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James Collins injured in West Ham friendly

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West Ham defender James Collins hobbled off the field in the 29th minute of the Hammers’ friendly against Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday, a big blow to the club’s already paper-thin back line.

With the league on an international break, West Ham agreed to play a friendly against Dagenham & Redbridge to help raise money for National League club that could be in serious financial trouble. However, it could be detrimental to the short-term future of the Hammers, who are hoping to stave off relegation, sitting just two points above the drop.

The 34-year-old defender has missed significant time this season due to injury, with an ankle injury keeping Collins out for nearly three months in 2017. West Ham has lost just four of the 12 Premier League matches Collins has appeared in this season, with three clean sheets. However, two of those have come in the club’s last three games, thrashed by a combined 7-1 scoreline between 90 minutes against Liverpool and Burnley.

The injury comes at the worst possible time, with West Ham set to play Southampton in a critical relegation matchup between teams in the in 17th and 18th in the Premier League table. The Hammers are already without defender Winston Reid who remains out for the season with a knee injury, while the club sold center-back Jose Fonte to Chinese club Dalian Yifang F.C. in late February.

West Ham was hoping to do its part to help save the London club. Former director Glyn Hopkin abruptly resigned and pulled all financial backing in early February, leaving the club fearing for its immediate future. They reportedly need $353,000 just to stay afloat the rest of the season, even with zero club debt.

Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham: Chaos down south

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  • Bournemouth winless in nine
  • Arnautovic has five goals in five
  • Begovic slips for howler on rain-drenched day

A controversial late equalizer at rain-soaked Vitality Stadium gave unlikely goal scorer Nathan Ake a brace, as Bournemouth earned a 3-3 draw with visiting West Ham United on Boxing Day.

Marko Arnautovic scored a pair of late goals to seemingly prod West Ham in front after the Cherries led on Ake’s first and a Dan Gosling marker.

James Collins scored West Ham’s other goal.

The Irons remain a point above the Bottom Three, with Bournemouth in 18th with 17.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The hosts’ post-holiday hopes took an early hit through Collins, who rose to head home moments after Bournemouth popped a similar chance over the bar.

Josh King just missed making it 1-1 when his side-footed turn of a Callum Wilson cross knifed wide of the frame.

At the other end, Arthur Masuaku found Andre Ayew, but the Frenchman’s first touch hit whistled wide of the net.

Gosling put Bournemouth level by finding a loose ball in the 18 and firing it beyond Adrian.

Simon Francis was fortunate to stay in the match when his high trap attempt caught Cheikhou Kouyate in the face.

Adrian collected a popped King header just before halftime.

Bournemouth kept up its pressure in the downpour. A Jordon Ibe set piece led to a corner kick, and Ake found a seeing-eye ball and deposited it behind Adrian.

The Spanish keeper denied Gosling’s hopes for a brace in the 63rd minute.

Arnautovic got the equalizer when Asmir Begovic slipped onto his rear end on a clearing attempt, allowing the Austrian to slide home for 2-2.

Masuaku swept a cross through to Javier Hernandez, and Begovic’s save pushed the ball right onto Arnautovic’s path for the winner.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

PL AT HALF: Burnley shocking Man Utd; Huddersfield ahead

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The goals haven’t been as free-flowing as they were in a seven-goal Boxing Day kickoff between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, but we’ve got some markers around the ground in England, including a pair of eye-opening markers at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United 0-2 Burnley

A lively start for the visitors coupled with poor set piece defending allowed Ashley Barnes to put Burnley ahead at Old Trafford, and United controlled play but had even less to show for it when Steven Defour curled his free kick past a flying David De Gea.

Bournemouth 1-1 West Ham United

James Collins‘ early headed goal has been answered by Dan Gosling playing trash collector in the box as we’re level at the Vitality Stadium.

Watford 1-1 Leicester City

The Riyad Mahrez Renaissance continues, with the Algerian scoring from a terrific Marc Albrighton cross. Molla Wague answered just before halftime for the Hornets.

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Stoke City

Tom Ince has the Terriers ahead, and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl has done a bit to keep them there.

Elsewhere
Chelsea 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Everton

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Everton

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  • Toffees won 2-0 on Oct. 23
  • Irons took 4 points last season
  • Everton leads all-time 68W-30D-37L

Everton aims to keep its slim Top Five hopes alive when it attempts to sweep West Ham United for the fourth time in five seasons (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Romelu Lukaku should be a big part of that as he looks to build his 4-goal lead in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot. The soon-to-be 24-year-old has 24 goals on the season.

It hasn’t been a great couple months for West Ham, which the club is looking to turn around having picked up four points in the last two weeks (albeit against relegation candidates).

What they’re saying

West Ham’s James Collins on stopping Lukaku“Of course, Lukaku has got a good record against us, and we probably haven’t defended as well against him as we could have done in games gone by. Physically, he has got everything, he is big, strong and he can finish so it’s going to be a tough game. He’s obviously on top of his game, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing at the minute, so I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against one of the best strikers in the Premier League.”

Everton boss Ronald Koeman on away form: “It’s all about the attitude and having that in the same way when we play at home and away. Of course, it’s going to be slightly different because at Goodison we have the backing of 39,000 home fans. When those fans are against you [in an away game], that makes a difference. But we need to start well, start aggressive and try to score. We need a little bit more of that mentality away from home.”

Prediction

Something has to give between Everton’s road form (three matches in 13) and the Hammers being better away from the London Stadium than inside its walls. We expect that to sway toward the better quality on Everton, which wins 2-0.

West Brom 4-2 West Ham: Chadli, Baggies punish leaky, leaky Hammers

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  • Chadli converts early PK
  • Rondon, McClean make it 3-0 by half
  • Chadli strikes again in second half
  • Antonio, Lanzini strike back

Nacer Chadli‘s brace headline an offensive onslaught for West Bromwich Albion, which heaped questions on Slaven Bilic and West Ham United after a 4-2 loss at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Salomon Rondon and James McClaren scored as the Baggies built a 3-0 halftime lead, and the Irons allowed four goals for a second-straight Premier League outing.

Michail Antonio ended the clean sheet with a 61st minute goal, and Manuel Lanzini converted a PK to make the final 20 minutes more promising than a four-goal deficit.

It’s West Ham’s third-straight loss, keeping them in danger of finishing the weekend in the Bottom Three. The Baggies are up to eighth with 7 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham gifted the hosts a penalty in the 7th minute, when Arthur Masuaku inexplicably arm-trapped Matty Phillips’ too-long free kick and Chadli buried the PK to make it 1-0.

Aside from a dead ball here or a missed clearance there  — Masuaku had a howler of a first half — West Ham was always searching for an equalizer with little worry going the other way.

Ben Foster stopped red-hot Antonio at the doorstep in the 35th minute, and Rondon supplied an answer at the other end when he belted a shot between James Collins‘ legs and past Adrian. 2-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The hits kept coming, with James McClean redirected a goal home before halftime, and Chadli adding his second goal after the break.

But Antonio scored off a Dimitri Payet assist, imagine that, and the Irons soon drew a penalty that Lanzini converted to make it 4-2. Surely a Tony Pulis side wouldn’t allow two more goals, right?

The Hammers kept pushing, and Foster needed to make a terrific reaction save on James Collins to keep it 4-2 with under 10 to go at the Hawthorns.