Misfiring Clarets concern Dyche

Sean Dyche admits there is "a bit of a fog around us at the moment" after watching his winless Burnley side lose 1-0 at Wolves.

Raul Jimenez scored the only goal of the game as the Clarets slumped to their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches so far this season.

They are now at the foot of the Premier League table and, after finishing seventh last season and qualifying for the Europa League, are 11/10 to be relegated this term.

"We've got a bit of a fog around us at the moment, brought on by many different things," Dyche said after the Molineux setback.

"We've been through it before though and we've got to come through it again.

"I thought they [Wolves] were the better side overall, definitely on the creative side of the game.

"The positive for us was we looked much more like us defensively, in the sense of blocks – the keeper played great, but in front of that, blocks, energy to block, willingness and desire.

"But that's the only thing I can pick out. Offensively we gave the ball away so many times in so many cheap positions and you can't do that."

Burnley can be backed at 9/5 to record their first victory of the campaign when they play Bournemouth on Saturday and at 9/1 to beat the Cherries 1-0 at Turf Moor.

Belief remains in Rafa’s mind

Rafa Benitez has urged fans of Newcastle United not to lose faith that the current side can improve and move away from the wrong end of the Premier League table.

The Magpies have picked up just one point from five games so far this season, with their latest outing ending in a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

However, the vastly-experienced Benitez refuses to be too downbeat about the situation, having guided his side to a tenth-placed last term in their first season back in the top-flight.

The Spaniard told Sky Sports: "Obviously we are disappointed because in the first half we did really well and deserved more. We were very close so the team is doing well in terms of organisation and in terms of work-rate.

"We were much better on the ball, especially in the first half, but still we have to improve that and keep the spirit. That is the key because we had this situation last year where we are losing games in a row and we finished tenth.

"That message has to be very clear for everyone. I have confidence in this group of players and hopefully we can start winning games soon."

Next up for the Tynesiders is a visit to Crystal Palace next Saturday, with the two sides having shared the spoils from a 1-1 draw in this fixture at Selhurst Park last season.

Newcastle are currently available at 10/3 to be relegated this season, with West Ham priced at 5/2 and Burnley 7/4.

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Hughton takes pragmatic line

Brighton manager Chris Hughton has admitted that he does not care how boring his side are so long as they avoid relegation.

The Seagulls stayed up last term despite struggling for goals, particularly on their travels.

They face Southampton at St Mary's on Monday and Mark Hughes' team are similarly shot-shy.

Hughton said: "It's all about getting points. It's still about staying in this division and getting the points however you need to be.

"Apart from the top six, I am quite sure that if you ask most managers they would prefer to be a little boring and be guaranteed 50 points. They'd probably take that."

Jurgen Locadia will be on the bench again at Southampton while Romanian striker Florin Andone is close to a return to action as he continues his recovery from a groin problem.

Hughton added: "If you're a centre-forward or a forward player, if you aren't starting a game, there are more chances you will be involved in games than any other position.

"That is why we need the ones we've got very much on their toes and pushing for places."

Glenn Murray is 11/4 to score at any time at St Mary's in a match Brighton are 9/1 to win 1-0.

Pellegrini keeping the faith

Head coach Manuel Pellegrini remains confident that West Ham can turn around their fortunes, having lost their opening four games of the Premier League season.

The Hammers have a chance to get off the mark on Sunday when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton, with former Manchester City boss Pellegrini convinced that better times are not too far away.

He told the club's official website: "I don't think that because you lose four games you must not be confident.

"It's the opposite and, in this moment, I trust what I do more than ever, because it is not the first time I have done this same work and it's not the first time in my career we have had some bad results.

"All the clubs I have managed have had some bad results at one moment in the season. It's not good to start with some bad results, but we are absolutely confident that we're going to reverse it.

"I am not worried about the statistics. I am worried about finding the right team to play well and to win the game."

Last season the Irons suffered a 4-0 thrashing by the Toffees on Merseyside, with former England captain Wayne Rooney scoring a hat-trick for the hosts.

However, the meeting of the two sides at the London Stadium on the final day of last season ended in a 3-1 win for the Hammers.

West Ham can be backed at 11/4 to secure a draw on Sunday, with a 1-1 final scoreline priced at 13/2, while the Londoners are 9/4 to be relegated come the end of the season.

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Defour extends Clarets stay

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has revealed that he has taken up the option of a 12-month contract extension for Belgium international Steven Defour.

The midfielder has not played since the end of January because of knee and calf injuries but will stay at Turf Moor until at least June 2020.

The 30-year-old joined the Clarets from Anderlecht just over two years ago and had been involved in pre-season training at the start of the summer only to then suffer a calf problem. However, Defour is now back in full training.

Dyche said: "He was injured at the time [in the summer] and we leave players alone when they're injured, so we didn't go out to the press and say he's here for another two years. But he is.

"Steven is doing really well. He's been training with us full-out for a week to 10 days, which is great, and he's looking and feeling well.

"He will start a games' programme, we're hoping, next week if all goes to plan. He will need a couple of games to build into it and build up to at least 90 minutes."

Robbie Brady is also back in training while Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who missed the Clarets' home loss to Manchester United before the international break with a hamstring problem, is fit to return to the squad for Sunday's trip to Wolves.

Burnley, 7/4 to be relegated this season, are 19/4 to beat Wolves.

Wilshere to miss Everton clash

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will miss West Ham United's Premier League fixture at Everton on Sunday because of an ankle injury.

Wilshere will have a scan on the injury next week to discover the full extent of the problem.

There is more bad news for beleaguered Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as Mexico international Javier Hernandez is ill and could also miss Sunday's game.

Pellegrini said: "The team news is that Javier Hernandez is sick. He has had a virus for the last 10 days, so he's at home this week.

"Jack felt a pain in his ankle two days ago, so we will see in the next days what the prognosis is. He doesn't have a chance to play on Sunday. On Tuesday, we will see after he has a medical review what the situation is."

West Ham have lost their first four Premier League matches of the campaign and are 9/4 to be relegated this season. They can be backed at 1/1 to lose again at Everton on Sunday.

Pellegrini is determined to lift the Hammers off the foot of the table, but is refusing to panic, adding: "The most important thing in the Premier League is to arrive in December with a fresh team, so we are having a lot of rest, especially in the international break."

Warnock calls for big effort

Neil Warnock knows that his Cardiff City side will be under the cosh for long spells on Saturday when they visit Chelsea.

The Bluebirds are without a win so far this season and are 4/11 to be relegated.

However, veteran manager Warnock has faith in his players and is convinced that they will give their all when they visit Stamford Bridge.

Cardiff are 7/1 to draw with Chelsea and 16/1 to grind out a goalless stalemate.

Warnock said: "We've got enough good players to get points off people we're supposed to get points off. We've got to use these next two games (Chelsea and Manchester City) to learn.

"The top sides always have a lot of possession so we're going to be under the cosh for a long time, but we've got to find a remedy. We've earned the right to play against teams like Chelsea.

"It will be interesting to see how we cope at a packed Stamford Bridge. It's one where we've got to get the best out of what we've got. I don't want to go there and not have a shot on target, but we've got to have players at their best abilities to give them a game."

Hughton wary of in-form Ings

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has warned his side that they will face a man in form in the shape of loan striker Danny Ings when they visit Southampton on Monday.

Ings has scored twice in four Premier League appearances since joining the Saints on a season-long loan from Liverpool, with his time at Anfield having been badly disrupted by a couple of serious injuries.

However, Hughton is in no doubt that Ings has the quality needed to succeed, with the one-time England international having started his career on the South Coast with Bournemouth.

He told reporters: "What Danny brings is what we always knew he could. He's picked up a couple of big injuries, but there has never been any doubt about the ability that he's got.

"Hence the reason why he went to Liverpool, hence the reason why at Liverpool they think so highly of him. For him it's about getting his career back on track.

"He has certainly started the season really well, and has started the season like a player who has missed games and is desperate to play. That makes him a very difficult opponent."

Both league meetings between Brighton and Southampton last season ended in 1-1 draws, with veteran frontman Glenn Murray the Seagulls' goalscorer in both games.

Earlier this season a late Charlie Austin strike gave the Saints a 1-0 League Cup victory over Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton can be backed at 11/4 to win the South Coast derby on Monday evening, with Ings priced at 11/5 to score at any time, while Murray is 15/2 to net the first goal of the game.

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Lanzini hits the comeback trail

West Ham United midfielder Manuel Lanzini is relieved that he has been able to return to training as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.

The Argentina international playmaker tore his anterior cruciate ligament in May and is not expected to be ready to return to first-team action until the start of 2019 after enduring surgery in June in Barcelona.

The 25-year-old, who has spent the last three months in Spain recuperating following the operation, said: "I missed West Ham, I missed the players, all the West Ham staff and the training ground, so I am happy to be back.

"It was very hard when my knee was broken before the World Cup but now I am thinking of the future and now I am happy.

"My knee is feeling very comfortable and stable and this is very important. I am taking things day by day and I am feeling good, comfortable and stable and I am ready to keep going like this and we will see."

Lanzini, who scored five goals last season, has featured in 88 Premier League matches for West Ham, 9/4 to be relegated this term, following his transfer from Al-Jazira, initially on loan, three years ago.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have missed Lanzini in the first month of the Premier League campaign and have lost their opening four fixtures.

The Hammers visit Goodison Park on Sunday to face Everton and are 1/1 to lose again while they are 11/4 to Score first & Draw the match.

Hodgson searches for Zaha answers

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson accepts that he must find a way to help his side perform to their best when star forward Wilfried Zaha is absent.

Ivory Coast international Zaha was missing on Saturday due to a groin strain and the Eagles were unable to cope as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Southampton.

The loss extended a run without a win when Zaha is sidelined which dates back to a 3-2 victory over Sunderland at Selhurst Park almost two years ago.

And it is that fact which has left Hodgson with much to ponder heading into the international break.

He told reporters after a disappointing afternoon for the Selhurst Park faithful: "I don't quite know what I can do about it until such time as we play a game without Wilf and win.

"It's a fact. Again he didn't play and again we didn't win. It's a pure fact that we have to learn to live with.

"There will be games where Wilf doesn't play and I would like to think that the squad that we have is good enough to win without him.

"It's a stretch to say because Wilf is unable to play, the other players can't produce what they are capable of."

The Eagles have now lost three Premier League games in a row following an opening weekend 2-0 triumph at newly-promoted Fulham, with the reverse to the Saints preceded by defeats to Liverpool and Watford.

Palace are now priced at 7/1 to be relegated this season, with Fulham available at 5/1 and West Ham 9/4.

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