Preview: Burnley vs. West Ham United

Preview: Burnley vs. West Ham United

West Ham United will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League when they head to Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon to take on Burnley.

The Hammers, who are fourth in the table, recorded a 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the league last weekend, while Burnley will enter the contest off the back of a 1-0 loss to Newcastle United.

Burnley have only won one of their opening 14 matches of the 2021-22 Premier League season, while a total of 10 points has left them in 18th position in the table, level on points with both 19th-placed Newcastle and 20th-placed Norwich City.

The Clarets are playing in their sixth straight season at this level of football, and although they finished 17th last term, there were 11 points separating them from the bottom three.

It does appear that Sean Dyche’s side will be involved in a relegation battle during the 2021-22 campaign, and last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle was certainly a blow, with Callum Wilson’s first-half effort proving to be the difference between the two sides at St James’ Park.

Burnley have actually only lost one of their last six league games but have been unable to convert draws into wins, sharing the points on seven occasions, which has prevented them from moving away from trouble.

The Clarets, who are at home to Watford on Wednesday night, lost both Premier League matches against West Ham last season, including a 2-1 defeat at home to the Hammers back in May.

West Ham will enter Sunday’s clash off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League on Thursday night, but head coach David Moyes made a number of changes to his usual starting XI, with the club already booking their spot in the next round as Group H winners.

The Hammers were victorious in the league last weekend, recording a 3-2 win over Chelsea at the London Stadium, with Arthur Masuaku coming up with an 87th-minute winner for the hosts.

A record of eight wins, three draws and four defeats from 15 matches has brought West Ham 27 points this season, which has left them in fourth spot in the table, two points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

There is simply no downplaying the importance of this match to the Hammers, as the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers will all have their eyes on fourth position.

The London club have lost their last two league matches on their travels, though, suffering defeats at both Wolves and Manchester City, while they had been on a three-game losing streak against Burnley in the Premier League before triumphing in both meetings during the 2020-21 campaign.

Burnley Premier League form:
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Burnley form (all competitions):
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West Ham United Premier League form:
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West Ham United form (all competitions):
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Burnley boss Dyche has revealed that Maxwel Cornet has an “outside chance” of being involved in the contest, with the attacker battling to overcome a thigh problem.

Ben Mee is also winning his fight to recover from a shoulder problem, while Phillip Bardsley is also fit, but Ashley Barnes will remain unavailable for selection due to a thigh issue.

Matej Vydra will start alongside Chris Wood if Cornet fails to make the starting XI, but there are not expected to be any real surprises elsewhere, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Dwight McNeil again featuring in the wide areas for the home side.

West Ham will be without the services of Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma, Ryan Fredericks and Angelo Ogbonna this weekend through injury, but Aaron Cresswell could be back after recovering from a back issue.

As a result, Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal should feature in the full-back areas, with Issa Diop starting alongside Craig Dawson in the middle of the back four.

Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals were both named on the bench against Chelsea last weekend but should be back in the side for this match, while Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio are certainties in the final third.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Vydra, Wood

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio

We say: Burnley 1-2 West Ham United
These are the type of matches that West Ham need to win if they are to finish in the top four this season, and we are expecting the Hammers to shade a close contest to put a huge three points on the board here.

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