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West Ham head north aiming to ease the pressure on Bilic

Filed: Friday, 13th October 2017
By: Staff Writer #3

West Ham visit Burnley on Saturday desperately needing to build on their 1-0 home victory over Swansea City in their previous game.

That result moved the Hammers up to 15th in the table, just two points above the relegation zone. Burnley head into the fixture sixth in the standings having recorded a 1-0 victory at Everton in their last match before the international break.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic's future remains uncertain, with the club linked with former Watford manager Walter Mazzarri over the past few days.

Only Crystal Palace have a worse defensive record than Bilic's side in the Premier League, although the clean sheet against Swansea will have done wonders for their confidence at the back.

Bilic is without James Collins, Edimilson Fernandes and Pedro Obiang for the trip to Turf Moor, while he faces a tricky selection dilemma up front.

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Diafra Sakho staked his claim for a starting spot after bagging the late winner against Swansea, and the Senegal international is 3/1 at https://www.sunbets.co.uk/promotion/first-goalscorer-odds to get on the scoresheet this weekend.

Bilic switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation against the Swans with Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez leading the line, but the duo failed to make an impact.

Sakho replaced Hernandez with 12 minutes to play and his finish from Arthur Masuaku's cross has given him strong claims to start the game against Burnley.

The victory was just West Ham's second in the Premier League this season, but they will need to address their form on the road if they are to climb further up the table.

The Hammers have taken just one point from a possible 12 this term, conceding ten goals in their four games on the road.

However, their recent record against the Clarets is excellent, with five wins and a draw from their last six meetings.

West Ham haven't lost against Burnley since December 2011 when they were defeated 2-1 at Upton Park in the Championship.

Bilic's side are 15/8 to continue their recent dominance, with Burnley on offer at 8/5. The draw is available at 21/10.

Burnley have conceded just five goals in the league this season, so odds of 7/1 for a 1-0 victory to West Ham will appeal to anyone fancying an away win.

Sean Dyche has a couple of injury worries to contend with ahead of the game.

Nick Pope will continue to deputise for the injured Tom Heaton in goal for the home side, while Jonathan Walters is doubtful with a knee problem.

Dyche's options have been boosted by the news Dean Marney and Nahki Wells are back in training after their injuries.

With just one defeat against West Brom on their record this season, Burnley find themselves above Liverpool in the table.

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They have won two and drawn two from their four away games this season Ė an impressive feat considering their opponents have been Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton.

But just one win and one goal at home is a statistic that will worry Dyche and he will be keen to improve on that over the coming weeks.

Burnley's three home games this season have ended 0-1, 1-0 and 0-0, so odds of 3/1 for the home side to win to nil could pay dividends. The 15/2 on offer for a 0-0 scoreline could also be of interest.

The only Clarets player to score at home is Chris Wood and the New Zealand striker is 17/4 to grab the first goal this weekend.

West Ham will view Saturday's game as something they need to get something from if they are to steer clear of a relegation battle this season.

While a low-scoring affair seems likely, both sides have players capable of scoring goals and odds of 14/1 for a 2-2 result may well give punters a run for their money.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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