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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley v Southampton

Build-up to the season opener as Saints head for Turf Moor

9 August 2019

It all starts again on Saturday as the Clarets kick off a fourth successive top-flight campaign for the first time since the early 1970s.

And it’s almost history repeating itself with the same opposition as the opening day of last season.

This time, though, Sean Dyche’s men face Southampton at Turf Moor following a 0-0 draw on the south coast in last year’s curtain-raiser.

“It’s great to be at home. I think the fans will be looking forward to it,” said the Burnley boss.

“I think they saw the strength of the squad in the second half of last season. I think we’ve made good signings and I think they will recognise that the squad has got a rounded feel to it.

Dyche pre-Southampton presser.JPG

“I think there’s been a nice edge to the players, as if they’ve come back with that mentality to be ready after a tough season last season.

“Maybe, hopefully, that’s the reward of coming through that. That edge comes back when you know you’ve got to be on top of your performance all the time.”

The opening-day point at Southampton 12 months ago was the only one the Clarets earned in their first five Premier League fixtures as they juggled the early demands of a Europa League campaign.

With only three wins before Christmas, Dyche’s men left themselves with plenty of catching up to do in the second half of the campaign.

But having done that successfully with an inspired run from the turn of the year, the Clarets comfortably stayed up.

And having strengthened the squad with summer signings Jay Rodriguez, Erik Pieters, Danny Drinkwater and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, they will be looking to hit the ground running this time around.

New signings

Southampton have added to their frontline during the summer with the capture of Che Adams (below) from Birmingham City.

Che Adams.jpg

Former Claret Danny Ings has turned his season-long loan from Liverpool into a permanent deal, while winger Moussa Djenepo arrived from Belgian club Standard Liege.

The Saints also made a pre-deadline swoop to recruit centre-back Kevin Danso on a season-long loan from German outfit FC Augsburg.

Team news

The Clarets will be without winger Robbie Brady, who is recovering from a hairline rib fracture, and longer-term absentee Steve Defour.

Boss Sean Dyche reported an otherwise clean bill of health with defenders James Tarkowski and Kevin Long shaking off knocks which kept them out of the final pre-season game.

Southampton could give a debut in attack to Adams alongside the returning Ings.

But fellow new recruit Djenepo may not start following his delayed arrival after an Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Mali and new loan signing Danso will not be involved.

Former Burnley striker Charlie Austin will definitely not be involved following a deadline-day move to West Bromwich Albion.

Form guide

The Saints finished 16th in the table last season – a point and a place worse off than the Clarets.

They didn’t win any of their final five games but guaranteed their safety with a couple of matches to go with a 3-3 draw against local rivals Bournemouth.

A haul of 28 points from the previous 20 games since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge last December turned their fortunes around.

Ralph Hasenhuttl.jpg

Southampton won four and drew one of their five pre-season friendlies.

Opposition camp

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “I think when you remember last season, we had a good game there (a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor).

“It was nearly three points but in the end we conceded a penalty that maybe this year, with VAR, is not really one.

“It will be a tough game again. I think in the first game nobody knows exactly how good they are. Finally, we need a very good mentality, a very good group and this is what we prepare for.”

Match stats

The Clarets are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games against Southampton – with both last season’s meetings ending in draws.

Burnley haven’t lost at home to Southampton in the Premier League.

Barnes pen.jpg

Ashley Barnes has scored three Premier League goals against Southampton – all at Turf Moor, including an injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot last season.

The Saints last top-flight win at Turf Moor came thanks to a Mick Channon winner in March, 1971.

Southampton haven’t won their opening Premier League fixture since the 2013/14 season. They have since lost once and drawn four of their curtain-raisers – including last season’s 0-0 draw against Burnley at St Mary’s Stadium.

This is the fifth successive season that Southampton have kicked off with a new manager in charge.

Referee

Graham Scott

Video Assistant Referee

Peter Bankes

Kick-off

Saturday, 3pm


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