There would have been little Christmas cheer at the Vitality Stadium this year after Bournemouth dropped into the bottom three, today they will look to place themselves on the right side of the relegation dotted line as they play host to West Ham.
The Cherries were the latest team to be handed defeat by the ruthless Manchester City, that in itself will come as no real surprise but not only that it was a third straight defeat for Eddie Howe’s men and a result that saw them drop down to 18th in the Premier League table.
The stats for Bournemouth are looking pretty stark as of late, they have not won any of their last seven Premier League matches, the second longest streak without a win behind West Brom while they have also picked up just two points from a possible 18.
That means they are also second bottom in the current form table (when looking at the last six matches) quite simply their recent run of form has caught up with them as the likes of Crystal Palace, Stoke and today’s opponents West Ham have all picked up important wins as of late.
They were on something of a hiding to nothing when they traveled to the Etihad last Saturday and they were eventually steamrollered by Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut with City running out 4-0 winners but although it was a heavy defeat it was more down to Bournemouth’s own doing then the brilliance of the runaway league leaders.
Bournemouth had done relatively well to keep City quiet until Sergio Aguero finally broke the deadlock late in the first half and it was only a late capitulation from the visitors that really allowed the home side to record another emphatic victory.
That said as soon as City did take the lead it was always going to be a case of just how many they were going to win by as you could not see where any Bournemouth goal threat was going to come from and that has been a question that has been asked on too many occasions this season.
Today they play host to a West Ham side whose recent run of results came to an end on Saturday when they were beaten in an entertaining fixture at the London Stadium by Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle, the three points for the Magpies were also another factor as to why Bournemouth have reached the drop zone.
However it could have been a lot different especially if Andre Ayew had not taken such a poor penalty, his second half effort from the spot was comfortably saved by Robert Elliot and that coupled with a sloppy defensive performance meant that they would come away from this game empty handed.
Although they went ahead through the resurgent Marko Arnautovic, a player who has perfectly epitomised the transformation that West Ham have undergone since the arrival of David Moyes to East London each of the goals that they conceded were very sloppy as Newcastle punished them for their defensive woes.
David Moyes will just have to hope that defeat to Newcastle was nothing more than a little blip, especially with the Hammers back down to 17th in the table by the end of the Saturday. Not only that but a defeat today would see Bournemouth only have a short stay in the drop zone at West Ham’s expense.
It might be too early to classify this as a six-pointer in the truest sense of the word but it is a must win game for both clubs, Bournemouth need to end this rut of results while West Ham need to stay out of the bottom three, that said I can see this one ending in a draw this afternoon.