Saturday's big match preview

West Ham United v Burnley Saturday, November 28, 3pm Upton Park THERE are some things you can rely on in top-flight football. West Ham will not win at Liverpool is one, Alex Ferguson will moan about a referee when he doesn t win being another, but it seem

West Ham United v Burnley

Saturday, November 28, 3pm

Upton Park

THERE are some things you can rely on in top-flight football.


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West Ham will not win at Liverpool is one, Alex Ferguson will moan about a referee when he doesn't win being another, but it seems that Burnley not winning away is just as trustworthy.

The Lancastrians haven't won away from Turf Moor in the top flight since April 1976 when they triumphed 1-0 at Newcastle.

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The fact that they haven't been back in the top flight until this season may have something to do with it, but so far they have failed to break that record in six attempts.

Boss Owen Coyle was restricted in the transfer market during the summer, but the �3million he splashed out on Steven Fletcher from Hibernian seems to have been money well spent.

He has notched six goals for the Clarets in league and cup and will be the one to watch, while Graham Alexander has managed four and loan signing David Nugent two.

All five of their wins have come at Turf Moor this season, a tally that has seen them reach 10th place in the Premier League table with 17 points from 13 games - a notable achievement.

It is on their travels where they have suffered. They have lost at Stoke, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Blackburn in the league as well as Barnsley in the Carling Cup, while the only point they have mustered was in an exciting 3-3 draw with Manchester City.

Former Hammer Tyrone Mears joined the club during the summer and will look to impress against his old employers, while Andre Bikey from Reading will partner Clarke Carlisle in the centre of what looks a robust defence.

History points firmly towards a West Ham victory. The last time the teams met at Upton Park was in the Hammers' promotion-winning season of 2004-05 when a solitary goal by Adam Nowland was enough to earn the points.

In fact, the Clarets haven't won in east London since 1973 when Colin Waldron's goal gave them all three points and Ted MacDougall was sent off for the Hammers for a headbutt.

West Ham are desperate for a win, while Burnley would probably be content with a point and will come to soak up the pressure and play on the break.

But if the Hammers can get an early goal, it will force the visitors out and that could leave big gaps for West Ham to exploit.

It's a big if, but I think they might just pull it off at last.

POSSIBLE team: Jensen, Mears, Jordan, Carlisle, Bikey, Caldwell, Eagles, Alexander, Elliott, Blake, Fletcher.

Prediction:

West Ham 3 Burnley 0

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