Monday, May 29, 2017

West Ham United ease relegation fears with narrow win over Burnley

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Dec 2016

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West Ham have struggled in the Premier League this season under Slaven Bilic, but things have picked up of late.

West Ham have struggled in the Premier League this season under Slaven Bilic, but things have picked up of late.

West Ham United enjoyed only their third home win in the Premier League this season, beating newly-promoted Burnley at the Olympic Stadium in Wednesday evening’s clash, and have boost their survival hopes in the process after a six-game winless run.

The Londoners are four points clear of the drop zone after 16 games, and will be delighted with their recent upturn in form ahead of squad rebuilding to come in the January transfer window.

West Ham only losing to elite clubs of late

A lot was made about West Ham’s winless run in the Premier League, but they have lost just once in their last four ahead of this weekend’s clash with newly-promoted relegation-threatened side Hull City. The Londoners have picked up points against Manchester United and Liverpool prior to their Burnley victory, and now have a favourable run of games that could see them racking up wins in the league.

Slaven Bilic’s men face Hull City, Swansea City and Leicester City in their next three Premier League games – three sides who are 14th and lower in the table. As a result, things are looking brighter for a West Ham side turning their recent form around. A win in their next outing could see the Hammers move two further places up the table, potentially going seven clear of the drop zone after 17 games, and they’ll fancy their chances now the side’s approach has been perfected.

3-4-2-1/3-4-3/3-5-2 getting the best from the side

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has had more joy with a three-man defence this season, alternating from a 3-4-2-1, 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formation. They have pace and power from the adventurous Aaron Cresswell and powerful Michail Antonio at wing-back, and the duo’s pace gives the Hammers a constant outlet out wide. Couple that with the substance of Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang/Cheikhou Kouyatein the middle of the park and United have the makings of a strong team.

The new system also frees up their two most creative players – Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet – to play a more advanced central role to help West Ham score more goals. Andy Carroll spearheaded the side in the Burnley victory and he could be key to West Ham scoring with his aerial threat and physical presence to give any defender a torrid time. West Ham still have a lot of work to do but the signs are good that they can distance themselves from the drop zone. West Ham are 10/1 to suffer relegation from the Premier League this season.

Will they be safe come May?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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