Since the international window, West Ham have returned to action with two wins and two draws conceding eight goals across those four Premier League games. The leaky defence is certainly a worry for Hammers boss David Moyes, but when asked about it the Scot had a simple explanation for the change.

David Moyes said: “Mostly it is not having Declan Rice. He’s not a bad player. He played in the game where we drew three each against Arsenal but he is incredibly important.”

The loss of Declan Rice was always going to be a hard one for West Ham to take but the knock-on effect to those around him has been clear to see. Moyes has switched formations to a five-man defence in order to provide more defensive cover and Mark Noble has come in for the 22-year-old, but still, the goals have been conceded.

David Moyes said: “He is working with the physios and on the grass. I wouldn’t rule him out yet but I don’t want to rule him in either. Let’s hope that he’s got a chance. We’ve got Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice and Arthur [Masuaku] out. We’ve had a few out so we’re trying to get them all back [for Burnley] if we can.”

David Moyes added: “They make a difference because they are important players.”

With West Ham sitting three points off fourth-placed Chelsea going into the matches this weekend, the return of any one of his key players would clearly be most welcome. But looking at the defensive record without Rice in the side, getting his vice-captain back would be a huge boost to the team as they aim to maintain their unlikely European push.

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