West Ham United’s bid for Premier League survival received a big boost last night as Bournemouth were plunged deeper into crisis.
With Norwich adrift it looks to be two from four as West Ham, Watford, Aston Villa and the Cherries fight to avoid filling the last two relegation spots.
But the situation looks increasingly ominous for West Ham’s relegation rivals Bournemouth.
Bournemouth have it tougher than Hammers
While West Ham’s fixture list from here on in is officially the kindest of any of the bottom six sides, Bournemouth’s is the toughest.
Eddie Howe’s side face daunting fixtures – they soon play Manchester United, Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City in a row and finish the season at Everton.
They lost Joshua King to an ankle injury – although that is not as bad as first feared.
And West Ham transfer target Ryan Fraser has played his last game for the club and will leave when his contract expires next Tuesday.
Boost for West Ham as Wilson gets two-game ban
West Ham got a further boost when star striker Callum Wilson was suspended for the next two matches last night.
Wilson – another former West Ham target – was on nine bookings for the season going into the defeat against Wolves.
And he duly picked up his 10th which results in an automatic two-game ban.
The perienniel West Ham tormentor will now miss games against Newcastle and Manchester United.
West Ham have their own problems, though.
David Moyes’s only striker Sebastien Haller is injured and it is unclear when he will be fit to return.
He has also been criticised by teammates for being ‘too soft’ according to former West Ham star Bobby Zamora – read full story here.
It’s going right to the wire
And, like Fraser at Bournemouth, young star Jeremy Ngakia will leave West Ham next Tuesday after rejecting an extension and new deal.
That leaves Moyes a choice of playing the woeful Ryan Fredericks or the untested Ben Johnson at right-back.
Things don’t get any easier for West Ham either, they take on Chelsea next week.
Moyes said this week he believes the relegation battle will go down to the last game when West Ham take on Villa.
And it’s easy to see why.
After last night’s results the Hammers, Villa and Bournemouth are all dead level on 27 points with West Ham out of the relegation on goal difference alone.