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PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley

Aaron Lennon relishing return to Tottenham as the Clarets bid to burst Spurs' bubble

14 December 2018

The Clarets hit the road again on Saturday for the first of back-to-back trips to London to face two of the Premier League’s heavyweights.

First up it’s Tottenham on Saturday before North London rivals Arsenal provide Burnley’s last opposition before Christmas.

It’s a daunting double with Spurs sitting third in the table and only goal difference keeping the Gunners out of the top four.

Tottenham also sealed their place in next Monday’s Champions League draw for the last 16 by completing a great escape from Group B by drawing their final group game in Barcelona.

That keeps Mauricio Pochettino’s side fighting on all fronts, with a League Cup quarter-final to follow against Arsenal in mid-week and doubtless with confidence sky-high.

But former Spurs winger Aaron Lennon – who played Champions League football for Tottenham during a decade of outstanding service at White Hart Lane - insists the Clarets won’t be daunted by going to Wembley and hopes any hangover from the euphoria of Europe can be exploited by Sean Dyche’s men as they look to build on last-week’s crucial win over Brighton.

“It was a special, special time for me. I loved every minute of it, from the moment I got there to the moment I left. It was a great club for me,” said Lennon, whose League Cup success with Tottenham in 2008 represents only the club's second piece of silverware in 20 years.

“I think they’re going really well. To go to the Nou Camp, and probably should have won, shows how far they’ve come and are still going in that direction.

Aaron Lennon made his Premier League debut at Tottenham as a 16-year-old and then went on to play 364 times for Spurs

“I think they have an unbelievable squad with a top manager. I still think they will be buzzing.

“But it definitely takes it out of you. When you play mid-week and then you have a game on a Saturday you don’t feel as fresh – that’s what we’re hoping.

“Hopefully they are a bit tired. These are two tough games coming, we know that, but we’re going there to nick points.”

Team news

The Clarets have injury doubts over Steven Defour (calf) and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who picked up a hamstring strain in the win over Brighton.

Tottenham have questions marks over a number of players, including former Clarets full-back Kieran Trippier, who is working his way back from injury.

Defenders Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth also face fitness checks and midfielders Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama are out.

Form guide

The Clarets head to London on the back of a first win in nine games with last Saturday’s 1-0 success over Brighton lifting Sean Dyche’s men out of the bottom three.

Tottenham’s mid-week draw in Barcelona was enough to take Spurs through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

In the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino’s side has won five of its last six games with a defeat in the North London derby at Arsenal interrupting that run.

Opposition camp

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It's such an important game. It's going to be a tough game because every three days to play is always tough, but we need to try to find the way to approach the game in the best condition and be sure we're going to fight to be ready to win.

"We have a very tough opponent in front of us, but the most important thing is the way we approach the game."

Match stats

Burnley’s 1-1 draw at Wembley last season ended a five-game losing run – stretching back to 1974 – in league matches at Tottenham.

The Clarets’ run of games without a penalty in the Premier League now runs to 59 games.

Tottenham haven’t drawn in 20 matches – a club record.

Tottenham's tally of 36 points from 16 games represents their best start to a Premier League campaign. They last had a better top-flight record at this stage of a season in 1960-61 – when they succeeded the Clarets as league champions and went onto complete ‘The Double’.


Graham Scott


3pm Saturday

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