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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Southampton v Burnley

How the two teams shape up for the Clarets' Premier League opener

11 August 2018

The Clarets could face a real old-school reunion when they kick off their Premier League campaign at Southampton on Sunday (kick-off 1.30pm).

The Saints’ pre-deadline swoop for local lad Danny Ings - on a season-long loan from Liverpool - means Mark Hughes’ strikeforce could be spearheaded by former Turf Moor team-mates Ings and Charlie Austin.

The pair played together at Burnley for two seasons in the Championship from 2011 onwards.

Following Austin’s enforced sale to QPR – after scoring 45 goals in 90 appearances – Ings then struck up a prolific partnership with Sam Vokes to spearhead Burnley’s rise to the Premier League in 2014.

Danny Ings scored 43 goals in 130 appearances for the Clarets

But the two will be on opposite sides of the fence on Sunday as Vokes heads back to his hometown club looking to add to his scoring record at St Mary’s Stadium – where he headed the winner last season to make it three goals in four visits and to give the Clarets a first top-flight win at Southampton in eight attempts.

That contributed to a flying start to the season which catapulted Burnley towards their top-seven finish, while Southampton continued to struggle until the arrival of Hughes and a late flurry of points dragged them to safety with a game to spare to set up a seventh successive season of Premier League football.

Since then, Hughes has also added Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn, Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong, winger Mohamed Elyounoussi from Basel and Danish international defender Jannik Vestergaard from Burussia Dortmund to his squad as they prepare to face a Burnley side three games into their season via the Europa League.

Team news

The Clarets will have goalkeeper and club captain Tom Heaton available after he was ineligible to play in Europe in mid-week.

Striker Chris Wood could also return after missing the trip to Turkey with the effects of an insect bite.

But new signing Matej Vydra and winger Robbie Brady are not yet ready for first-team action and Steven Defour is absent as he recovers from a calf injury.

The Saints have a clean bill of health and could give a debut to Danny Ings.

What they’re saying

Sean Dyche: “We’ve been in Istanbul until early Friday morning and then down to Southampton on the Sunday, but that’s the new challenge for all of us. We’ll get on with it as we always do.”

Mark Hughes: "We are really happy with the window we've had. If you look at the guys we've brought in, we've strengthened in every department.

"Danny will complement the attacking options we already have. They all have different strengths and bring something different to the squad."

Match stats

The Clarets have lost only one of their six Premier League games against Southampton, winning three times, including a 1-0 victory at St Mary's Stadium last season thanks to Sam Vokes (below).

The Clarets lost just five away games in the last Premier League campaign (W7, D7.

Ashley Barnes could become the first player to make 100 Premier League appearances for the Clarets.

The Saints have recorded just one win in their last 11 home league games (D5, L5).

Southampton have only won the opening fixture twice in 19 Premier League seasons (D9, L8).

They have not started a top-flight season with a home win since 1988-89 - a 4-0 victory over West Ham at The Dell.


Graham Scott



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