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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Crystal Palace v Burnley

London calling as Clarets kick off capital trips with big game at Palace

1 December 2018

The Clarets launch a long-distance run at Crystal Palace on Saturday with the first of three trips to London before Christmas.

Burnley go to Selhurst Park, Wembley and the Emirates Stadium in their next three away games as December brings a heavy workload of seven games in 30 days – quickly followed by a New Year trip to Huddersfield Town and the third round of the FA Cup.

London has not been a happy hunting ground for the Clarets in recent times, with defeats to West Ham and Fulham this season and a 5-0 loss to Arsenal in what was effectively a dead rubber back in May.

But beyond that, the capital brought the best out of Burnley with some of their biggest results coming in the city last season.

Sean Dyche guided Burnley to a crucial win at Crystal palace in April, 2017

It all started at Chelsea on the opening day with a famous 3-2 win over the champions.

And after following up with a point against Tottenham at Wembley, Sean Dyche’s men recorded their biggest away win of the campaign at West Ham in March as they closed in on a place in Europe.

A 1-0 defeat at Palace last January was a blip along the way as a first-half Bakary Sako goal have the Eagles the points.

But Roy Hodgson’s side haven’t taken off on the back of last season’s remarkable rescue mission with no home wins yet so far and a dearth of goals on their own patch.

And while the Clarets’ slow start this time around has them behind Palace on goal difference - and in the bottom three following Cardiff City's Friday night win over Wolves - Dyche will travel south with confidence in his team.

“Monday, I believe, was a performance that can win games. We have to continue on that level,” said the Burnley boss following a 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle United.

“It’s about progressing and keeping producing performances that can win games and we’re showing better signs of that.

“Now, of course, we’ve got to turn it actually into fact. We’ve got to win games because that’s the nature of the job.”

Team news

Johann Berg Gudmundsson returns to the Clarets’ squad after missing Monday night’s defeat to Newcastle through illness. James Tarkowski may also be back in contention after two games out following hernia surgery.

Palace will again be without injured striker Christian Benteke, but defender Scott Dann and forward Connor Wickham are available following long-term injuries.

Form guide

The Clarets go to Selhurst Park looking to end their six-game winless run.

Palace drew at Manchester United a week ago but haven’t won in eight league games since a 1-0 success at Huddersfield Town in mid-September.

Aside from Southampton, the Eagles are the only side without a home Premier League win this season and have collected just two points at Selhurst Park.

Palace’s only two goals at home this season have come from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

Opposition camp

Palace manager Roy Hodgson, whose side play four sides currently in the bottom half of the table in their next six games, said: “We don't go into a game thinking, 'this is a game we’re favourites in'.

“We go in thinking, 'this is a game we’ve got a chance to win and we have to do our utmost to get the points and to win'.

“If the players think we have an easy run because we had a hard run before, then we are in massive trouble.

“Burnley are organised and strong. I would put this particular moment in the season down to the haphazard nature of football.

“I wouldn’t put it down to them being weak or vulnerable in terms of their defending. I would put it down to the nature of football, which throws up these facts.”

Stat of the day

Since the start of last season, Clarets top scorer Sam Vokes has scored five Premier League headers. Only Harry Kane (eight) and Alvaro Morata (seven) have more.


Lee Probert


Saturday 3pm.

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