Match Preview: Burnley vs Tottenham: Analysis and score prediction

Had I written this earlier in the week, I would have been feeling a lot more upbeat. However, after the Fulham debacle in the League Cup, my excitement has been somewhat dampened.

Admittedly, the one will have very little impact on the other – the first eleven will retake their rightful places on the field and, hopefully, normal service will resume.

However, there is a possibility that a seed of negativity may be sewn after that performance. It is up to Ange to ensure that the wave upon which the team were riding continues to gather momentum.

Somewhat bizarrely, fixtures before an international break assume much greater significance. No one wants to be mulling over a poor performance for a fortnight before having the opportunity to make amends. Thus, I expect Tottenham to be all guns blazing when they get to Turf Moor on Saturday.

Burnley FC badge of a corner flag
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – APRIL 06: The Burnley FC badge of a corner flag ahead of the Premier League match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor on April 6, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

Predicted Line-up

If an element of Tuesday’s exercise was to give players considered ‘more peripheral’ the opportunity to stake a claim for a first-team spot, it is fair to say that none of them seized that chance. Instead, it served to emphasise why they are back up, and in some cases – surplus to requirement.

Therefore, I expect Postecoglou to start the same eleven that started at Bournemouth. Vicario has grown in confidence with every match and the partnership of Romero and Van de Ven is developing nicely. Assuming he is fit, Destiny Udogie will remain at left back, with Pedro Porro on the right.

In the centre of the park, our two main assets of Maddison and Bissouma will be hard to dislodge, while Pape Sarr is proving to be an impressive player, while we wait for the return of Rodrigo Bentancur.

On the right Dejan Kulusevski will hopefully feel energised by his goal in the last league game and Son will continue to work his way back into form on the left.

Due to any viable alternative (now that Dane Scarlett have moved to Ipswich), Richarlison will start in the middle, hoping that the goal in midweek might possibly kickstart his Tottenham career.

Key Player (home) James Maddison

I have to be honest, I knew James Maddison was a good player, but I did not know how good an overall individual we had bought.

It is clear that he sees himself as the talisman of the team and wants to be the one to turn games in our favour. It speaks volumes of the man that he was eager to take the number 10 shirt as soon as possible.

He also has developed a connection with the fans almost instantly and he will know that Tuesday hurt them. Therefore, I expect him to get on the ball an awful lot in this game and try and dictate the tempo of play and restore the momentum we had previously developed.

Burnley will leave gaps in the midfield and I expect Maddison to exploit those fully.

Opposition Form

Burnley away has a whole new feel to it these days. Gone are the days of Sean Dyche’s boys sledgehammering their way to results in blustery conditions.

Clad in a stylish blazer and pristine white trainers, Vincent Kompany has endeavoured to inject a bit more ‘culture’ on the pitch as well. Last season, the Belgian performed an astonishing feat in returning Burnley to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

In doing so, he revamped the style of play and only lost three league games all season – scoring more, and conceding less, than any of their rivals (Sky Sports).

However, they have found their return to the Premier League a tough one so far, losing both of their games. Admittedly, these were against Manchester City and Villa, but the fact that they looked, in the most part, like training games would be the real concern. This is their third home game on the spin and they will be determined to register their first point of the season.

Key Player (away) Josh Cullen

Burnley are a tricky side to gauge at the moment. They did excellently in the Championship last season, but a lot of their star players were on loan and are no longer at the club. Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen have all returned to their ‘parent’ clubs and the first eleven does not look as strong without them (Transfermarkt).

Therefore, I am going to select their ever-present central midfielder and captain as their key player – Josh Cullen.

Kompany knew Cullen from his Anderlecht days and he is a mainstay in their team – playing every minute so far this season (Sofascore).

However, playing in a two with Sander Bergh will not be easy in the Premiership, as Tottenham discovered last season.

He will have his work cut out having to cope with the energy of Sarr, the guile of Maddison and the brilliance of Bissouma. If the Burnley midfield get dominated and overrun, they will be in for a very tough afternoon.

Prediction  

No one would have been happy with the midweek result, least of all Ange himself. I feel a few home truths will have been delivered and the players who will start on Saturday will be energised and hungry to get the season back on track.

I feel like Burnley of old, sitting in a low block, would have potentially caused us problems, but this new-look Clarets team try to ‘play football’ and I think our attacking personnel will be able to exploit that. I am expecting a fast start and for the intensity to not diminish.

Despite the hiccup at Craven Cottage expect the away fans to continue their brilliant and vociferous support for the manager and the players, if not the ownership.

Final Score: Burnley 0 – 4 Tottenham

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