Burnley aim to maintain their push for a Europa League finish as they take on West Ham at London Stadium this evening.
The Clarets are on a three-match unbeaten run and could move above Tottenham and Sheffield United with a win against the Hammers, who have given themselves breathing space above the relegation zone following impressive results against Chelsea and Newcastle in recent days.
Sean Dyche did at least welcome back Chris Wood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson as substitutes at the weekend following their respective injury layoffs, although their returns were offset by season-ending injuries to Ben Mee and Jack Cork. They join Ashley Barnes and Matthew Lowton in being near-certain to play no further part in the rest of Burnley’s 2019/20 campaign. [via Lancashire Live]
Our predicted Clarets XI for this evening’s clash shows two changes from the team that started the draw against Sheffield United on Sunday:
Dyche can continue to call upon ever-present goalkeeper Nick Pope, who is set to play behind an unchanged back four of Charlie Taylor, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long and Phil Bardsley. The Irish centre-back made his first league start of the season against the Blades and should add a few more in the enforced absence of Mee.
Dwight McNeil is likely to reprise his role on the left flank for Burnley, while Ashley Westwood and Josh Brownhill started as the central midfield pairing on Sunday and look set to do so again this evening. There could be a change on the right, though, as Erik Pieters went off with an injury towards the end of the Sheffield United game. Gudmundsson, who replaced him, could be in line for his first start in nine months if Dyche feels the Iceland international is fit enough to feature from the outset.
Do you think Wood and Gudmundsson will start against West Ham?
The same applies to Wood in attack – if the Clarets’ top scorer is deemed healthy enough to start, he may well come into the team in place of Matej Vydra, who hasn’t been as prolific as Jay Rodriguez this season. It should come as a great fillip for Dyche if he can partner Burnley’s two leading scorers up top against the Hammers.
Whether the manager will gamble on starting Gudmundsson and Wood seeing as they’re only just back from their respective layoffs remains to be seen, although their substitute appearances on Sunday offer hope that they could get into the starting XI for the trip to east London.
Burnley fans, do you think Wood and Gudmundsson should start against West Ham? Comment below with your views!
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