Preview: Burnley v West Ham United

Jamie Smith March 24, 2012

Young players might get a look with our season petering out, writes Jamie Smith.

Eddie Howe has stated he intends to blood some young players in the last few games of the season and he has been room in the squad by shipping out some disappointing players on loan.

Zavon Hines, Keith Treacy and Andre Amougou have all gone, but with the youths in the middle of a title race and an FA Youth Cup semi-final, their progress into the first team may be delayed for now. Cameron Howieson, Stevie Hewitt and Shay McCartan could be among those who get a match before the end of the season, however.

Danny Lafferty could start a third game in a row at left-back, while Junior Stanislas will be hoping to continue against his former club.

Jay Rodriguez is likely to be in the side after returning from a groin problem in the disappointing 1-0 loss at Ipswich Town in the week, while Danny Ings could be recalled at the expense of the struggling Charlie Austin.

Sam Allardyce brings his West Ham team to Turf Moor desperate for points as they chase automatic promotion under pressure from Reading and Birmingham City.

He has a wealth of strikers to choose from, with Nicky Maynard being a disappointment after his January signing from Bristol City.

Julien Faubert, Guy Demel, Papa Bouba Diop and Ricardo Vaz Te are all injured, but the Hammers have a deep enough squad to cope.

Some 21 different players have scored for West Ham this season, in stark contrast to the Clarets who have relied heavily on Rodriguez.

The Hammers are the draw specialists in the division with 11 stalemates, including four draws on the spin.

But with ten wins on the road this season, their style of play is arguably more suited to being away from the Boleyn Ground.

And the Clarets have only collected 24 of their 49 points from Turf Moor this season, with indifferent home form acting as a barrier to play-off hopes all season.

We’re currently 16th in the table and will slip even lower if we fail to get some more points on the board soon.

Relegation is out of the question with the 50-point mark close to being breached, but the Clarets need to finish as high up the league as possible to attract players for next season.

West Ham will be coming to the Turf for revenge after our smash and grab win there earlier in the season and the way we have been playing in the last few weeks, it’s hard to bet against them getting the win.

Previous encounters show we have a good record at home to the Hammers in 38 games, with 23 home wins, six away wins and nine draws.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 West Ham United