“Win at home, lose away” has been the Burnley template this season thus far, 16 of their 17 points have come at Turf Moor, so we should be optimistic heading into Sunday’s game against Sean Dyche’s men.
They currently lie 13th, one point ahead of West Ham who they lost to in a close game on Wednesday night, away from home of course. Their inability to pick up more on their travels is a bit of a mystery given their generally solid defence and the potential they have in attack. At the back Heaton, Lowton and Keane draw regular praise and up front Vokes and Gray are players of quality. Fingers crossed that they won’t resolve this particular conundrum until after the weekend. Their best result of the season on the road was their draw at Old Trafford, Heaton played a blinder that day.
Whilst the Clarets were losing to the Claret and Blues during the week we were engaged in a bit of a strange old game against Hull City. Three at the back at home was a new diversion for Pochettino and given the amount of possession the Tigers achieved around our penalty area I’d say it is one that still needs a bit of work. The new system did achieve some positives, it got Sissoko away from the wide areas and gave Walker and Rose even more license to bomb forward and cause mayhem, but there was a lot more desperate scrambling and scampering than we’d probably normally expect. If it means that the likes of Eriksen, Alli and Lamela (when he returns) are liable to be able to support Harry better then it’s likely to be a system that we’ll continue to experiment with. A list of betting sites have Tottenham as favourites to win the match.
Dele Alli’s second season at the top hasn’t gone quite as smoothly as his first thus far and it was noticeable on Wednesday that things improved in midfield when he was replaced by Winks and Eriksen and Sissoko adjusted their positions in front of the youngster. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Alli was given a break this weekend, at the start of the game anyway. Dembélé too may be given a further chance to rest his dodgy hip.
Whatever system Pochettino opts for, we go into this game as strong favourites, and quite rightly too. A win will see us gain ground on at least one of Man City or the filthy Gooners and also keep Man United at arm’s length.
We shouldn’t take anything for granted though, they are well organised and have speed on the break.
Kevin Friend is the ref.
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