MF’s Preview: Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur

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We visit Burnley on Sunday for our final game of the season. Our last trip to Turf Moor was for 2008/09’s League Cup semi final. It ended with Spurs fans in celebratory mood and after the result at the City of Manchester stadium on Wednesday, they can carry on where they left off. Since August everyone will have been looking at this game as a potential banana skin for our ambitions but as it turns out, it’s a chance to kick back and enjoy the view.

Realistically the probability of an under strength Fulham team turning over Arsenal at the Emirates is slim to none so in a bizarre and unexpected twist, it’s actually Burnley’s European prospects that are more at stake in this game. Should Fulham see off Atletico Madrid next Wednesday, Burnley may benefit by receiving the award of a place in next season’s Europa League courtesy of UEFA’s Fair Play League so hopefully we can expect lots of “after you Luka” type tackling from the home team. Mike Dean is the man that the locals will be praying keeps his cards in his pocket. Coincidentally (I presume) Dean was in charge of the 5-0 reverse fixture at WHL in September. 

Harry had the players in training at 10:30 on Thursday morning so he obviously doesn’t see the possibility of third place as such a lost cause as I do and he’s probably right. I guess there’s a case for saying that the Fulham reserves may feel that a place on the bench in the final (at least) might be up for grabs if they put in a good shift on Sunday. The likes of Zuberbuhler, Dikgachoi and Keanu Marsh-Brown (I kid you not) may be dreaming of being household names on Thursday morning if things go their way.

Given all this, Redknapp will try and play his strongest team, or one as close as he can to it, which at the moment is the one that played at Eastlands. It’s highly unlikely that Ledley will play, so Bassong should take his place. Depending on how well Gomes groin is feeling Ben Alnwick, might get the chance to shake off a few ghosts following his traumatic Spurs debut last year. Any fringe players on the bench may get a run out on, it depends on how well the game is going for us. 

It could be the last time we see some players in a Spurs shirt, you sense that Harry still doesn’t totally trust Pav for instance and maybe has doubts about Bentley too.  Jenas is the man most likely to waving farewell though as Sandro’s arrival knocks him another place down the pecking order.

Whatever happens it’ll be a fun day out, it’ll be even more fun if we can nick a couple of early goals and turn the pressure up in N5.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AHEAD OF THE GAME?  HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW

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