Big-spending Bournemouth host West Ham on Tuesday hoping that their new additions will play key roles in firing them to Premier League safety.
The Cherries smashed their transfer record to bring Wolves striker Benik Afobe to the south coast for a fee of around £10 million, with Eddie Howe hoping he will fill the void left by the injured Callum Wilson.
Howe’s side beat Birmingham to progress in the FA Cup at the weekend, but are without a win and a goal in three league games, leaving them four points above the drop zone.
The South Coast outfit’s first ever Premier League victory came in the reverse fixture at Upton Park in August, and Howe will be hoping for a repeat result; though he may hope for a less nerve-wracking match than the 4-3 win in East London.
West Ham come into the match on the back of two straight wins as well as going seven unbeaten altogether, having not lost since November.
However, Slaven Bilic’s side have become draw specialists on the road, and haven’t picked up three points away from Upton Park since beating Crystal Palace in mid-October. It represents a shift in fortunes for the Hammers, who started the season with impressive wins at the Emirates, Anfield and the Etihad.
Andy Carroll is looking to score in three successive Premier League matches for the first time, with the big striker perhaps eyeing up a place in England’s Euro 2016 squad if he can stay injury free.
The hosts are trying to get on-loan Roma winger Juan Iturbe’s paperwork completed in time for the Argentine to face West Ham, whilst Afobe is set to make his debut up front.
West Ham are set to assess the fitness of Enner Valencia and Cheikhou Kouyate, both of whom were absent for the win over Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday. In a significant blow for the Hammers, Manuel Lanzini will miss the next six weeks with a thigh injury.
League Position: Bournemouth – 16th (21 pts); West Ham – 6th (32 pts)
Last Meeting: West Ham 3-4 Bournemouth (August 22, 2015)
Form: Bournemouth – WWWDLD; West Ham – DDDDWW
Key Men: Bournemouth – Benik Afobe; West Ham – Andy Carroll
Shoot Says: Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham