Out with the old and in with the new, AFC Bournemouth will make history on Sunday as the first visiting team in the Premier League to play a game against West Ham in their new ground at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford with a capacity at the moment of 57,000 fans. This game will also be shown on Sky with a 4 pm kick off.
It is nearly one year ago that we visited the Boleyn Ground/Upton Park to play West Ham in our first game there in the Premier League. This was the home of the Hammers for 112 years and a number of their fans were not happy in leaving there, it was a more compact ground than the openness of their new ground.
Their new ground will accommodate around 25,000 more fans and West Ham have sold 50,000 season tickets. Some of the seats will be retractable as the ground will also be used for athletics.
The question is even with a bigger crowd, will this new stadium have the same sort of atmosphere for football as West Ham`s old home? Our fans will be able to give us the answer after Sunday`s game. Remember being a great atmosphere for the London Olympics when I visited it with my family.
Westfield shopping centre is nearby with numerous restaurants and shops if you want to keep your other half happy, especially with the South West trains £16 off-peak return offer if booked by midnight the night before.
West Ham opened their season with a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. With a number of changes for the Europa League play-off away, West Ham drew 1-1 with Astra Giurgiu.
West Ham United Team News:
Andre Ayew the £20 million record signing from Swansea limped off with a thigh injury against Chelsea on Monday night and is out for four months, so won`t be a thorn in our side on Sunday. Also out are Aaron Cresswell, Sofiane Feghouli, Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho.
Player to watch: Dimitri Payet
Andy Caroll has to be a danger, but last season at Dean Court he went off injured after 15 minutes so had little time to impress. Dimitri Payet will be one we need to keep an eye on, even though he was only a sub late on in the game recently against Chelsea, he will be out to impress his manager in front of a large crowd at the Olympic Stadium and the game being shown live on Sky.
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
New signing Marc Wilson doesn`t look like he will be in the squad for the West Ham game, according to Eddie Howe there are doubts over his fitness. We might see one or two changes from the side that lost to Manchester United at Dean Court.
Player to watch: Callum Wilson
Against Manchester United Jordan Ibe our record signing from Liverpool has still to impress, Lewis Cook played well, Adam Smith had a good game and scored our only goal. But hope to see Callum Wilson produce some of the form he showed against West Ham in the away game last season where he scored a hat-trick, so my player to watch.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season in our away game at West Ham, AFCB picked up their first win in the Premier League in a 4-3 victory, Callum Wilson`s hat-trick and a goal from Marc Pugh made sure of the 3 points. In the home game at Dean Court West Ham gained revenge by taking 3 points in a 3-1 victory, the Cherries goal coming from Harry Arter.
We met them twice in the old Division Two back in the 1989-90 season, we drew 1-1 at Dean Court and lost 4-1 at their ground. In all competitions against the Hammers, AFCB have W 1, D 2 and L 4.