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Match Previews

Preview: Burnley v Brighton

21 November 2015

Burnley return to action this Sunday in front of the Sky Sports cameras, as they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Turf Moor, with the side currently on the periphery of the automatic promotion places.

An unbeaten sequence of seven games has seen the side obtain 17 points from a possible 21 throughout October and November, with five victories and two draws since the Clarets last tasted defeat way back in September.

With the Clarets sat just one place below Brighton and Hove Albion, three points would move Sean Dyche’s men into the top two, at the same time knocking the Sussex based side out of their coveted spot.

The Clarets last match came on the road against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a resolute defensive display earning a clean sheet and a valuable point.

The stalemate built on successive home victories against Huddersfield and Fulham in the week leading up to the game.

A record breaking Andre Gray brace and a Matty Taylor clincher gave the side three points in a 3-1 win over Fulham last time out at Turf Moor.

Meanwhile opponents Brighton and Hove Albion sit just two points above the Clarets going into the game, and despite winning just one of their last four fixtures, Chris Hughton’s men still occupy joint top spot in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Seagulls are the only unbeaten side in the top five tiers of the English footballing pyramid, with nine victories and seven draws coming from their first 16 league outings in 2015-16.

Despite scoring less than the rest of the top six, Hughton’s men have conceded just 12 times and with three wins and five draws so far on the road, the travelling Seagulls faithful will be hopeful of maintaining their proud unbeaten run away from home this weekend.

Burnley – DWWWD

Brighton and Hove Albion – WDDDW

Despite scoring over 70 goals for the Seagulls between 2000 and 2003, seasoned forward Bobby Zamora will feel he still has a point to prove to the Brighton and Hove Albion faithful.

As he embarks on his second stint at the club, the two time England international still has the presence and ability to fire the Seagulls to more victories in the Sky Bet Championship.

In spite of hitting the net just twice this term, both of those goals were match winners against Leeds United and Bristol City respectively.

The 34-year-old also continues to create the space that his fellow forwards crave, with a number of assists already notched up next to his name in 2015-16.

Zamora himself claimed that he ‘turned down an approach from a competing UEFA Champions League side’ in order to return to the Amex Stadium in the summer and he may see out his career at the club.

Burnley 0-0 Brighton

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Kightly (Barnes 76), Jones, Marney, Arfield, Ings, Vokes.
Subs: Cisak, Long, Edgar, Stanislas, Hewitt, Stock.

Brighton: Kuszczak, Greer, Bruno, Upson, Ward, Andrews, Ulloa, Ince, Forster-Caskey, LuaLua (March 79), Lopez (Orlandi 67).
Booked: Ulloa 90

Subs: Dunk, Calderon, Obika, Brezovan, Agustien.

Referee: O. Langford

Att: 11,054 (248)

Sam Vokes and Dean Marney are both pushing for recalls against Brighton and Hove Albion this Sunday.

Vokes picked up a groin injury that forced him to be substituted in the stalemate at Wolves two weeks ago, and led to him with drawing from the Wales squad.

However the ex-Seagull has trained well at Gawthorpe this week and the Clarets boss has stated that a break from international action could well have benefited his robust target-man.

Elsewhere, Dean Marney has now completed six Development Squad games and Dyche admits that he is much closer to the first-team squad.

Simon Hooper will take charge of the Clarets televised Sky Bet Championship home fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

The Wiltshire official has taken 17 games this season, producing 42 yellow cards and 1 red card in the process.

The last Burnley game he took charge of was in August this year, when the Clarets lost 2-0 to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Mr Hooper will be assisted by Mr William Smallwood, Mr Steven Meredith and Fourth Official Tony Harrington.

Dyche: “Everyone knows the belief in what we are doing and how we are playing so it’ll make for a good game and a good occasion. For sure it’s two teams who quite obviously mean business in the early part of the season.”

“They’ve got good style and I like and respect Chris and Colin a lot. They’ve got a good group there and maybe a few players there have gone under the radar."

The Clarets are priced at 7/4 with Football League sponsors Sky Bet to end Brighton's unbeaten run in the Championship, with the draw available at 11/5 and a Brighton win priced at 2/1.

Pundit Ian Holloway has tipped Andre Gray to score the first goal and Burnley to win 2-1 (30/1) and the in form Clarets striker is priced at 22/1 to score in both halves.

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