West Ham United v Burnley - All you need to know
West Ham United return to Premier League action after a 15-day break with the visit of Burnley to London Stadium on Saturday.
Amazingly, the Hammers will be contesting their first Saturday 3pm kick-off since losing 1-0 at Arsenal in their final game before the first COVID-19 enforced lockdown back in March 2020.
Since that defeat, however, the Irons have adapted superbly to their schedule, collecting 38 points from 26 top-flight games since that defeat in north London. More recently, West Ham have lost just four of their last 19 matches in all competitions, and go into the weekend unbeaten in four.
One of those four defeats came at the hands of Burnley, who won 1-0 at London Stadium back in July, and the Clarets have been resurgent themselves in recent weeks, winning four of their last eight matches in all competitions, including Premier League victories over Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United.
As everyone knows, England is now under national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, meaning the game will be played without supporters present. However, the match will be shown live in the UK by Amazon Prime Sport and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes could welcome back Łukasz Fabiański after the goalkeeper missed the previous two games with an injury picked up during the pre-match warm-up at Everton on New Year's Day.
Right-back Ryan Fredericks is available again after undergoing a period of self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 test, but Fabián Balbuena remains in isolation after coming into close contact with someone who had tested positive.
Centre-back Issa Diop should also be available after missing Monday's Emirates FA Cup third-round win at Stockport County, but Arthur Masuaku remains sidelined after undergoing surgery to remedy a long-standing knee injury for another two months.
The opposition – Burnley
Satuday's game marks Burnley’s second in the Premier League following the takeover of the club by American businessman Alan Pace.
The former Wall Street banker’s ALK Capital Investment Group reportedly spent around £170m to take an 84% controlling stake in the Clarets, completing the deal on New Year’s Eve.
“This marks a new era for Burnley as we become stewards of this historic football club and build on the impressive work that Mike Garlick, Sean Dyche and everyone at Burnley has done to make it a financially stable, established Premier League club that is a cornerstone of the local community,” said Pace.
“With a rich heritage, a brilliant academy, and a passionate fanbase, this club has solid foundations to build upon.
“This is the start of an exciting journey for the entire Clarets family.”
The new owner, who previously served as CEO of MLS club Real Salt Lake, replaces lifelong Burnley fan Mike Garlick as the club’s chairman and largest shareholder, ending eight years at the helm, although Garlick and fellow former shareholder John Banaszkiewicz will remain at Turf Moor as directors.
Garlick’s tenure – the first three of which he shared with co-chairman Banaszkiewicz – saw Burnley twice win promotion to the Premier League, qualify for Europe through a seventh-place finish in 2017/18, and the development of the club’s multi-million pound Barnfield Training Centre.
However, a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad in recent seasons has seen some sections of the fanbase express their frustration, while long-serving manager Sean Dyche has publicly spoken about the ‘main difficulty’ in signing new players being the club’s financial position.
Pace intimated that situation will change while backing Dyche, who has been manager at Turf Moor since 2012, to lead the club forward into his new era.
How will they play?
Burnley’s playing style is no mystery to anyone. The Clarets employ a rigid 4-4-2 formation under Sean Dyche and try to get the ball forward to their two big, strong, physical centre-forwards as often as possible.
No team plays more long balls or completes less of its passes in the Premier League than Burnley, but historically Dyche’s side has turned that direct style into goals from both open play and resulting set pieces.
Under the former Chesterfield defender, Burnley have also traditionally had a strong defensive record, and the visitors have kept a creditable six clean sheets this season.
West Ham United and Burnley meet in the Premier League for the 13th time on Saturdayafternoon in what is the Hammers’ first Saturday 3pm kick-off at London Stadium since hosting Southampton on 29 February in their final home game before the first COVID-19 national lockdown.
The Hammers have won six of the previous 12 fixtures between the two clubs, with the Clarets winning five and just one draw.
Burnley have actually outscored West Ham 19-18 and kept four clean sheets to the Irons’ two in those 12 matches, but the Hammers have been awarded four penalties to the Clarets’ zero, converting three of them.
Sean Dyche’s men did the Premier League double over West Ham last season, winning 3-0 at Turf Moor in November 2019 and 1-0 here in July, and have won the last three top-flight meetings between the two clubs.
West Ham’s biggest Premier League win over Burnley was back on 28 November 2009, when Gianfranco Zola’s side secured a 5-3 win at the Boleyn Ground, while the Hammers also won 3-1 at Turf Moor in October 2014 and 4-2 at London Stadium in November 2018.
David Moyes has faced Burnley on nine occasions in his long managerial career, winning two, drawing one and losing six. The Scot has yet to beat Dyche as a manager, drawing two and losing four of the six direct meetings between the two, so hopefully he will get off the mark this weekend!
By the numbers
10 Amazingly, ten West Ham United goals in a row against Burnley between February 1964 and April 1966 were scored by five different players whose surnames began with the letter ‘B’! Johnny Byrne (pictured boarding a train to Burnley with Bobby Moore) got the streak underway by scoring the Hammers’ second and third goals in the 3-2 FA Cup sixth-round win over the Clarets at the Boleyn Ground on 29 February 1964. The England forward then scored in a 3-1 First Division defeat at Turf Moor three days later, before adding another goal when he added to Ronnie Boyce’s strike in a 3-2 top-flight defeat at Turf Moor in September 1963, and another alongside goals from Boyce and John Bond in a 3-2 win at the Boleyn Ground in January 1965. Martin Britt became the fourth ‘B’ to score when he got the consolation in a 3-1 First Division loss in Lancashire in November 1965, before winger Peter Brabrook became the fifth with West Ham’s goal in a 1-1 draw in Upton Park on 2 April 1966.
5 West Ham United’s biggest-ever win over Burnley occurred on 26 August 1968, when Trevor Brooking and Geoff Hurst each scored twice and Martin Peters got the other goal in a 5-0 First Division victory at the Boleyn Ground. The game also marked the fifth consecutive game against Burnley in which Peters had scored. The FIFA World Cup winner had previously netted twice in a 3-2 home win in March 1967, once each in a 4-2 home win and 3-3 away draw in August 1967 and twice more in a 3-1 FA Cup third-round win at Turf Moor in January 1968! In all, the Hammers have scored five goals in a single game against Burnley on three occasions.
11 Sir Geoff Hurst has scored more goals against Burnley than any other West Ham United player in the Club’s history. Hurst faced the Clarets on 18 occasions and scored eleven goals, the first of which came in a 1-1 First Division draw at the Boleyn Ground on 22 October 1962 and the last three of which were a hat-trick netted in a 3-1 top-flight win in Upton Park on 3 October 1970.
2017 Declan Rice (pictured) made his West Ham United debut as a late substitute in a 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley at Turf Moor on 21 May 2017. Then aged 18 years and 127 days, Rice replaced Edimilson Fernandes in the first minute of added time, becoming the 15th of the 16 players to make their Hammers bow against the Clarets. The other 15 were Herman Conway and Richard Walker, Bill Roberts, Peter Brabrook, Trevor Brooking, Roger Cross, Jimmy Lindsay, Johnny Ayris, Keith Coleman, Benni McCarthy, Mido, Ilan, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pelly Ruddock and Xande Silva.
1983 West Ham United’s 1964 FA Cup-winning right-back John Bond was appointed as Burnley manager in June 1983, becoming the first and only former Hammer to manage the Clarets, 19 years after helping the Irons defeat Burnley on their way to Wembley. Burnley had been relegated to the Third Division but, after leading the Lancashire club to 12th place, he departed in August 1984.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant Referees: Ian Hussin and Daniel Robathan
Fourth Official: Tim Robinson
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Simon Long
A member of the Manchester Football Association, 35-year-old Chris Kavanagh is in his fourth season as a Select Group referee.
Born in Manchester in 1985, Kavanagh was 13 when he began his refereeing career, moving up through the non-league pyramid to the National League in 2012, aged 27.
Kavanagh was promoted to the Football League in 2014 before refereeing his first Premier League fixture between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton in April 2017.
In all, Kavanagh has refereed nearly 250 senior matches, including 60 Premier League games, four friendly internationals and the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Moldova and Albania.
Kavanagh’s first West Ham United appointment was the FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Wigan Athletic in January 2018. Since then, he has taken charge of nine Premier League fixtures featuring the Hammers, with the most recent being the 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on 21 December last year.
He has also officiated Burnley on ten occasions, kicking-off with a 3-1 Championship win at Brentford in January 2016. He has also refereed the visitors once previously this season, in a 1-0 home Premier League victory over Sheffield United on 29 December.