrasting fortunes on recent trips to West Ham, going unbeaten through their three away Premier League games against them when scoring (two wins, one draw), but losing their last two when failing to net.
Bournemouth were thrashed 4-0 at the London Stadium back in January 2020, and lost 2-0 in this exact fixture last season as Kurt Zouma joined Benrahma on the scoresheet for the Irons.
West Ham’s current run of five Premier League games without defeat (three wins, two draws) is their longest such streak within a single season since January 2021, when they enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run.
However, after seeing fixtures against Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield United finish all square, they could draw three successive league games for the first time since April 2017.
Moyes’ men are a tough nut to crack at the London Stadium, where they have kept three successive Premier League clean sheets against Wolves, Manchester United and Brighton. They last managed four straight top-flight clean sheets at home under Gianfranco Zola between December 2009 and January 2010.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, were unbeaten in seven games – winning six – before their back-to-back losses to Spurs and Liverpool. During that seven-match unbeaten run, Iraola’s side conceded just five goals and scored at least twice in every match.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
West Ham vs Bournemouth Prediction
The Opta supercomputer makes West Ham favourites for Thursday’s game, with the Hammers winning 54.9% of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off.
Bournemouth claim three points in 19.8% of scenarios, while 25.3% of simulations finish level.
In the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions, West Ham are favoured to secure European qualification again for 2024-25. They finish sixth in a league-high 24.2% of scenarios, claiming a top-seven place in 59.5% of our projections.
Twelfth (23.5%) is Bournemouth’s most common position in our predictions, with the Cherries given a 21.7% chance of finishing inside the top half.