TURF MOOR might be the final place many would wish to begin their festive interval, except you’re a Burnley fan, after all.
This season the Clarets have confirmed to be well-organised and medical.
They’re the shock package deal of the Premier League and after 18 video games sit sixth within the high flight desk, forward of Saturday’s opponents Tottenham Hotspur.
Mauricio Pochettino’s facet have struggled for type in current weeks and a Four-1 defeat to Manchester Metropolis ended their title hopes. Now the main focus should be on clinching a spot within the high 4.
We requested our pals at Soccer Whispers to preview the assembly between the 2 sides and pick the areas the place the sport shall be received and misplaced.
Dwell on BT Sport, the 17.30pm kick-off wouldn’t have been a sport many picked out as a possible Christmas cracker – however the contest might show to be very entertaining.
Burnley are the shape staff and have misplaced solely considered one of their final six video games at Turf Moor. Spurs, in the meantime, have did not win in any of their final 5 away fixtures.
Defeat in Lancashire wouldn’t solely imply Tottenham fall 4 factors behind Saturday’s opponents, however they may end the weekend ten factors behind fourth. Strain could then begin constructing on the Argentine boss.
Key Battle: Ben Mee v Harry Kane
Going two video games and not using a aim might be thought-about a drought for the England striker, however with 4 in his final six video games, it’s hardly time to panic.
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After a few niggling accidents, Kane appears to be like again to full-fitness and after the Manchester Metropolis defeat, the place he did not see a lot of the ball, he shall be keen to fireside his staff to victory in opposition to the Clarets.
To attain that, he should discover a well past Ben Mee. The previous Man Metropolis youth product has been on the coronary heart of Burnley’s success within the final two campaigns.
With James Tarkowski and Michael Keane earlier than him taking the plaudits, Mee is the widespread denominator and the rock who units the tone for Burnley’s wonderful defensive document.
With 7.Four clearances per sport, the fifth highest within the Premier League, the 28-year-old shall be key to shackling Spurs.
Potential match-winners: Erik Lamela
When Spurs line up with Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, they will typically come unstuck when the opposition sit again and frustrate the North London membership.
Son Heung-min’s direct play with the ball helps to open up defences however the return of Lamela is ideal in opposition to a staff like Burnley.
The 25-year-old, gaining match sharpness with each minute he performs, has the flexibility to drop a shoulder, beat a few defenders and create gaps.
He already has one help in simply 136 minutes and his dribbling potential is strictly what Spurs have been lacking.
Burnley will proceed to line up of their efficient Four-Four-1-1 formation. It’s an clever set-up which frequently sees Jeff Hendrick drop again into the center of midfield whereas Johann Gudmundsson and Scott Arfield tuck inside.
The complete-backs provide very important width with out Burnley being uncovered in the midst of the pitch.
Pochettino, in the meantime, has reverted to a again 4, principally as a result of key accidents in defence. It means the full-backs need to be just a little extra reserved, which limits how efficient each Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose might be.
Harry Winks and Mousa Dembele will shield the again 4, leaving the attacking quadrant to ask questions of the Burnley defence.
Burnley are a staff who defy all statistical understanding. They common seven fewer pictures per sport than Spurs, however are outperforming their Anticipated Targets (xG) rating of 11.78 having netted 16 occasions.
Defensively, the Clarets’ Anticipated Targets Towards stats point out they need to have conceded 23.33 occasions, but they’ve solely been breached on 12 events.
No membership completes a decrease proportion of passes than Burnley’s 71.2 per cent and solely Stoke Metropolis and West Brom handle much less possession.
The whole lot would level in the direction of an away win, however with solely three targets conceded at Turf Moor – fewer than Manchester Metropolis and Spurs’ dwelling data – the Clarets will again themselves to choose up one other scalp forward of the busy Christmas interval.