On May the second, Burnley travel down to London to take on West Ham United. With West Ham sitting comfortably in mid-table, this game has much more meaning to Sean Dyche’s side. It’s getting to the point that every game is a must win game for Burnley as they find themselves five points adrift from safety with only four games left. West Ham are sitting comfortably in mid-table. Their recent performances indicate that they feel the season is over. Still, as the season winds down, the Hammers will want to make their home fans happy and finish the season strongly.
Burnley have a few injuries to deal with, but with such a small squad, those injuries can still be a major issue. Both Dean Marney and Kevin Long are out with ACL injuries that will keep them out until next season. Sam Vokes is said to be making good progress with his thigh injury and will be a game-time decision for Sean Dyche. The Hammers are dealing with a fair number of injuries. They’ll be without James Tomkins, Andy Carroll, Guy Demel, and Diafra Sahko, while Winston Reid will be a late decision as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Despite an injury concern, Sam Allardyce should have Alex Song available for selection.
- Burnley have struggled against the Hammers winning only one of their last five meetings and only one of the last seven at Upton Park.
- The last matches between these two sides have averaged more than four goals a game.
- West Ham will become only the second team to be in the top four at Christmas and not finish in the top four in the past six seasons.
- Sam Allardyce’s side have only picked up 13 points since Christmas and have only won one of their last 13 matches.
West Ham: Mark Noble
Burnley are a team that work tirelessly and will press the opposition midfield until they drop dead of exhaustion. With a team like that, West Ham’s midfielders will have to show composure on the ball. They’ll need vice captain Mark Noble to be at his best when controlling the tempo of the match. They’ll need his calm experience to help control the game in midfield and look for Burnley to tire. Control of the midfield will be paramount if West Ham was to take three points from this match and Mark Noble will be on of the key players in establishing that control.
Burnley: Danny Ings
If there’s one big regret in Burnley’s season it’s that they haven’t been able to score enough goals. With only 26 goals through 34 games, the lack of scoring looks like it will be the Clarets’ downfall. Danny Ings has been their primary source of goals with nine. Ings was supposed to be the man that would keep Burnley in the league with his goals. But having gone nine games without one, the young Englishman will have to find his shooting boots and use them to full effect if Sean Dyche’s men are going to stay in the Premier League.
Despite this being a goal filled fixture in the recent past, I see this one being a low scoring tightly-contested game. For all of Burnley’s energy and work rate, I think they’ll lack the quality necessary to get the three points. I see this one petering out into a draw.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw