Burnley vs West Ham United Preview: Dyche's men seek mid-table finish

Burnley vs West Ham United Preview: Dyche's men seek mid-table finish

The hosts have defied the odds to avoid relegation after an excellent season at Turf Moor.

Chris Lincoln

One Premier League side who wear claret have over-achieved this season. The other have endured a torrid campaign that saw them dragged too close to the drop zone for comfort.

Both sides flirted with relegation

Burnley returned to the top flight with many fans and pundits expecting them to go straight back down as they did two years ago. Yet an impressive run of ten wins in 17 matches at fortress Turf Moor has seen them boast the best home record in the bottom half of the table.

In contrast, West Ham United were seen as outsiders for a potential European spot after finishing seventh last season. However, a rocky campaign saw them only confirm their Premier League survival a few weeks ago.

Contrasting recent form

Yet 2017 has not been kind to either side so far. Although Burnley have been comfortably above the relegation places for the majority of the season they did find themselves looking over their shoulders at the end of April. With just two wins in their last 15 league and cup games, the goals of Sam Vokes have saved them in recent weeks after netting four in four.

The month of March was one to forget for the Hammers as they lost five consecutive games. However, two wins and three draws in their previous five up until their defeat to Liverpool last weekend ensured the Olympic Stadium will see Premier League football next season. Yet it is West Ham's away record that has helped them out this season, scoring 26 goals on the road, more than any other team outside the top six.

The perennial problem for West Ham has been the ability to see out matches. They have dropped 22 points from winning positions this season, more than any other side in the top flight and the reason they find themselves closer to the relegation zone than European places.

Hammers enjoy playing Burnley

West Ham boast the bragging rights against Burnley in the battle of the claret shirts. Four consecutive victories only tells half the story, with Burnley managing just one home win against the Hammers in 39 years.

Yet Slaven Bilic's men don't seem to enjoy the final day of the season. They have lost their last three concluding games, all coming on the road. In contrast, Burnley have won their previous two final day Premier League fixtures and can enjoy this one after already being relegated before those past matches.

Keane's last game in a Burnley shirt?

Burnley can finish anywhere between eleventh and seventeenth depending on the outcome of Sunday's matches but will be boosted by the return of central defender Michael Keane. It remains to be seen whether the England international will line up for Burnley next season after being linked with a move away. His impressive partnership with Ben Mee may not be seen again as the latter continues to be sidelined with a shin injury.

West Ham will travel to Turf Moor with a patched up squad. Angelo Ogbonna could return but Winston Reid, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Andy Carroll, Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang, Diafra Sakho and Arthur Masuaku are all unavailable.