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15 February 2020 Venue St. Mary's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Southampton v Burnley

Build-up as the Clarets resume Premier League push at the St Mary's Stadium

15 February 2020

The Clarets return to action looking to pick up where they left off before their first mid-season ‘player break.’

Burnley signed off with a goalless draw against Arsenal nearly a fortnight ago which extended their unbeaten run to three games.

They could easily have made it a maximum nine points from nine in an impressive performance against the Gunners.

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But the stalemate seemingly did little to check the momentum as Burnley head to face a Southampton side which has also pulled itself clear of the relegation scrap to sit level on points with the Clarets.

And with his players refreshed from a few days away from the training ground immediately after the Arsenal game, Sean Dyche is looking to build on a run which has revitalised the Clarets’ campaign and lifted them to 11th place in the Premier League.

“It just shows how quickly the feel can change, both within the group and the fans,” said the Burnley boss.

“Suddenly everything looks better after a few good results. But just to give a bit of depth to that, it’s not about just the results.

“They are very important of course, but also the feel and the delivery of the performances that have earned us three good results.

“We take all the positives from the games, including Arsenal, when we delivered again, and move forwards.”

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Southampton’s revival has been built largely around impressive away form and the goals of former Burnley striker Danny Ings, whose 14 league goals are his best return since scoring 21 times for the Clarets in their promotion-winning season under Dyche in 2013/14.

“He’s done well. He’s really found and his fitness and his form and he’s playing very well.

“But it’s not a massive surprise to me because once he got over his injuries, he’s a good player. There’s no two ways about it,” added Dyche, who has his own ‘old boy’ to unleash in former Saints’ frontman and current player of the month Jay Rodriguez as the Clarets look to keep climbing.

Team news

The Clarets will be without Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson – the goalscorers in Burnley’s 3-0 opening day win over Southampton – as they recover from injury.

Matt Lowton is rated 50/50 following a knock to the knee against Arsenal, while fellow full-back Charlie Taylor (hamstring) will have late check.

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The Saints are expected to have a fully fit squad.

James Ward-Prowse is hoping to be able to extend his ever-present Premier League record after recovering from a gashed knee sustained in the Saints’ FA Cup replay defeat to Tottenham.

The long-serving midfielder has played the last couple of games at right-back but could return to his normal position with Yan Valery and loan signing Kyle Walker-Peters both available to fill that slot.

Form guide

The Clarets head to the south coast unbeaten in their last three league games to open up a seven-point gap above the bottom three.

Sean Dyche’s men won on their last away trip – a 2-0 victory at Manchester United.

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The Saints – level on points with the Clarets and two places behind in 13th-spot ­– have won one of their last five games in all competitions.

Southampton have lost two of their last three Premier League games, their only league defeats since mid-December in a run that has pulled them clear of the relegation places.

But no side in the division has won fewer home games than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, who have tasted victory in the league just three times at St Mary’s and have the lowest points’ tally in the top flight.

Opposition camp

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “It is always difficult to play against Burnley. We lost 3-0 and we know how tough it always is.

“I think we want to show that we are better now than we were at the beginning of the season.

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"We're playing a different shape and hopefully also a different style, and hopefully it will be more successful.

"Everybody knows they are a robust team, who are well organised, and with their set-pieces and high balls into the box they are always dangerous,.

"They have good strikers who can always score, so it's a dangerous opponent."

Match stats

Former Southampton midfielder Jack Cork is in line to make his 150th league appearance for the Clarets.

Jeff Hendrick is set to make his 350th appearance in English football.

Burnley haven’t lost to Southampton in their last six Premier League games.

The Clarets are looking for a first double over Southampton since 1947.

Burnley are aiming for a third successive clean sheet, which would equal their best run in the Premier League. Only Liverpool have recorded more than the Clarets’ nine shut-outs.

Referee

Simon Hooper

VAR

Gary Beswick

Kick-off

Saturday, 12.30pm

 

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Match Reports

REPORT: Southampton 1 Burnley 2

Clarets weather the storm as super-sub Vydra bags special winner

15 February 2020

Not even Storm Dennis could blow the Clarets off course as Matej Vydra proved the hero of the hour.

Vydra hadn’t found the net since September, 2018 but came off the bench to score a stunning winner which lifted Burnley into the top half of the table on the back of a third victory in four games.

The Czech international has had a lean time of it as the fourth man in the striking pecking order.

But with Ashley Barnes not yet fully recovered from hernia surgery and Chris Wood succumbing to an early injury he was needed at wind and rain-lashed St Mary’s Stadium.

And cometh the hour, cometh the man as Vydra crashed home an unstoppable volley with 60 minutes gone to stop Danny Ings taking the headlines and keep the Clarets’ remarkable recovery going with a first double over the Saints since 1947.

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With former players of both clubs facing their ex-employers it seemed inevitable at least one would play a key part.

And it was Ings who was the centre of attention at both ends with a hand in a goal for each side in the opening 20 minutes.

His first contribution will be one he will want to forget as he allowed the Clarets to score their earliest ever goal as a Premier League club.

Only 93 seconds had gone when the former Burnley striker seemingly lost his bearings and allowed an Ashley Westwood corner to by-pass him at the near post and cross the line before goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was able to clear.

For the side with the worst home record in the division it was a disastrous start.

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But it didn’t take long for Ings to make amends with a top-class finish to level the scores as Burnley saw their advantage wiped out.

The Clarets – who had threatened through ex-Saints man Jay Rodriguez’s header moments earlier – will be disappointed they didn’t clear the danger when Ings’ attempted link-up with Sofiane Boufal was intercepted.

And Ings needed no second invitation when regaining possession to curl a low strike into the corner from 20 yards to claim his 15th league goal of the season – his highest return since helping fire the Clarets to promotion to the top-flight in 2014.

The Clarets – whose one change to the starting line-up saw Phil Bardsley return for the injured Matt Lowton – were forced to re-group further with top scorer Chris Wood limping off to be replaced by Vydra for his first extended run of the season.

Vydra might also had a chance of a first goal had he been allowed to run onto a Westwood through-ball, rather than Jeff Hendrick who started from an off-side position.

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But it was the Saints who went closest to grabbing a half-time lead through defender Jack Stephens, whose glancing header from a Boufal cross came back off the Burnley bar.

The blustery conditions did little to help the flow and as the weather worsened at the start of the second half neither side was able to impose a grip.

But on a day when quality was hard to produce, Vydra suddenly blew away the storm clouds with a flash of inspiration.

This time the Clarets kept the ball long enough to work an opening as Hendrick picked out Vydra on the edge of the penalty area.

The Czech still had plenty to do but after chesting the ball down he showed the composure to lift the ball around debutant Kyle Walker-Peters before lashing a left-foot volley into the top corner to get off the mark for the season.

The reaction of his team-mates showed the affection in which he is held as Vydra celebrated only his third goal in a Burnley shirt.

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And even more importantly it proved to be the winner as the Clarets impressively held out to secure a fourth away win.

They had chances to make the final few minutes more comfortable in a dominant spell and Rodriguez was denied a goal on his return by McCarthy’s parry.

But with Pope equally imposing to deny Pierre-Emile Hoesjbjerg and Ben Mee – outstanding at the back alongside James Tarkowski and his back-four colleagues – surviving a VAR check for handball, Sean Dyche’s men got over the line to move ever closer to another season in the top tier.

Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters (Obafemi 73), Stephens, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojberg, Boufal (Djenepo 37); Long (Adams 86), Ings. Substitutes: Gunn, Romeu, Smallbone, Bednarek.

Booked: Vestergaard, Obafemi

Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood (Vydra 21). Substitutes: Hart, Brownhill, Brady, Pieters, Lennon, Long.

Booked: Hendrick, Mee

Referee: Simon Hooper

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