Having both fallen to 1-0 defeats in their midweek fixtures, West Ham United and Bournemouth provide Monday night’s entertainment at the London Stadium in the Premier League.
The Hammers were put to the sword by Liverpool last time out, while the Cherries’ resilient run under Gary O’Neil came to an end against Southampton.
Had it not been for the palms of Alisson Becker and the big toe of James Milner, as Jurgen Klopp aptly put it after the game, West Ham could have very well come away from Anfield without another defeat on their notebook on another day.
However, a re-energised Darwin Nunez directed a downward header past the reach of Lukasz Fabianski in the first half, and the Uruguayan could and probably should have scored more on the night, but Liverpool were then indebted to Alisson for keeping out Jarrod Bowen’s spot kick just before the break.
With Everton seeing off Crystal Palace with ease on Saturday afternoon, David Moyes’s side are languishing in 14th in the rankings ahead of Monday’s game, and depending on results on Sunday, the Hammers could even be starting the day in the relegation zone.
Only two points separate Moyes’s side from the dotted line at present, and their momentum has taken a hit since winning four on the trot earlier in October, but recent history will be in the hosts’ favour at the London Stadium.
Indeed, West Ham have won each of their last five Premier League games played on a Monday and could now win six in a row on a specific day for the first time in their history, and they could also secure a third consecutive home win by two goals or more for the first time since leaving Upton Park.
Defeat to Southampton will not undermine the sterling job that O’Neil has done in the Bournemouth hotseat, but it was a painful one nonetheless, as Che Adams headed home the only goal of the contest with just nine minutes on the clock.
Southampton were counting their lucky stars when Mohammed Salisu cleared off the line in the second half, and there was no way through for the Cherries on their own turf, as their noteworthy six-game Premier League unbeaten run came to an end.
Bournemouth prepare for Monday’s game one place and two points better off than West Ham in the table in 13th, but like the Hammers, O’Neil’s side could also drop dangerously close to the relegation places if the teams below them all pick up maximum points on Sunday.
Thanks in no small part to their 9-0 demolition at Anfield, Bournemouth travel to the capital having conceded a whopping 18 goals on the road this term – only Leicester City (19) have performed worse in that department – but scoring six goals in their last three away games will serve as a slice of encouragement.
Moyes kicked off his second spell in charge of West Ham with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth on New Year’s Day 2020 – ending a six-game winless run against the Cherries in the process – but nostalgia will count for nothing on Monday night.
West Ham United Premier League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
Bournemouth Premier League form:
We say: West Ham United 1-0 Bournemouth
Finding a clinical edge is an art that West Ham are yet to master in the current campaign, and Bournemouth’s eye-catching goals conceded column on the road does not tell the full story at all.
Paqueta’s absence should be well and truly felt for the hosts as well, but Moyes’s side should still be able to edge a close contest for a third successive home win.