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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley v Brighton

Tale of the tape as Clarets look for home win over Brighton

8 December 2018

The Clarets play their final home game before Christmas and will be looking to bring some added cheer to Turf Moor.

The mid-week performance in losing 3-1 to Liverpool raised spirits on and off the pitch as Sean Dyche’s men got back towards something like their best

Now they need to add a result to go with it with trips to follow to Tottenham and Arsenal before Everton visit on Boxing Day.

“We are under no illusions, it’s going to be a tough game against Brighton,” said defender Phil Bardsley, one of five players seizing their chance on a return to starting duty against the Reds.

“But we’re at home and if we perform anything like we did against Liverpool we have a chance of winning that.”

Brighton weren’t the best of travellers early in their return to the Premier League after following Burnley up at the start of last season – 12 months after losing out to the Clarets and Middlesbrough in a three-horse promotion race in 2015/16.

But the canny Chris Hughton has reversed that trend with two wins in their last four away league games matching the total they managed in their previous 23 Premier League games on the road.

The Seagulls occupy a mid-table slot as they chase a third successive win for the second time this season.

But Burnley know they need to start winning soon to get away from the relegation places and the signs in mid-week suggest a revival is just around the corner.

Team news

Steven Defour remains the Clarets’ only injury doubt, with long-term absentees Stephen Ward and Nick Pope still working their way back to fitness.

One out, one in?

Brighton will be without banned defender Shane Duffy after the former Clarets’ loanee was sent off in the mid-week win over Crystal Palace.

Midfielder Dale Stephens is back from suspension, but eight-goal top scorer Glenn Murray (shoulder) and winger Jose Izquierdo (knee) face fitness tests after picking up knocks against Palace.

Form guide

The Clarets’ winless run now stretches to eight games as they seek a first home win since September.

Brighton are enjoying an excellent Premier League campaign, with just two defeats in their last eight games.

That run includes five wins and back-to-back three-pointers at Huddersfield and at home to big rivals Crystal Palace.

However, the two defeats have both been away from the Amex Stadium – at Everton and Cardiff.

Opposition camp

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “Burnley did very well last season but haven’t hit those heights this year. That’s just the nature of the division, but there’s no doubt their exploits last season have raised the expectations.

“To have to play in Europe when you’re not a top six side is always going to be difficult given the number of matches and their squad size.

“I thought they were good on Wednesday against Liverpool and they’ve not changed much since last year.

"At the moment things are going against them, but they’re a strong side at home and a team who are more than capable of putting a good run of results together.”

Match stats

The last five games between the clubs have ended in draws.

Three of those games have been goalless, including both meetings last season.

Clarets keeper Joe Hart is set to make the 400th league appearance of his career.

Referee

Martin Atkinson

Kick-off

Saturday 3pm


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