Burnley will decide late on whether or not to hand new signing Danny Fox a first start at his new club.

The former Celtic left-back has a groin problem and if he is not fit to play Burnley will have problems in that position as Christian Kalvenes, Chris McCann and Stephen Jordan have all been out injured recently. David Edgar may be asked to fill in although Jordan may be passed fit.

David Nugent could return to the starting line-up after his loan from Portsmouth was extended until the end of the season while loan signing Jack Cork is expected to have to settle for a place on the bench.

Like Burnley, West Ham bolstered their forward options during the transfer window. The Londoners added three strikers – Mido, Ilan and Benni McCarthy – to their ranks. Burnley will be wary of the threat of the former Blackburn Rovers player, who is sure to receive a spiky reception at the hands of the Claret faithful.

Perennial treatment table victim Kieron Dyer could make his comeback for Gianfranco Zola’s side with Herita Ilunga also in contention to make his own return from injury.

Zola will also be boosted by the return to fitness of England man Carlton Cole, the club’s top scorer with seven league goals this season.

The two sides are both going through worrying patches of form and find themselves right in the midst of a relegation battle.

Burnley have the worst form in the Premier League after failing to win in 12 attempts and losing their last four, while new manager Brian Laws has sat in the dugout for 16 consecutive matches without seeing his side win after getting sacked by previous club Sheffield Wednesday after a poor spell.

West Ham’s form has been barely any better with only one victory – against bottom club Portsmouth – in their last nine.

Their danger man is Scott Parker, who ran the reverse fixture earlier in the season, leading his side to a 5-0 lead before the Clarets fought back to make the scoreline more respectable at the death.

That eight-goal thriller would seem to indicate there will be more goals in today’s game with both sides leaky at the back, but in truth, a 0-0 would probably suit both sides.

Burnley will be keen to get back to their early-season form at Turf Moor, where they won five of their first six Premier League games.

But with midfield mainstay Graham Alexander missing out through injury, and West Ham having improved their firepower from the bench, Burnley may find it difficult to get a grip on the game.

Prediction: Burnley 1-2 West Ham.

Advertisements