High-flying West Ham United have a tough trip to struggling Burnley, who aim to get out of the relegation zone with a positive result.

The pressure is back on Burnley in recent weeks after they slipped into the relegation zone. The loss to fellow strugglers Newcastle United last weekend has proved problematic, although the Clarets have a game in hand after their clash with Tottenham was postponed.

Languishing in the 18th spot, Burnley could get out of the relegation zone with a win over West Ham, as they have a superior goal difference over Watford in the 17th. Even after the clash with the Hammers, the Clarets will still have another game in hand to ease themselves out of the danger zone.

West Ham, meanwhile, are riding high on confidence after a stunning result against Chelsea last weekend. The Hammers secured a late victory over the Premier League leaders with an incredible effort from Arthur Massuaku that beat Edouard Mendy.

West Ham sit firmly in the fourth spot, although there is tremendous pressure from teams behind them. Manchester United, in particular, sit level on points with the Hammers albeit having played a game more. With the Red Devils winning their game this weekend, the onus lies with David Moyes’ team to stretch their lead in the fourth spot.

Team News & Tactics

Burnley

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Sean Dyche is sweating on the fitness of key stars Maxwel Cornet and Ben Mee. Both players suffered knocks during their loss to Newcastle, and their absence could force the manager to change his personnel. The duo will be assessed before the game and the manager will make a late call on their inclusion.

Cornet has been influential in a forward role alongside Chris Wood, and with Ashley Barnes also absent with an injury, Dyche will likely prefer Matej Vydra to replace the Ivorian. Jay Rodriguez could be an option from the substitutes’ bench.

Phil Bardsley also remains sidelined while midfielder Dale Stephens self-isolates after testing positive for Covid in recent days. In the absence of Ben Mee, Dyche might prefer Nathan Collins in central defence alongside James Tarkowski, while Matthew Lowton and Charlie Taylor take their places as full-backs.

Ashley Westwood and Josh Brownhill should be deployed in central midfield, with Dwight McNeil and Johann Berg Gudmundsson providing support from wide areas. Wood and Vydra will play up front to lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Collins, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Vydra, Wood

West Ham United

Moyes has had some bad luck with defensive injuries. As many as five key defenders are missing from action for the Burnley game, with only Aaron Cresswell with a chance to feature after returning to light training this week.

The win over Chelsea came at a cost after Kurt Zouma limped off with a hamstring injury, with the Frenchman likely to be sidelined for a period of 12 weeks. Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks are also out of the clash, while Angelo Ogbonna is recovering from a season-ending ACL injury.

Issa Diop should slot alongside Craig Dawson in central defence. Creswell should return to the lineup, slotting in at left-back while Vladimir Coufal secures the right-back slot. Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek should take their central midfield positions, while slight changes could occur in the attack.

Manuel Lanzini, who started against Chelsea, should continue, while Pablo Fornals should come into the lineup on the left side. Jarrod Bowen will also be called up to feature from the right. Michail Antonio is the ideal candidate to lead the line from the front.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio

Key Stats

  • Burnley have failed to win 16 of their last 17 Premier League matches.
  • Burnley have lost just once in their last six Premier League games.
  • West Ham United have lost their last two away games in the Premier League.
  • West Ham United secured a double over Burnley last season after losing the previous three to the Clarets.
  • West Ham United have only one victory in their last four Premier League games.

Player to Watch

Michail Antonio

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The West Ham talisman has had a wonderful season and proved a worthy player when his team beat Chelsea last weekend. Despite his potential threat in the final third, Antonio needs to bring more goals to his game and make himself a complete option upfront. The Jamaican shares a good understanding with his attacking partners and remains a brilliant player to hold the ball and bring others into play. But, he will have to try and get himself into better goalscoring positions to get strikes away.

Prediction

Burnley 1-2 West Ham United

The odds are stacked against Burnley on this one, as West Ham come into this clash high on confidence, having beat Chelsea in the previous round. The Hammers have plenty of pressure from teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, who are eyeing their fourth-placed spot.

Despite the important defensive absentees, West Ham have enough attacking potential to overcome a usually stubborn defence. The Clarets will miss the presence of Ben Mee, which will give Michail Antonio & co. the advantage to create and score goals at Turf Moor.

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