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Burnley strength means David Moyes must use Said Benrahma as a false nine if West Ham are to earn all three points
Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Burnley strength means David Moyes must use Said Benrahma as a false nine if West Ham are to earn all three points

West Ham will be in for a tough afternoon against Burnley at the London Stadium today.

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David Moyes has worked wonders since taking over the Hammers for a second time in December 2019.

If there is one criticism of Moyes, however, it has to be his lack of tactical nouse when it comes to exposing the opposition’s weaknesses.

The Scot has a great chance to change that today against Burnley, however.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Clarets boss Sean Dyche always sets his team up incredibly well. Burnley are hard to break down and will almost always out work their opponents.

The Lancashire outfit’s biggest strength is arguably their ability to defend set-pieces and crosses into the box.

They proved that last season during a 1-0 win against West Ham at the London Stadium.

There are only five teams in the Premier League with better defensive records than Burnley this season.

Ben Mee and James Tarkowski excel when defending balls being lumped into their penalty area.

Burnley had the best record for defending set-pieces in the Premier League last season, with only 4% of the goals they let in coming from deal ball situations. That is a really surprising statistic considering the defensive strengths of the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City .

West Ham would be wise to use Said Benrahma as a false nine

Perhaps West Ham should explore a different route this afternoon.

Why not play a false nine. Benrahma is ideal for the role. We could then play Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen either side of him.

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The Hammers absolutely cannot fall into the trap of playing long balls up to Antonio today because it quite simply won’t work against Burnley. We have to be clever and think outside the box.

Playing Benrahma though the middle would give us a far better chance of winning the game.

The Algerian would be able to drop deep and link up play with the midfield whilst Antonio and Bowen make outside to in runs beyond the Burnley backline.

Mee and Tarkowski are not blessed with great pace. So we can really get at them by playing smart, intricate football.

Hopefully David Moyes realises this too. That’s what he’s being paid top dollar for after all. A win today against Burnley would be a truly huge result and would be evidence of our progress.

Further evidence of our evolution would be outsmarting the opposition with a clever, nuanced approach to tactics. And playing Benrahma as a false nine would undoubtedly give West Ham a better chance of beating Burnley this afternoon.