It is fair to say that Burnley have exceeded the expectations that many would have had in this early part of the season as they currently find themselves 6th in the Premier League table, this afternoon they will look to continue their impressive form as they play host to West Ham at Turf Moor.
Last season it was all about fortress Turf Moor as they earned countless wins in front of their own fans which undoubtedly played a huge part in staying in the top flight after being promoted two seasons ago. It was especially important that their results at home were so strong due to their converse performances on the road.
But in the first seven games of this campaign it has been points on the road which has seen them defy the pundits. Eight points from a possible twelve have been picked up away from Lancashire, that is an impressive tally in itself but when you consider the opposition in which they were earned it becomes an ever greater feat.
The eight points have come at the hands of Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton and it was Goodison Park in which they picked up their previous win before the international hiatus as Jeff Hendricks first half goal compiled more misery on Ronald Koeman.
That said Sean Dyche will look to emulate those efforts on his own turf as this season has warranted just one win from three home outings. That came at their hands of a hopeless Crystal Palace when Chris Wood’s early goal was the difference.
It was a game that saw Tom Heaton pick up a long term injury and many felt that was going to be a big blow to the club and although there is no doubting how much he will be missed his understudy Nick Pope has taken to life in the Premier League with aplomb as he is yet to taste defeat since deputising between the sticks.
West Ham will be looking to not only but an end to that run of results for Pope but also build on the much welcomed win over Swansea before the international break. Those three points have seen Slaven Bilic’s men move up to 15th in the table.
It was left late though to earn victory over The Swans as Diafra Sahko scored in injury time to the relief of Hammers boss Bilic. The rumours as to his job status refuse to go away as they have not started the season as well as they would have liked.
Quite simply the only way to quell those rumours is to keep getting points on the board, in doing that you can start looking up the table than opposed to over your shoulder. Especially when the likes of Carlo Ancelotti are getting linekd with a hotseat that isn’t even vacant.
Bilic knows full well he has to deliver and do so soon as you get the feeling that the patience is starting to wear thin with messers Sullivan and Gold especially if and this is no disrespect to the former Croatia international they can get themselves a better manager to do the job.
I doubt defeat for West Ham this afternoon will be the one that tips the scales for Bilic but it certainly will not help his credentials. To be honest though I think it is not going to be a happy trip up North though as Burnley will continue where they left off before the break and earn a second home win of the season.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
Who will come out on top at Turf Moor as #Burnley play host to #WestHam
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) October 13, 2017