From having no fit senior striker to five available strikers in the space of one week has got to be the most talked about Premier League transfer story of the January 2010 window. Gianfranco Zola must be extremely excited going into this weekend's Burnley encounter at Turf Moor. The bolstered attacking muscle will be expected to inspire the Hammers to only their second away win of this season's Premiership season.
West Ham have a great record at Burnley, having last lost some 32 years ago. They have a chance to achieve their only double of the season, and will be fired up to grab the win to ignite their season. This match have come at an opportune time as Burnley, having lost the influential Owen Coyle, is out of form and sliding despairingly down the table.
An open flowing game should be expected as both teams will be out to secure a vital victory.
West Ham have started keeping clean sheets, three in the last five matches and with McCarthy raring to go, there is great optimism going into this match. Stephen Fletcher and Robbie Blake are Burnley's main dangermen but Matty Upson and co should have the muscle to render them ineffectual.
McCarthy and Cole must start upfront, I would opt for a more attacking lineup with Diamanti on the left and Collison on the right. Mark Noble and Scott Parker will be ideal in central midfield. Illunga is a doubt and so Fabio Daprela is the ideal candidate who should start. The young Swiss attacking instincts may be suited for this must-win match. With Jack Collison as cover, Daprela can go forward a lot more without fear of being exposed.
Graham Alexander's absence will allow West Ham freedom in the middle of the park. Hence Parker and Noble will be able to control and exert their influence on the Hammers passing game. Diamanti is the X-factor in the side and will again be the creative outlet for a pretty workmanlike West Ham midfield.
The Flat Back Four's favoured West Ham lineup (4-4-2): --------------------------------- Green
Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and the whole team are reportedly in buoyant mood prior to this match. The squad is improving and the injury list is growing shorter day by day. The season can really begin for Zola's men, starting with Burnley this Saturday. New owners Gold & Sullivan have delivered the transfer signings promised, it's time for the players to deliver.