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West Ham United-Burnley Preview
Burnley are already assured of their highest ever Premier League finish, but are seeking a big scalp on the final day of the season to finish it in style Sunday against West Ham United.
Sean Dyche's Clarets (11-7-19) arrived in the top-flight to little fanfare, with memories of the club's two previous forays into the Premier League - both of which ended in relegation - still lingering in the memories of neutrals.
But Burnley have proved a welcome edition in the Premier League, playing some good football at times and securing their safety in the division prior to the final round of matches.
West Ham (11-9-17) qualified for European football last season and only last summer moved to one of the biggest stadiums in the country, but 15th-place Burnley would finish above their opponents with a victory - a fillip that Dyche says illustrates how far the club has come.
"To be in a position to finish above West Ham is fantastic, the players have put a lot into the season and have had their rewards," Dyche said. "The first job is complete, to achieve what everyone wanted and stay in the league, so let's see if we can finish well and see where it takes us."
A mid-table finish may be a big achievement, but keeping hold of the squad's better players would be just as impressive, with the likes of centre-back Michael Keane heavily linked with summer transfers to the traditionally bigger clubs.
However, Dyche is confident of keeping hold of his star defender.
"It's just the wheels are turning in the media - nothing has changed over the last six months with Keano," Dyche said. "It's the way the media works, we're coming to the end of the season and it's when the speculation starts. We're well used to it by now."
Slaven Bilic's side have a rich club pedigree and a strong previous season behind them, but this campaign has been little short of disastrous for the beleaguered Hammers.
Sitting 12th, a bottom-half finish looks all-but confirmed as West Ham require a six-goal swing and other results to go their way to sneak into the top 10. But Bilic is still trying to motivate a squad who appear to have downed tools for the majority of the second half of the season.
"The last game is always the last memory you have of the season, so I'm expecting the players to be like that," he said. "I'm certainly very, very motivated for this game. We want to finish on a positive.
"We have injuries and all that, but we need to give everything to try to win the game and finish in the best-possible way, so it's a very important game for us."
West Ham's injuries will see a skeleton first team take to the field at Turf Moor, with Winston Reid, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll, Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang and Gokhan Tore all out.
Hosts Burnley in contrast, have just midfielder Dean Marney definitely ruled out, with Michael Keane and Ben Mee facing late fitness tests.
The Hammers have won the last three meetings in the Premier League, with a lone Noble goal being the difference between the teams at the Olympic Stadium back in December.
Updated May 19, 2017