Burnley v West Ham United – Turf Moor – Premier League – Saturday 3pm
Burnley v West Ham United – Preview:
Brian Dear expressed his concern over West Ham United’s recent form and admitted he wasn’t sure where to start the inquest into how and why the East Londoners have become so poor so quickly.
A run of six unbeaten Premier League matches earlier in the campaign has been overlapped an alarming dip in form which has seen the Hammers crash out of the Carabao Cup at League One Oxford United as well as picking up just two points from the last fifteen on offer.
“I don’t know where to start – it has been very poor,” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“Yes, Lukasz Fabianski is a big miss and that was highlighted further with Roberto’s performance against Newcastle. Perhaps it’s time to give David Martin a game. The problem is, without regular reserve team football, these boys simply haven’t had enough match practise to prepare them for the Premier League.
“It’s not just the goalkeeper I’m worried about either. Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini look a pale shadow of the players we were seeing. Andriy Yarmolenko looks like he’s treading water and Pablo Zabaleta’s legs look like they’ve gone which was highlighted when he was exposed by the pace of Joelinton as Newcastle raced ahead of us.
“Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass always put in a shift, but they need others to back them up. Mark is a fan – like we all are – he seems to be playing with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Dear continued: “Team selection has been questionable. Manuel Pellegrini is an experienced manager, but this team has no pace, is showing little flair and once again look defensively frail against average teams. Sebastien Haller has precious little service – he is isolated on his own up-front. I’m not sure how this has escalated so quickly?
And the former Hammers frontman reluctantly admitted that he couldn’t see Pellegrini’s men turning things around at Burnley on Saturday: “ If you look at teams like Burnley, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Wolves they are all based around a high work-rate. That is why they get results – honest performances from honest players.
“Burnley got beaten last week. You can bet your life that Sean Dyche will have spent the week working that out of their system – doing everything he can to ensure they get it right against us in front of their own crowd on Saturday.
“In all honesty, I can’t see us improving at the moment, which is very worrying. It must be difficult for the regular staff to come into work on a Monday after these flat, lifeless performances. It hardly breeds enthusiasm.
“I don’t think the managers’ position is under threat just yet. However, something needs to change, and quickly. I’ve heard that we need to go back to basics, but why should we? We have spent more money on this squad than any other in recent history. We shouldn’t have to take a step back, we should be racing forward on all fronts.
“As I mentioned, I can’t see us getting anything from Turf Moor. But I’d be perfectly happy for this group to go out there and prove me wrong.”
Burnley v West Ham United – Head to head:
Burnley won: 33
West Ham United won: 37
Burnley v West Ham United – Last five meetings (all competitions):
May 21, 2017 – Premier League
Burnley 1-2 West Ham United
October 14, 2017 – Premier League
Burnley 1-1 West Ham United
March 10, 2018 – West Ham United 0-3 Burnley
November 3, 2018 – Premier League
West Ham United 4-2 Burnley
December 30, 2018 – Premier League
Burnley 2-0 West Ham United
Brian Dear’s prediction: Burnley 3-1 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Burnley 1-0 West Ham United