West Ham v Burnley preview: Hammers start key run of fixtures
Last Updated: 14/12/16 8:38pm
West Ham start a potentially crucial run of fixtures with a home match against Burnley on Wednesday.
Having played Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in succession, the Hammers now face four sides all around them towards the bottom of the Premier League table - Burnley, Hull, Swansea and Leicester.
"We have to win and hopefully we will," said manager Slaven Bilic after the 2-2 draw at Liverpool at the weekend.
"And then it will change - not the season, but it can help us move up the table. It's going to be very hard and we will have to show our quality.
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"It will be a difficult couple of games mentally but I'm sure we're going to be ready for Burnley."
West Ham have won just twice at home this season in the league, but Burnley have the worst away record in the top-flight.
The Clarets have earned just one point from six matches on the road, only scoring a single goal in the process.
Cheikhou Kouyate could return for the Hammers after a groin strain but several other players remain out.
James Collins (hamstring), Sam Byram (hamstring), Reece Oxford (ankle), Gokhan Tore (thigh) and Diafra Sakho (hamstring) are all unavailable.
Burnley are once again without winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson due to a hamstring injury, while Andre Gray is pushing for a start up front.
West Ham have won three of their four previous Premier League contests against Burnley (L1), including both games in the 2014/15 season.
West Ham's only defeat to Burnley in their last 11 home games in all competitions came in December 2011, losing 2-1 in the Championship. Sam Vokes scored the winner that day.
Burnley have never won a Premier League match in London (D2 L10), scoring just six goals overall in these matches.
Burnley's only win in a midweek (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday) Premier League fixture was in their first midweek match in the division, beating Manchester United 1-0 in August 2009 (D4 L4 since).
Burnley have scored just one goal in their six Premier League away games this season - only Derby County (2007-08 - 0 goals) had scored fewer in their first six away games in a PL season.
Since the start of last season, West Ham have won just two of their seven Premier League games against newly promoted teams (D3 L2).
Burnley have allowed their opponents a league-high 95 shots on target this season in the Premier League.
It was a great draw for West Ham at Liverpool and you would like to think that would give them some confidence. If they win this game they will be alright but if they lose they will be in a major relegation battle.
They are playing against a team who can't win a game away from home for toffee and West Ham will have highlighted this as must-win.
To draw at Liverpool was a good result but the week before they got blown away by Arsenal, so are we covering over the cracks with the Liverpool goalkeeper and that's why they got back into the game.
I have to give credit where credit is due; to fall behind so quickly against Liverpool and get a point is great for them.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 13/2)
The Clarets remain one of two teams still to register a victory on the road in the top flight this season and are 17/4 with Sky Bet to finally break their duck in the capital. They will be in good heart though ahead of the challenge after beating Bournemouth 3-1 in convincing fashion at the weekend and might just fancy their chances with the Hammers hardly a convincing prospect still at the London Stadium
West Ham have managed just two home wins from seven attempts and the last outing in front of their own fans saw them humiliated 5-1 by Arsenal.
Find out what the Soccer Saturday pundits and Jamie Redknapp are tipping in their Sky Bet tips here.