AFTER two successive defeats against two of the Premier League's top three Burnley's task gets a little easier this weekend as they head to the capital to face West Ham United at the London Stadium.

It's been a chastening couple of weeks for the Clarets who were beaten 5-0 at Manchester City and 4-0 at home to Chelsea.

But they will hope to repeat last season's stunning victory against the Hammers on Saturday.

Here are the key issues facing Sean Dyche as he prepares his side for a daunting test.


After last weekend's humbling at the hands of Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea, Sean Dyche made the point that Burnley had tried to play 'progressively' against the Blues in order to try and fine tune that style when they face slightly easier tasks.

Saturday's trip to the London Stadium will certainly fall into that category so it will be interesting to see if the practice against Chelsea makes perfect against the Hammers.

In recent weeks Burnley have reverted to a more direct style, with points rather than plaudits the target after a poor start to the campaign.

But there were signs last season when Steven Defour and Robbie Brady were fit that the Clarets were beginning to find a bit of style in their play. With those now reunited after long injury absences Dyche seems keen to get Burnley back to their best.


March's trip to face the Hammers, in which Burnley ran out 3-0 winners, was the second of a five game winning streak that booked the Clarets' place in Europe. It was also the second of three straight games in which both Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scored.

At this point their partnership looked a match made in heaven, or rather Brighton, where they briefly played together seven years ago. But neither has hit those heights this season and with £11million recruit Matej Vydra starting just twice in the Premier League it has been Sam Vokes who has led the line in recent weeks.

But the Wales international was withdrawn after an hour last week and nobody has yet made one of those striking berths their own. Could this weekend be the chance to see if Barnes and Wood can roll back the months?


Mark Noble's biggest contribution during that 3-0 defeat for West Ham in March was scrapping with one of his own fans as the Hammers imploded in some style amid pitch invasions and protests against the owners.


But the midfielder will be nowhere to be seen on Saturday following his red card at Leicester City last weekend and with Carlos Sanchez and Manuel Lanzini out for the long term and Jack Wilshere and Pedro Obiang both struggling for fitness it could hand the Clarets control of midfield.

That will be music to the ears of Jack Cork and Steven Defour, who struck up a fine partnership in the first half of last season before the Belgian's season-ending knee injury.