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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

West Ham v Burnley: Hammers to move step closer to safety

West Ham v Burnley: Hammers to move step closer to safety

Simon Mail previews West Ham's game against Burnley and thinks the hosts can move a step closer to Premier League safety...

West Ham v Burnley
Wednesday, 18:00
Live on BT Sport 2

Chelsea win puts Irons on course to stay up

West Ham have struggled at the wrong end of the Premier League throughout the season but David Moyes' side look on course to maintain their top-flight status. Moyes returned for his second spell at the club at the end of December, replacing Manuel Pellegrini, but the side returned from the league's suspension with relegation a distinct possibility.
There is no doubt the Hammers have underachieved this season but a superb 3-2 home win over Chelsea last week was a huge boost. Michail Antonio produced an influential performance, capped with a goal, while the talented Andriy Yarmolenko netted an 89th minute winner. West Ham twice led in Sunday's 2-2 draw at in-form Newcastle which moved them a point further away from the bottom three. With the teams below them struggling badly, another win will go a long way towards clinching safety.

Burnley holding own despite Dyche speculation

Burnley resumed their campaign amid speculation over the future of Sean Dyche but it has not stopped the club from continuing to punch above their weight. A cluster of injuries and the club's failure to secure the future of several out of contract players has sparked talk of Dyche moving on at the end of the season. The straight talking manager has remained focused on matters on the pitch though with Burnley still in the mix for a Europa League spot.
With 13 victories this season, only the top five have won more matches than Burnley. A 5-0 thrashing at Man City, in their first game following the restart, was no surprise but the team responded with back-to-back wins against Watford and Crystal Palace. James Tarkowski handed Burnley the lead on Sunday before Sheffield United earned a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor. A top ten finish is still well within their sights and would be another excellent achievement for the Clarets.

Hammers backed to claim vital win

West Ham are 2.08 favourites for this match and this price will polarise opinion. Based on their performances throughout the whole season it may not look appealing, but their last two displays and results suggest it is a price worth taking. Beating Chelsea at home was a massive victory and the team appear to be hitting form at just the right time.
Burnley deserve plenty of respect and the visitors will undoubtedly have their supporters at 4.00. European qualification is still a possibility and Dyche prides himself on Burnley's competitiveness. With two wins from their last three games, the Clarets cannot be easily dismissed as outsiders.
The draw is on offer at 3.50 but this does not carry much appeal. Both teams have been held seven times this season and only one of West Ham's last eight games have ended in a draw. This match is a big opportunity for the hosts to put significant distance between the bottom three. On balance, West Ham look to be peaking and are backed to follow up their Chelsea success with another valuable win.

Goals likely at London Stadium

West Ham have scored five goals in their last two matches and have failed to keep a clean sheet since January. With their attack starting to fire and their defence, which has leaked 58 goals, continuing to give opponents opportunities there could be plenty of goals in this match. Last season's game between the sides at the London Stadium finished 4-2 to the Hammers and over 2.5 goals looks an option worth considering at 2.20.
Burnley will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet, with West Ham's defensive weaknesses evident throughout the campaign, indicating both teams to score is another tempting bet. Odds of 1.93 look more than fair in a match where West Ham could have the edge with both teams scoring.

Opta Stat

Burnley's Chris Wood has scored in all five of his Premier League games against West Ham (six goals in total) - only Mohamed Salah against Bournemouth (6/6) has a better 100 per cent scoring record against an opponent in the competition. Wood is 15/8 to keep his scoring run going against West Ham.