Struggling Hammers Face Tough Burnley Challenge

Last updated: July 8, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Wednesday, 18:00
Venue: London Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LLLWD
Away Form: DLWWD
Last Meeting: Burnley 3 – 0 West Ham
Competition: EPL

West Ham is involved in a dogfight at the bottom of the table. They are among six clubs who are fighting for their survival with just fifteen points left to play for. They face a tough challenge against Burnley who still have faint hopes of European qualification.

West Ham is on a poor run of 13 Premier League games without a clean sheet, only Bournemouth (16) have a worse record. Their worst streak was back in 2009 that lasted for 15 games. They are in a worse position now than before the first David Moyes spell with the club in 2017. That season the Scot performed a miracle to drag the Hammers out of the bottom three to safety but found himself unemployed as the club chose not to renew Moyes’s short-term contract.

The club turned instead to Manuel Pellegrini and backed the manager in the transfer market to the tune of £155m, paying £36m for Brazil winger Felipe Anderson and agreeing a £45m deal for French striker Sebastien Haller. Despite this outlay, West Ham won only 24 of their 64 matches under the Chilean, losing 29. Pellegrini was sacked, and Moyes was once again installed as West Ham’s manager with the remit of repeating the great escape. Relegation would be a financial disaster for the club as they reported a £28.8m loss earlier this season.

The Hammers are just four points safe from the relegation zone having collected 4 out of the 12 points available since the restart, winning against Chelsea and a draw against Newcastle.

Declan Rice has been the teams shining light despite the team’s poor performances. The 21-year old, who is their assistant captain alongside Michail Antonio, could be their much-needed inspiration in a time they need it the most. Antonio has scored two goals of the team’s total of five in the last two games. These goals have doubled his personal tally to four when playing as a lone striker. The team recruited well in January, signing Jarrod Bowen (who made an assist), and Tomas Soucek (who scored) in their recent 2 – 2 draw against Newcastle.

An impressive performance against Chelsea set the right survival tone in the camp. However, Moyes has a lot to improve with the team defensively after losing the lead twice against Newcastle, and the lack of clean sheets is a worrying factor. They have a renewed belief in front of goal with five goals in the last two game that ended three consecutive games without scoring and more impressively creating 17 chances in their game against Newcastle.

Three of the last five games are against strugglers Norwich (A), Watford (H), and they close the season at home in what could be a vital game against Aston Villa.

Burnley, on the other hand, is having one of the best seasons in their history. Passing the 40-point mark was likely to have been the goal at the beginning of the season. This target has already been surpassed with the club on 46 points, the second-highest total points the club has ever gathered in the Premier League. A win takes them to eighth place just one point behind 7th placed Arsenal and would give them the belief that they could sneak into the Europa League places. Although fans may be wary of a return to Europe, the last time Sean Dyche’s men qualified it affected their league campaign with their small squad and were lucky to avoid relegation and finish in 15th.

A side in their best form of the season, unbeaten in the last ten with six wins and four draws. The Clarets have won three, drawn one, and lost one of the previous five games. That is just as many victories as they have gathered in the last fifteen home games where they have lost nine and drawn 4. They have a good record against sides in the bottom half with 11 of their 13 victories coming against the struggling teams, but the prospects have changed, and this could be a way tough encounter in respect to their opponent’s urgent need of results.

Chris Wood has scored in five of his six league games against their weekend opponents averaging a goal in each game (6). This game will be the 100th Premier League appearance for the New Zealander who signed from Leeds United in 2017. The 28-year-old has stepped up well in the absence of Ashley Barnes (played 184 for Burnley and scored 41 goals).

They will miss their captain Ben Mee who has a thigh strain, and Jack Cork, who has an ankle injury. Cork’s injury means he will miss the rest of the season. Although a blow, Burnley have the players to cope and look sound defensively. Goalkeeper Nick Pope is in superb form; his 13 clean sheets is beaten by only one team, Liverpool who have 15.

Team News

West Ham have no clean sheets in the last 13 Premier League games.

Survival is in West Ham own hands with games against fellow relegation strugglers Norwich (A), Watford (H), and Aston Villa (H) in the next six games.

Burnley sits mid-table with no relegation worries and still has faint European ambitions.

Captain Ben Mee has a thigh strain, and Jack Cork has an ankle injury, Cork is out for the remainder of the season.

Expected Line-Ups:

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Fornals, Lanzini, Antonio
Subs: Randolph, Balbuena, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Ajeti, Silva, Johnson, Lewis, Masauku
Injured: Haller, Snodgrass
Not available:
Burnley (4-2-3-1): Pope, Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor, McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Pieters, Rodriguez, Vydra
Subs: Bailey, Dunne, Thomas, Gudmundsson, Brady, Goodridge, Wood, Thompson, Benson
Injured: Lowton, Barnes, Mee, Cork
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
West Ham This Season Burnley This Season
16th League Position 10th
8 (12) Wins (away) 13 (6)
4 – 0 v Bournemouth Biggest Win 3 – 0 v Southampton
7 (3) Draws (away) 7 (4)
0 – 5 v Man City Biggest Defeat 0 – 5 v Man City
Haller (7) Top Goal Scorer Wood (11)
Y58, R2 Discipline Y61, R0
5 Failures to Score 10
30% Clean Sheets 39%
52% Both Teams to Score Games 36%
52% Over 2.5 Goals 52%
48% Under 2.5 Goals 48%
  • West Ham has won 10 matches against Burnley’s five wins in the 19 games they have played sharing a point four times.
  • Burnley dominates the head to head with three wins in the previous five games. West Ham managing just one win with one draw.
  • Chris Wood has scored in five of his six league games against their opponents, while Antonio has scored in the last two games.
  • The hosts have an average of 1.30 goals per game against Burnley’s average of 1.38 goals per game.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
09/11/2019 EPL Burnley 3 – 0 West Ham Barnes 11’
30/12/2019 EPL Burnley 2 – 0 West Ham Wood 15’
03/11/2018 EPL West Ham 4 – 2 Burnley Arnautovic 10’
10/03/2018 EPL West Ham 0 – 3 Burnley Barnes 66’
14/10/2017 EPL Burnley 1 – 1 West Ham Antonio 19’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Michail Antonio is in a rich vein of form and has produced the goods in his last two matches which were against Chelsea and a resurgent Newcastle. West Ham will need a good performance from him if they are to get anything from a tough Burnley side. Defensively though, West Ham are poor and have conceded at least two goals in 9 of their last eleven Premier League games.

Burnley are in wonderful form and are unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 Premier League games. They also have a great record against West Ham, scoring at least two goals against the Hammers in the previous four occasions that the teams have met.

Despite West Ham being the bookies favourite for this clash, we can’t see past a Burnley victory here. We expect lots of effort from West Ham, but a well-organised defence will be the key to a narrow win for the visitors. 888sport offer 19/2 for a 1-0 win for Burnley.