Despite the maximum points haul, the attritional nature of our last four league games means that a trip to Turf Moor to face a confident and in form Burnley side wouldn’t be very near the top of our shopping list of potential next fixtures.
Since squeaking past Leicester, (I was thinking of that Vardy penalty earlier, it made me chuckle out loud), we have had the unexpectedly glorious night against Dortmund which has helped put the awkward struggles against Fulham, Watford and Newcastle to the back of our minds, but probably not Poch’s. He’ll know that conceding sloppy goals and then relying on the magical Son to pull us out of the poo isn’t a model we can rely on in every game and that it’s time we got back to imposing ourselves from the start.
There may be some good injury news for a change with strong rumours that Harry’s rehabilitation is ahead of schedule and that he’ll be available for part of the game. Judging by previous occurrences, we shouldn’t be too demanding of Kane. When coming back from injury he’s previously looked sluggish for a while, particularly last season when he never really got back in to his stride after being crocked at Bournemouth.
Burnley lie 15th, 3 points clear of Southampton who currently sit just the wrong side of the dotted line at the bottom. Their 7 game unbeaten run included draws against Watford and Man Utd, the other five games have been against teams around them at the bottom. And West Ham. Turf Moor hasn’t been the fortress they would like it to be this campaign, they’ve lost six league games the last one being the curious 5-1 loss to Everton a couple of days after we’d tonked the Toffees at Goodison, a result no-one saw coming (in both cases probably).
They rely heavily on the Austrian Barnes (7) and the Kiwi Wood for (6) for their goals. Dyche has been fielding relatively attacking line ups of late with these two supported by 19 year old Dwight McNeil, it’ll be a surprise though if the home side don’t try and clog the midfield more on Saturday.
Burnley’s recent good run has coincided with the reinstatement to the team of Heaton and Tarkowski. With Bardsley & Mee also playing regularly, the band is very much back together.
As usual Poch’s selection will be determined by who’s fit and ready and who’s not. He’ll have been encouraged by Vertonghen’s displays at left back of late, especially against Dortmund of course. Both Rose and Davies are doubtful so we may see him there again. Elsewhere, Llorente, Eriksen, Son, Lucas and Lamela will fight for the forward spots with Winks, Sissoko and Skipp shoring up the midfield. The latter made his debut against the Clarets at Wembley and Poch may fancy giving him a reprise given the tough run of fixtures coming up. Chelski, the gooners and then Dortmund.
Quite an 11 days in prospect.
We have Mike Dean (again, the fifth time this season already!) as the man in the middle. Dean has been stuck on 99 career red cards for a few weeks now, this could be the one…
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