AFC Bournemouth vs West Ham United preview: Hammers looking to return to winning ways against revitalised Cherries

West Ham United will face a tough test when they travel to the south coast to take on a revitalised AFC Bournemouth, who are looking to distance themselves from the Premier League relegation zone.

A great point to get

Many Bournemouth fans thought that they wouldn't be in this situation after an excellent first-half to the campaign, but since the turn of the year Eddie Howe's side have really struggled and now find themselves in quite the sticky situation.

The Cherries have failed to secure a victory since their 3-0 win over Swansea City on New Year's Eve, with their trouble seeming to stem from that demoralising 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the beginning of January.

Before the trip to Old Trafford last weekend they had only managed one point since the stalemate with the Gunners, with defeats including the hefty 6-3 loss at the hands of Everton.

Many will have expected them to be rolled over once again when they visited Manchester United last Saturday, and when Marcos Rojo opened the scoring it looked to be heading that way.

But a first-half penalty from Joshua King secured a surprise 1-1 draw and will give them a boost of confidence ahead of the visit of the Hammers.

Getting it back on track

It has been a rollercoaster season for Slaven Bilić's side. Their form certainly perked up since the turn of the year, but they have had a slight bump in the road in the last few weeks.

A 4-0 defeat to Manchester City was their only defeat in six matches which included crucial away wins over Middlesbrough and Southampton, but their form has suffered in the last few weeks since the win at St. Mary's.

They played out two frustrating draws against West Brom and Watford respectively ahead of the visit of league leaders Chelsea on Monday night.

The Hammers put in a decent performance against the Blues but Manuel Lanzini's stoppage-time effort was only a consolation, with goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa giving Chelsea a 2-1 victory at the London Stadium.

Bilić's side will have some confidence going into Saturday's clash, having defeated Bournemouth earlier in the season with Michail Antonio scoring the first goal at their new home to give them a narrow 1-0 victory. West Ham would be more than happy with a similar result.

Team news

The big team news for the home side will be the absence of defender Tyrone Mings. The defender was involved in a ongoing battle with Zlatan Ibrahimović in Saturday's clash at United, which came to boiling point when he seemed to stamp on the head of the Swede.

It has since been announced that he will be serving a five-match ban for his actions, which Bournemouth will be looking to appeal. Regardless, Mings will certainly miss this clash.

Andrew Surman will also be missing having picked up a red card at Old Trafford while skipper Simon Francis could be in contention having made progress with his hamstring injury but more than likely to be missing. Goalkeeper Adam Federici and striker Callum Wilson will be absent as they continue to recover from their respective knee injuries.

The big boost for Bilić will be the return of top scorer Michail Antonio, having served his one-match ban after his dismissal in the 1-1 draw with Watford.

Key striker Andy Carroll is also expected to start after making his return on Monday night. He required stitches after a clash with Victor Moses but is expected to be passed fit.

There were some doubts over defender Winston Reid after limping off on Saturday night, but the defender is also expected to be in contention for selection.

West Ham United will take on AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, March 11 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.

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