Preview: Burnley vs. West Ham United

Preview: Burnley vs. West Ham
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Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor as the Clarets resume their search for a first win since promotion.

Burnley resume their search for a first Premier League win since their promotion when they entertain the impressive new-look West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.

The Clarets have drawn four and lost three of their seven matches since returning to the top flight and occupy one of the bottom three positions, in which many suspect they shall remain for much of the season.

The international break has at least given Sean Dyche, labelled as one of the best young managers in the country by Sir Alex Ferguson this week, the chance to get several key players back to fitness.

Central midfield duo David Jones and Dean Marney, as well as last season's top goalscorer and Championship Player of the Year Danny Ings, are all in contention to return at Turf Moor this weekend.

West Ham have had their own injury problems, but the form of summer signing Diafra Sakho, who has four goals in four top-flight starts, and Stewart Downing has helped them to seventh in the table.

Alongside them, the likes of Enner Valencia, Mauro Zarate and Alex Song are helping Allardyce deliver the attractive football that has been demanded, and a first clean sheet of the season in the 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers indicates that the Hammers are well equipped to stay in the top half.

Mark Noble missed the London derby and is facing a race against time to be fit for the trip to Lancashire, while James Collins, Cheikhou Kouyate, Ricardo Vaz Te and Joey O'Brien are definitely unavailable.

Much-maligned record signing Andy Carroll too remains sidelined, but the striker has issued a determined response this week to speculation linking him with a move away from Upton Park.

Allardyce will likely name the same starting XI that beat Rangers, with Winston Reid, who is stalling on a new contract amid reported interest from Liverpool and Arsenal, at the heart of the defence.

The New Zealand international comes up against the division's least prolific attack, but Dyche will be hoping that the return of Ings alongside the goalless Lukas Jutkiewicz will make his frontline more potent.

Michael Kightly and Ross Wallace, who both scored in the 2-2 draw with Leicester City last time out, may have to settle for places on the bench if Dyche wishes to accommodate Marney and Jones in midfield.

Right-back Kieran Trippier faces a late fitness test for the Clarets, while an Achilles problem that is being operated on this week denies Matt Taylor the opportunity to face the club which he left in the summer.

Recent form

Burnley: DLDDDL

West Ham: WLWDLD

Possible starting lineups

Burnley: Heaton; Tripper, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Kightly, Arfield, Jones, Boyd; Ings, Jutkiewicz

West Ham: Adrian; Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell; Song, Amalfitano, Downing, Zarate; Valencia, Sakho

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Who will win Saturday's match between Burnley and West Ham at Turf Moor?

Burnley
West Ham
Draw
Burnley
22.1%
West Ham
69.2%
Draw
8.7%
Antonio Valencia of Manchester United goes into to block Matthew Taylor of Burnley during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on August 30, 2014
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