Burnley-West Ham United Preview

The Associated Press
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Burnley's Stephen Ward during the Premier League match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor on October 14, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Burnley-West Ham United Preview

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Burnley's Stephen Ward during the Premier League match between Burnley and West Ham United at Turf Moor on October 14, 2017 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

The bottom half of the Premier League table is a crowded place these days, and a spot West Ham United doesn't want to be in.

Sitting 14th on 30 points, David Moyes' club will try to put some distance between themselves and the dreaded drop Saturday against Burnley at the Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers (7-9-13) have just one win - against Watford on Feb. 10 - over their last seven games in all competitions and look to avoid a third consecutive defeat. Last time out, West Ham suffered a second straight 4-1 loss, this time to Swansea City. Michail Antonio netted in the 79th minute, but it wasn't enough to overcome what the Swans put up.

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Despite this recent poor run of form, captain Mark Noble believes there is enough experience on the squad to get the required results and stay out of the bottom three.

"They are all big games now and we just need to knuckle down and get the results we need to get ourselves out of trouble come the end of the season," Noble said. "I don't think we will wilt because we're at home, which is a big plus for us at the minute, because we're playing well at London Stadium.

"We need to get points, it's as simple as that. Do I think we'll be fine? Yes, because I think we've got enough here and we will pick up results. For us now, the season is to get safe and then to rebuild in the summer and start again from next season."

Six of West Ham's final nine matches are at home, which could be a springboard for the club to secure its safety.

"We need to play with an intensity that we didn't play with at Swansea last weekend," Noble added.

"I'm sure the fans will be behind us on Saturday. After the Swansea game, I said, and I'm sure they are sick of me saying it, that it was a poor performance from us and every mistake we made got punished."

Burnley (10-10-9) find themselves with a much different goal, sitting seventh place on 40 points and aiming for a top-half finish. Sean Dyche's group finally put a stop to an 12-match winless stretch over all competitions with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Everton at Turf Moor. Second-half goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood provided the rally.

Dyche has encouraged his players to play with more freedom this week.

"To get to 40 points at this stage of the season is very pleasing and the lads have earned the right to do that," Dyche said.

"Then you're free to go on and hopefully play well, get the shoulders back slightly and have that little bit more of a touch of mild arrogance just to take on each challenge as it comes. I hope, and I want the players to have the chance now to play with more freedom."

Barnes is aiming to score in three consecutive English league matches for the first time since a run of four with Brighton & Hove Albion in May 2011.

These teams played to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture on Oct. 14 at Turf Moor. Antonio and Wood traded goals on the day.

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