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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley v Tottenham

Tale of the tape as the Clarets face Spurs at Turf Moor

23 February 2019

The Clarets return to Turf Moor in the Premier League for only the third time so far in 2019 for arguably the match of the day.

There’s interest at both ends of the table as title-challenging Tottenham look to keep the pressure on Manchester City – who face a Carabao Cup final date with Chelsea on Sunday – and Liverpool who are at Manchester United on the same day.

A win for Spurs would lift them to within two points of the co-leaders but the Clarets have every incentive themselves to continue their fine run.

Seven matches without defeat stretching back to the end of last year has lifted Sean Dyche’s men out of the Premier League zone and within sight of those sides half way up the table.

That run was sparked by a Boxing Day beating by Everton, which is the Clarets’ only defeat in five home matches.

Turf Moor has once again become something of a stronghold and Burnley will be looking to keep it that way against a Tottenham side which won the reverse fixture thanks to a late Christian Eriksen goal at Wembley in mid-December.

That was one of six defeats in seven games for the Clarets as they struggled for form.

But Dyche saw signs of a recovery at Wembley and even though it took his side until the end of the month to win again they haven’t looked back since.

“I did say at that time the team we were looking different,” said the Burnley boss.

“The energy and belief in what we were doing was coming back and I am very pleased to say that mentality continued.

“From the performances and the tactical side, they have sharpened up and continue to do so.

“If you add that energy, drive and relentless nature, we look somewhat back to where we were and that has followed with good results.”

Team news

The Clarets should have widemen Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady back from injury after both missed the win at Brighton a fortnight ago.

But Steven Defour’s comeback has been delayed by an on-going calf problem and ex-Spurs man Aaron Lennon is still working his way back from knee surgery.

Tottenham are expected to welcome back captain and 20-goal top scorer Harry Kane.

The England skipper has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury but is back in training and is set to travel to Turf Moor.

However, Spurs have won all four league games in his absence and with Chelsea to come next mid-week, manager Mauricio Pochettino will have to decide on how big a role to give his talisman.

Dele Alli is still out injured and left-back Danny Rose is a doubt with illness. But Ben Davies could return in his place after missing five games through injury.

Form guide

Two of the division’s form sides meet as both look to protect impressive unbeaten records.

The Clarets haven’t lost in the Premier League in 2019 and are currently unbeaten in seven league games.

And Tottenham have won their last four in the league – and five out of six since the turn of the year – to re-ignite their title challenge.

Since losing to Manchester United in mid-January, Mauricio Pochettino’s side has also gone out of both domestic cups.

But they are still chasing Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table and appear to have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League thanks to a 3-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Opposition camp

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: “Like always, we're going to find a very aggressive team.

“That's going to be the key – to match their aggressivity and challenge in this aspect and then try to impose our way to play. It's going to be tough, we know very well.

“We struggled a little bit to beat them in December. I remember we scored a late goal to break them down in the end, but they did so well against us.

“Now they're in a better period than they were in that game. Always we're confident and trust in ourselves but we know very well that they’re doing well and it's going to be tough to beat them.”

Match stats

Only Manchester United and Burnley are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2019.

The Clarets are on their longest unbeaten sequence in the top flight since a nine-match run in 1966.

Burnley are looking for a first win in 10 league and cup games against Tottenham.

Tottenham’s last draw in the Premier League was in April, 2018 – 30 games ago.

Spurs are chasing their 12th league away win to equal a total they last managed in 1984-85.


Mike Dean


Saturday, 12.30pm


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