Burnley play hosts to West Ham United on Sunday, in what rounds off a quite remarkable campaign for the Clarets, in which they comfortably beat the drop.
As for tomorrow’s opposition, West Ham, this season hasn’t been great, although they do sit above Burnley as the table currently stands.
After a scintillating 2015/16 season, in which West Ham finished 7th, there was renewed hope that the move to the Olympic Stadium would take the Hammers to the next level.
However, things didn’t quite work out that way, and it did take West Ham a while to settle into their new surroundings.
As things turned out, the Hammers have cruised to safety, but the pressure on Slaven Bilic still remains.
Ahead of tomorrows game, I caught up with West Ham fan page, (@WestHamSocial) to get their thoughts on how Sunday’s game might unfold!
Last game of the season on Sunday, how would you assess West Ham’s season?
Slaven Bilic today called our season the perfect storm, which is a fair analogy – it’s been tough going from start to finish. It was always going to be a ‘get it out the way’ kind of season in mind of how other clubs have struggled when moving stadium, little did we know that we’d be pleading for the season to end by February though! Poor signings, our own fans fighting, terrible form, injuries, that French bloke, questionable management… that enough? In terms of home form, if it wasn’t for 30 mins against Crystal Palace & the amazing victory against Spurs, which ended their title dreams, more fans would probably demand a season ticket refund or not renew for 2017/18. So honestly, I can’t wait to get the Burnley game out of the way and bury the 2016/17 season deep in ground never to be seen again!
Barring a fairly large goal swing, West Ham can only really finish as high as 11th. That said, do you think your players will be going all out to secure the three points?
In a word, no. We have a depleted side and we are without our captain Mark Noble to keep what’s left of the side on their toes. We’re more than likely to see a patched up defence/midfield and try some youth players. I’m sure now the pressure is off and being away we’ll play with freedom, but Burnley just rarely drop points at home. You never know though, our little Lanzini could weave some magic.
West Ham edged past Burnley in December, what do you think Slaven Bilic can take from that game into Sunday’s clash?
That without Andy Carroll we could struggle! In the reverse fixture we lumped the ball forward at every opportunity and it created havoc for the Burnley defence. It was only a scrappy penalty re-bound shot by Noble that saw us scrape it. If that method of getting the ball forward quickly worked, then he could utilise our young forward Fletcher to keep that height and presence up top.
What should Burnley fans expect of West Ham?
We will more than likely set up with a 3-4-3 and look to keep as much possession as possible. We have looked far more solid at the back using three center halves and expect Bilic to use this, as with a flat back four we look vulnerable. We are lacking real quality throughout the side at the moment so I wouldn’t expect anything extravagant. Our shining light is Manuel Lanzini who if given a free role could cause Burnley some real problems.
Finally, how do you see the game panning out and what is your score prediction?
A draw. Both sides have little to play for and going by both sides previous performances I doubt it will be a classic. On the beach comes to mind. Burnley have been fantastic at home though and they will be keen to carry on with their impressive record this season. We lack the cutting edge up front and we’ll be solid enough at the back if using a 3 to keep Burnley quiet.