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PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley

Build-up as the Clarets head for new territory to face Mourinho's men

6 December 2019

The Clarets make their first trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face a Spurs side re-building under Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho – a three-time Premier League-title winner as Chelsea boss – replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month following Tottenham’s sluggish start to the season.

He has since overseen three wins in four games and secured a passage through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League, in which Spurs lost to Liverpool in last season’s final.

The Londoners have been knocking in the goals, but have also been conceding.

They have leaked two goals in each of Mourinho’s games in charge, including a 2-1 loss at Manchester United on Wednesday night.

The Clarets will take encouragement from that, particularly if Ashley Barnes – who has a habit of scoring against Spurs – if fit to start.

Dyche Mourinho.jpg

Barnes bagged the winner against Pochettino’s side at Turf Moor in February to begin a dip in domestic form that ultimately cost the Argentinian his job.

And Burnley boss Sean Dyche will be looking to his Clarets to produce something similar and extend an impressive record against Mourinho.

In one match as Chelsea manager and two as Manchester United boss, the Portuguese hasn’t overseen a home win over the Clarets – his worst run against any club in his managerial career.

The Clarets have secured draws on all three occasions, although Dyche’s concentration will be on the here and now as he tackles a Mourinho Tottenham team for the first time.

“I’m a fan of his professionally – I don’t know him personally – because his record speaks for itself,” said the Burnley boss.

“Pochettino, I’m a big fan of his as well for different reasons. He brought his style to what he wanted Tottenham to do and now Mourinho will slowly but surely bring his style.

“They’ve had decent results – Wednesday not such a good one – but be assured, they have some top-class players.

“What we have to do is remain focused on our realities of what we look to achieve and how we look to perform in order to get a result.”

Team news

The Clarets will make a number of fitness checks with half-a-dozen players facing injury issues.

Ashley Barnes could return to starting duty after being restricted to a substitute’s role in mid-week and Ashley Westwood will be assessed after missing two games.

Barnes scores.jpg

Phil Bardsley missed training on Thursday but could still be in the frame, while Charlie Taylor and Kevin Long are doubts and Johann Berg Gudmundsson is not ready to return.

Midfielder Erik Lamela and goalkeeper Michael Vorm are missing for Spurs, along with long-term absentees Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies.

Form guide

The Clarets have lost back-to-back games after winning their previous two.

Burnley’s last away trip brought a first away win of the season – 3-0 at Watford.

Sean Dyche’s men are 12th in the table, two points behind eighth-placed Spurs.

Tottenham tasted defeat for the first time under Jose Mourinho with a 2-1 defeat at former club Manchester United.

They had won their previous three in the Premier League and Champions League, scoring 10 goals in the process.

Opposition camp

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho: “There is something that I always say which is that you cannot press when the ball is in the air.

Mourinho touchline.jpg

“You have to just try to cope with the kind of football that they play. Of course, when we have the ball, we have to play the way we do, we have to try to use the qualities we have and obviously to play direct is not our quality.

“So, we have to deal with the problems they are going to pose us and we have also to play and not lose our identity.”

Match stats

Captain Ben Mee is set to make his 150th Premier League appearance - all for the Clarets.

Ashley Westwood is on 199 career Premier League appearances after missing the Clarets' last two games.

Jack Cork is in line to make his 100th Premier League appearance for Burnley - spread across two different spells. The midfielder's first was at Fulham in February, 2010.

Cork action.jpg

Defender Phil Bardsley will make his 50th appearance for the Clarets if he figures - 13 years after his first as a loan player in the Championship.

No Burnley player has scored more than 15 top-flight goals in a calendar year since Peter Noble's total of 17 in 1975. Ashley Barnes currently has 15 and Chris Wood 14. Leighton James, who scored 16 in 1974, is next in their sights.

Spurs have failed to keep a clean in their last 10 Premier League fixtures, their longest run since August to December 2010.


Kevin Friend


Lee Mason


Saturday, 3pm

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