Burnley v West Ham: Moyes' men can show fighting qualities again

Burnley v West Ham: Moyes’ men can show fighting qualities again

Lack of wins keeping Burnley pinned in the bottom three

Burnley have the same number of wins as Newcastle this season… which obviously isn’t a good thing.

The positive spin is that they’ve gone unbeaten in half of their 14 Premier League games so far (they’ve played one fewer than most due to their home match against Spurs being called off).

But the lack of three-point hauls makes them an unwanted member of the bottom three alongside Newcastle and Norwich. All that trio have 10 points, three back from fourth-bottom Watford.

The usual refrain with Sean Dyche’s men is that they’ll inevitably get going at some point and there’s no need to panic. Burnley always do enough and find a way to preserve their top-flight status. But will that belief always play out?

This was a fixture they enjoyed in the recent past, winning four of five head-to-heads between March 2018 and July 2020. But West Ham did the double over their claret and blue rivals last season, suggesting a shift in the balance of power.

Burnley go into the match having failed to score in their last two games: a creditable 0-0 draw at Wolves followed by the ignominy of becoming the first team to lose to Newcastle in the Premier League this term.

Hammers hoping to preserve top four challenge

West Ham have enjoyed punching up this season. They’ve scored thrilling 3-2 wins over both Liverpool and Chelsea in the league and also knocked both Manchester clubs out of the Carabao Cup.

With wins coming at a regular rate (eight out of 15 in the Premier League) David Moyes’ side occupy fourth spot and continue to show that last season’s sustained challenge for a Champions League spot was no fluke.

Only the top three have scored more away wins than the Hammers, whose three-pointers on the road came at Newcastle, Leeds, Everton and Aston Villa. They’ve had three more away wins in cup matches.

That quartet of Premier League sides are all in the bottom half which perhaps gives us an idea where West Ham are. They can beat anyone at home but do their best work on the road against lower-ranked sides. The win at Villa came before Steven Gerrard took over.

They actually go into this one on the back of a Europa League defeat at home to Dynamo Zagreb. But they’d already sewn up the group before Thursday’s match and Moyes was able to name a starting XI full of youngsters and give plenty of his senior stars a rest.

West Ham lost their following two Premier League games after beating Liverpool so Moyes will be anxious to avoid a similar fate following their dramatic victory over Chelsea last weekend.

Hammers can come from behind

West Ham won this fixture 2-1 last season after a pair of Michail Antonio goals wiped out Chris Wood’s 19th-minute penalty.

They’re fancied to return south with three more points once more but aren’t overwhelming favourites. West Ham are 2.0811/10 for the victory while despite just one win in 14 Premier League games Burnley are no bigger than 3.7511/4. The Draw is 3.814/5.

The Hammers haven’t managed a clean sheet in their last seven trips to Burnley and that’s the first part of piecing a bet together.

Burnley tend to start games well but finish them badly. It’s shown by the stat that they’ve dropped 14 points from winning positions this season.

By contrast, West Ham have shown they can fight back from losing positions: the latest example against Chelsea when they were 1-0 and 2-1 down but still managed to walk off with the win.

There’s scope then for backing West Ham to come from behind and win to prove their mettle was again. That would have landed in this fixture last season and it’s a healthy 10.09/1 for a repeat.

Total goals market hard to read

Burnley instinctively seem an Unders team but they’ve made a mockery of that reputation in their last two home games. The Clarets were averaging half a goal per game at home but have now scored six times in their last two Turf Moor outings – the 3-1 win over Brentford and 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace.

Against that, the goals have dried up again, their latest results a 0-0 at Molineux and a 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park.

West Ham don’t help solve the riddle as their away games alternate between over 2.5 goals and under.

For the record, it’s 1.875/6 for Overs and 2.0811/10 for Unders so the value probably lies in the latter. A final stat is that four of West Ham’s five games after European ties have featured at least three goals.

Antonio looks a better assist option

The goals have dried up for Michail Antonio since he plundered six in his first seven matches this season. Five of those were in the Premier League.

But the Jamaican striker is still worth his weight in gold and he’s provided five assists so far, the latest coming in the 3-2 victory over Chelsea last weekend.

I don’t like to back forwards to score during droughts (the ‘due’ theory seems too woolly). But whereas a lack of goals can cause players to snatch at chances, the slight loss of confidence doesn’t affect their ability to set them up.

Looking at the prices, Antonio is just 2.35/4 to score but 4.57/2 to assist. I’ll have a bet on the latter.

On the Bet Builder, West Ham to win and Antonio to assist is just over 6.05/1.

Opta Stat

Only Liverpool (23) have scored more second half goals in the Premier League than West Ham this season (19), while only Norwich (3) have netted fewer after half-time than Burnley (5).