West Ham United take on newly-promoted Bournemouth at the London Stadium this evening, with David Moyes’ side looking to build upon their encouraging display despite defeat against Liverpool in midweek.
That clash at Anfield ultimately saw the Hammers fall short as Darwin Nunez’s first-half strike proved the difference on the night, with the visitors notably left to rue Jarrod Bowen’s failed spot-kick attempt, as well as Tomas Soucek’s squandered chance late on.
That late opportunity for the latter man may well have been expertly denied by the ever-reliable James Milner, although such a moment seemingly epitomised the Czech Republic international’s struggles at present, with his place in the side seemingly “at risk” – according to The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas – amid Flynn Downes’ growing status.
The 6 foot 4 colossus is not the only Irons asset under fire at present, however, with fellow midfielder Pablo Fornals also coming in for criticism as a result of his limited impact of late, having been on the periphery during the loss to Jurgen Klopp’s side last time out.
The playmaking Spaniard had looked to bolster his impressive record against the Reds heading into the match – with three goals in just meetings against the Merseyside outfit prior to Wednesday’s encounter – although the 26-year-old once again came up short in attack.
The former Villarreal gem – who arrived in east London back in 2019 – has scored only once and provided just one assist in all competitions this season, with that solitary strike having come against Aston Villa back in August.
With there now seemingly intense competition for places in the midfield and forward ranks, the £65k-per-week menace has seemingly not done enough to warrant a continued place in the side against the Cherries, as he’s “not offering much” at present, according to writer Luke Turner.
The six-cap sensation was notably hooked on the hour mark during that clash with Klopp’s men, having lost possession eight times from his 38 touches, while also failing to register a single key pass on the night.
Such an anonymous outing may well have left Moyes with an easy decision to make regarding his team selection this evening, with Fornals likely to have few complaints if he is ruthlessly axed from the starting lineup.
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