In form Burnley no easy task for West Ham

Clarets are a decent side under Eddie Howe

FA Cup Fifth Round

West Ham v Burnley,

Monday, Februrary 21, 8pm

The opposition


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BURNLEY are one of the in-form sides in the Championship and have picked up 11 from a possible 18.

The Clarets are in eighth place six points off the play-offs with a game in hand on Leeds United who currently occupy the last spot.

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Eddie Howe left Bournemouth to become Burnley manager on a three-and-a-half year contract in mid-January and the 33-year-old has made an encouraging start to his new job, with the Lancashire club losing just one game since taking charge.

Howe replaced Brian Laws, who although had Burnley in a decent position was unpopular with the fans.

Christopher Eagles was linked with a move back to the Premier League in the last transfer window and is their most creative asset, while his 11 goals make him level top scorer with Scottish international striker Chris Iwelumo.

A good target man with an impressive first touch, the former Wolves striker will be a good partner for new signing Charlie Austin who arrived from Swindon in the January Transfer window for an undisclosed fee.

Key to the game

IF West Ham can limit the supply to Iwelumo they will take away the focal point of Burnley’s attack. Austin has scored goals for fun in the lower leagues and although he is yet to score for Burnley he will need to be watched.

Dean Marney is a workhorse in midfield and it will probably be Radoslav Kovac’s job to track his runs.

Verdict

WEST HAM are scoring goals for fun at the moment and although Wayne Carlisle and Michael Duff are solid wholehearted performers, they are unlikely to be able to contain the Hammers and although Burnley are likely to score a goal or two, West Ham should outscore the visitors.

Prediction: West Ham 4 Burnley 2

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