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Burnley travel to the London Stadium tomorrow in the knowledge that we will need to pick up at least a point if we are to get away from the bottom of the league following Sheffield United’s point at Bournemouth this afternoon.

We last went bottom after the home defeat against West Ham in November but a week later beat Sheffield United to move ahead of them and we have remained so until today. Luton have also won an away point at Crystal Palace which takes them eight points clear of us but it is Nottingham Forest in 17th place who we must also get above and they are eleven points clear which shows just how difficult a task it will be trying to get anywhere near them or Everton, even if they were to have points deducted, more in Everton’s case.

We make the journey to the London Stadium with our record this season suggesting we might have more of a chance of a result given the game is away from home. Although we have now scored one goal more at home than away, we have won eight of our thirteen points on the road and we have conceded eight fewer goals than we have at Turf Moor.

Right now, we are on our longest run of the season without a win with just two points from nine games since the win at Fulham on the Saturday before Christmas. It’s our longest such run for just over two years, a run of eleven games that ended with a 3-0 win at Brighton although we had drawn seven of those eleven games.

During this recent run, we’ve seen three new players come in on loan including French defenders Lorenz Assignon and Maxime Estève and both have reported they are settling in well and Estève said: “It’s great with some of my teammates also being able to speak French. We do talk a lot and I think over the course of time it’s going to help me continue learning about football here in England.”

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Of the football, he said: “I’ve found the game to be more physical than back home, certainly in the one against ones, the duels I’d say, but I’m getting a lot of playing time, I’m very happy with that. I think now the important thing is to kick on and get some points and some victories behind us.”

Looking at the league table right now, all but one of our points have come against teams in the bottom half of the table, the one exception was the 1-1 draw at Brighton who currently sit in tenth place.

We’ve had no updates on potential injuries but we know that Aaron Ramsey, Nathan Redmond and Luca Koleosho are out along with Lyle Foster and Jordan Beyer but we do have Josh Brownhill ready to return after sitting out the Bournemouth game serving a one match ban for his red card at Crystal Palace.

The team for last Saturday’s game against Bournemouth was: James Trafford, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Charlie Taylor, Vitinho, Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Wilson Odobert, David Datro Fofana. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Hjalmar Ekdal, Hannes Delcroix, Jack Cork, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Mike Trésor, Manuel Benson, Zeki Amdouni, Jay Rodriguez.

West Ham are currently in seventh place in the table with 42 points from their 27 games. Although they are having another decent season, and are still in Europe, their fans certainly have mixed opinions on manager David Moyes who is now in his second spell there and has been since replacing Manuel Pellegrini in late December 2019. He is currently the seventh longest serving manager in English league football with his time at West Ham.

They’ve won twelve of their league games this season, six of those at home and six away. All of Chelsea, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Manchester United and Brentford have been beaten at the London Stadium but Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Bournemouth have come away with a point while Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal have won with Arsenal the more recent with their 6-0 victory.

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They’ve scored 43 league goals this season with Jarrod Bowen (pictured above) leading their scoring chart with fourteen of them, followed by Tomáš Souček and Mohammed Kudus having both scored four. It was Souček who scored their stoppage time winner at Burnley back in November. Bowen is moving ever closer to a Premier League record at West Ham. Only two players have scored more goals than him for the club in a Premier League season. In the 1997/98 season John Hartson scored fifteen and two seasons later Paolo di Canio beat that with sixteen goals.

Having gone six games without a win, ending with defeat at Nottingham Forest they face us having won their last two Premier League games against Brentford and Everton although they did lose their Europa League round of sixteen first leg against Freiburg last Thursday.

Left-back Emerson was withdrawn during that game and will be assessed ahead of tomorrow’s game as will Nayef Aguerd. The one player definitely ruled out is former Burnley player Maxwel Cornet who continues to have hamstring problems. Since signing for West Ham in the summer of 2022 he has made just nineteen Premier League appearances with only three of those starts. His one goal for them was the first in their 2-2 draw at Sheffield United in January.

Their last league game was at Everton a week ago and they lined up: Alphonse Areola, Vladimir Coufal, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Kurt Zouma, Emerson Palmieri, Tomáš Souček, Edson Álvarez, Mohammed Kudus, James Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paquetá, Jarrod Bowen. Subs: Lukasz Fabianski, Joseph Anang, Ben Johnson, Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio, Kalvin Phillips, Danny Ings, Angelo Ogbonna, Divin Mubama.

 

LAST TIME WE WERE THERE

 

Tomorrow will be our seventh visit to the London Stadium. We’ve won twice there, 3-0 in 2017/18 with a goal from Ashley Barnes and two from Chris Wood and 1-0 two seasons later when Jay Rodriguez scored the only goal.

We’ve also drawn once and that came on our last visit on Easter Sunday two years ago. It will best be remembered as the first game after the dismissal of manager Sean Dyche two days earlier with Michael Jackson in charge of the team.

We were eighteenth in the table after thirty games and while obvious favourites to go down, our position was nothing like as perilous as it is now.

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We started well without threatening before Nick Pope made an outstanding save to keep us level. Soon afterwards, the game was held up for around eight minutes with what was clearly a serious injury for Ashley Westwood. A distraught Nikola Vlašić, who had innocently been involved in the incident, had to be comforted by players of both sides. Westy did smile as he was stretchered off the pitch. It was the other Ashley, his mate Barnes, who told him not to worry, that it was only a knock.

Westy, of course, never played for us again, what a sad end it was to an outstanding five years at Burnley.

We then stunned the home fans a couple of minutes after the restart when a corner was headed onto the bar by Jay Rodriguez with Wout Weghorst scoring his second and most recent Burnley goal as he headed it in.

That lead should have been doubled when Maxwel Cornet won us a penalty. Jay Rod picked up the ball but gave it up to Cornet who had never taken a penalty before during a game. He tried a stop/start run up before rolling the ball wide of the target.

West Ham were the more likely in the second half and we were so thankful to man of the match Pope who made a string of fine saves. He was beaten once when Tomáš Souček scored but it was a good point.

The teams were;

West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Johnson, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell, Tomáš Souček, Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen, Manuel Lanzini (Pablo Fornals 79), Nikola Vlašić (Said Benrahma 65), Michail Antonio. Subs not used: Alphonse Areola, Vladimir Coufal, Andriy Yarmolenko, Mark Noble, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku, Alex Král.

Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton (Connor Roberts 61), Nathan Collins, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Dwight McNeil (Matěj Vydra 79), Ashley Westwood (Josh Brownhill 31), Jack Cork, Maxwel Cornet, Wout Weghorst, Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Dale Stephens, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Barnes.

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