West Ham United-Burnley Preview
West Ham United's current slump could result in some serious ramifications within the club if things don't improve. Meanwhile, things are not going much better on the pitch for Burnley.
Each club looks to dig out of their respective rut when they meet Saturday at Turf Moor.
Following an opening 5-0 loss at home to Manchester City, West Ham went 3-3-0 over the next six Premier League games. However, the Hammers are 0-1-3 since then and trying to rebound from a disheartening 3-2 home loss to once-relegation zone-dwellers Newcastle United last weekend.
Currently 13th in the Premier League table, West Ham (3-4-4) find themselves in a quandary and now dealing with the potential distraction of a Guardian report that director of football Mario Husillos could lose his job if things don't get better. The same report stated that manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has also taken heat for the team's current state, is not in danger of being sacked, but well aware of the severity of the situation.
"It's a very bad moment for us, without any doubt," Pellegrini told West Ham's official website. "When you don't win, you must review everything: the tactics that you play, the starting XI, the substitutions that you made during the game, and the way that you are working during the week. A lot of things."
Pellegrini has been doing that, but, so far, to no avail. And, there's no certainty that will change this weekend. The Hammers are 1-1-2 versus Burnley in league play since winning four straight in the series.
The good news for the Hammers: Burnley (3-3-5) have their own rot to break out from whilst sitting one point and one place behind West Ham. After beating Everton 1-0 at home on Oct. 5, the Clarets have been outscored 9-3 during a three-game league losing streak. That featured last weekend's rough 3-0 defeat at upstart newcomers Sheffield United.
"(This weekend) is a massive game, and of course, (manager Sean Dyche) will expect a response, so we have to be fully ready and make sure we can be on the right track again," defender Erik Pieters told Burnley's official website. "We want to stop those three defeats in a row. Make sure we don't make it four ... A good win will make that even better."
Perhaps the news that star Ashley Barnes (four goals in 2019-20) signed a contract extension to remain at Burnley until the summer of 2022 will provide a boast for the club this weekend. Barnes, though, has gone seven straight matches without a goal, and owns just one in 10 games over all competitions against West Ham.
Sebastien Haller has a team-leading four goals for the Hammers, but just one in his last seven contests.
Updated November 7, 2019