Preview: West Ham United vs. Burnley

Preview: West Ham United vs. Burnley

West Ham United will be looking to follow up their success in the Europa League quarter-finals with a victory in the Premier League, when they play host to relegation-threatened Burnley on Easter Sunday.

The visitors, meanwhile, will make the trip to the London Stadium without a manager after they surprisingly sacked Sean Dyche on Friday.

For the first time since 1976, West Ham will be competing in the semi-finals of a European competition after beating Lyon 4-1 on aggregate in the Europa League quarter-finals.

After drawing the first leg 1-1 on home soil last week, goals from Craig Dawson, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen helped the Hammers secure an impressive 3-0 second-leg win in the South of France, and they will now face Eintracht Frankfurt in the last four later this month.

David Moyes has praised the club’s rapid rise from battling to avoid relegation in 2019-20 to the cusp of a European final and the prospect of Champions League football next season. The Scotsman has denied that the Hammers are the favourites to win the Europa League but has urged his players to believe they can go all the way.

West Ham’s best chance of Champions League qualification could be via success in the Europa League, as their inconsistent domestic form has seen them slip away from the top four. The Hammers have alternated between victory and defeat in their last six matches, with their most recent loss coming at the hands of Brentford, who won 2-0 last weekend.

Moyes’s men currently sit sixth in the table, six points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth, who have played a game fewer. Fifth-placed Arsenal, meanwhile, have played two games fewer than the Hammers and are three points ahead.

West Ham have had mixed success against Burnley in recent seasons and have failed to score in five of their last eight Premier League games against them. The Hammers are, however, one of only two teams, along with Liverpool, to have scored in every top-flight home match this season.

With challenging fixtures against Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City still to come this term, Moyes and co will be keen to take advantage of Sunday’s favourable-looking encounter with a side battling for survival.

After nine-and-a-half years as manager at Turf Moor, Sean Dyche’s reign as Burnley boss came to an end when he was sacked by the club on Friday morning.

Burnley chairman Alan Pace revealed in a statement that it was an “incredibly difficult decision” to relieve the 50-year-old of his duties, but he ultimately believes that a change was needed after enduring a season of “disappointing” results.

Dyche, who was the third-longest serving manager in the Football League, lost five of his last six games with the Clarets and leaves the club sitting 18th in the table, four points adrift of safety with eight league matches remaining.

Assistant manager Ian Woan, as well as coaches Steve Stone and Billy Mercer have also left the club, and while the process has already begun to find Dyche’s replacement, Under-23s boss Mike Jackson and captain Ben Mee are set to take charge of the team for this weekend’s game at the London Stadium.

Burnley’s disappointing 2-0 defeat away at fellow strugglers Norwich City last weekend was the 15th league game in which the Clarets failed to score this season; only Norwich (17) and Watford (16) have failed to find the net on more occasions this term.

The Clarets have failed to win any of their last three meetings with West Ham, including the goalless draw in the reverse fixture in December, but their last victory against the Hammers was in London, when they won 1-0 thanks to a Jay Rodriguez goal in July 2020.

West Ham United Premier League form:
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West Ham United form (all competitions):
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Burnley Premier League form:
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We say: West Ham United 2-0 Burnley
Burnley’s hierarchy will be hoping that a change in the dugout will spark a much-needed revival in their quest to avoid the drop.

While West Ham’s inconsistent league form will provide encouragement for the Clarets, their own form in front of goal needs improving if they are to have any hope of securing maximum points.

There may be a few tired legs in the West Ham camp following their midweek efforts in Europe, but nevertheless, we can see the Hammers securing a routine win on home soil.

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