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west ham 3 1000x500Last season, Burnley travelled to the London Stadium to play West Ham United without a win in the previous six away games. We’d just ended a run of eleven games overall without a win a week earlier, coming from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at home.

This time we go there with two big defeats against us in the last two games that have seen us concede nine goals without one solitary goal for ourselves. That’s our record since the last international break and we’ll be looking to get things back on track over the next two weeks before the next break.

Tomorrow will also see Sean Dyche’s 250th league game as Burnley manager. Other than Stan Ternent, who was in charge for 276, he’s way past any other Burnley manager in recent history and you have to go back to the days of Harry Potts to see those totals beaten.

We’ve collected 365 points from the previous 249 games which has seen us win 97 times and score 293 goals with a goal difference of plus 22. He’s used 72 different players in those games with Sam Vokes having played the most. He’s featured in 207 of them while Ben Mee has made the most starts with 199.

Dyche’s first ever game in charge was on the same date as tomorrow’s game, 3rd November. Only three players remain from that match day squad. The first Burnley team he named was: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, David Edgar, Brian Stock, Ross Wallace (Danny Ings 70), Dean Marney (Junior Stanislas 81), Martin Paterson (Sam Vokes 90), Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Kevin Long, Danny Lafferty, Cameron Stewart.

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Mee was at left-back then but he’s now very much a central defender and is a part of the defence that has suddenly started shipping goals. Ahead of the trip to London, he spoke of how they are trying to put things right. He said: “We have done a lot of work on the training ground and in the meeting room this week to try and get back to how we play and learn from the past couple of games.

“We all know how we want to play and it’s just expressing that and getting it out in the open about various things that have maybe been happening on the pitch that we aren’t usually suspect to. We have tried to iron things out and hopefully we can prove that we have done that well over the next couple of weeks.”

He added: “We have a couple of big games coming up leading into the international break and leading up to Christmas and we’re looking forward to them. There are some good games for us and it’s an important period.”

There has been some illness within the group this week but it does seem to be clearing up and that includes Aaron Lennon who was absent last week for the first time since making his debut last season.

With the long term injuries clearing up, we do have a stronger squad to select from although there is a likelihood that Jack Cork could miss out following the injury he picked up last week. Sean Dyche said that he was being assessed. If he makes it, I can see it being an unchanged team with Robbie Brady keeping his place and Lennon taking a place on the bench.

We could line up: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor. Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Steven Defour, Jack Cork, Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Sam Vokes. Subs from: Tom Heaton, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Ashley Westwood, Aaron Lennon, Matěj Vydra, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood.

West Ham are under new management this season. Things didn’t look too good for them in 2017/18, a season that saw manager Slaven Bilic lose his job with David Moyes going in and eventually pulling them nine points clear of the drop zone. It didn’t win him another season though. He was promptly dismissed and replaced by former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

They spent big in the summer and that included the £40 million capture of Felipe Anderson (pictured below) from Lazio, £22 million for Issa Diop from Toulouse and Andriy Yarmolenko who cost in excess of £17 million when he arrived from Borussia Dortmund.

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Things haven’t gone quite as well as they hoped and they go into the game two places ahead of us but on the same points. Like us, they’ve only won twice. They’ve won at Everton and beaten Manchester United at home. They have,  however, played all but Manchester City from the big six in their opening ten games.

Pellegrini has admitted that Anderson is taking longer than expected to settle into Premier League football but he’s a key player, more so given they are currently without all of Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere and Yarmolenko with injury.

Aaron Cresswell is also a doubt with a groin problem while captain Mark Noble will serve the second of a three match ban following his red card in their last Premier League game at Leicester which they drew 1-1 last Saturday.

Their team in that game was: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabián Balbuena, Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaku, Declan Rice, Grady Diangana (Aaron Cresswell), Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson (Angelo Ogbonna), Javier Hernández (Michail Antonio). Subs not used: Adrián, Ryan Fredericks, Joe Powell, Conor Coventry.

 

LAST TIME WE WERE THERE

 

It was definitely an interesting afternoon, the kind of game we are not likely to witness too often following Burnley away from home. There was little hint of what was to come in a first half where we hardly threatened and went in at half time with a 0-0 scoreline and we didn’t deserve any more from what had been a disappointing first half performance.

How things changed after the break. We looked a different side and from the moment Ashley Barnes gave us the lead with a stunning effort after substitute Chris Wood had pulled the ball back for him it all went against West Ham.

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The restart was delayed because of the first of a number of pitch invasions and once underway again we soon doubled the lead through Chris Wood, prompting further delays. From our vantage point we couldn’t see what was going on in front of the main stand as the home fans protested against their owners while our subs were moving frightened youngsters onto the bench.

Some goalkeeper by the name of Joe Hart gave us a third, failing to hold a shot with Wood gratefully accepting the rebound and, yes, you’ve guessed it, there was another pitch invasion.

They are still having problems at West Ham and no surprise in that stadium, let’s hope we can give them similar problems on the pitch tomorrow.

The teams were;

West Ham: Joe Hart, James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Pablo Zabaleta, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Michail Antonio, João Mário (Javier Hernández 71), Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic. Subs not used: Adrián, Declan Rice, Patrice Evra, Josh Cullen, Marcus Brown, Jordan Hugill.

Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Jeff Hendrick (Chris Wood 61), Ashley Barnes (Sam Vokes 89). Subs not used: Anders Lindegaard, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Dean Marney, Georges-Kévin NKoudou.

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