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PREVIEW: Huddersfield Town v Burnley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets gear up for Roses battle and chance to exit bottom three

2 January 2019

The Clarets kick off 2019 with the short trip to Huddersfield Town and the chance to escape the Premier League’s bottom three.

Burnley seemingly re-ignited their campaign with Sunday’s impressive 2-0 win over West Ham United lifting the mood in and around Turf Moor.

They now need to back that up by securing back-to-back league wins for the first time since September.

A victory over the bottom club at the John Smith’s Stadium would take Sean Dyche’s men above Cardiff City on goal difference following the Bluebirds’ 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day.

And bettering the result Southampton manage at Chelsea tonight (Wednesday) would also lift Burnley above the Saints.

The Clarets go to Town in 18th spot – two places and five points better off than Huddersfield, whose seven-match losing run has taken them to the foot of the table and whose last outing brought a shattering injury-time defeat to fellow strugglers Fulham on Saturday.

But defender James Tarkowski, back to his best as the Clarets overcame the Hammers with their best performance of the season, insists there is nothing extra riding on the Roses clash as Dyche’s men look to put together a sustained run of form.

“I think we need to relish every game,” said Tarkowski, who helped secure a fifth clean sheet of the campaign against West Ham in front of returning club captain Tom Heaton in goal.

“Maybe you would say it’s like a six-pointer because if we can get three points on the board and take three points from them it can put a bit if gap between us.

“But I don’t think we can look at it as any bigger game than another one. Every game we’ve got to be looking at as going out to win it because we haven’t got enough points on the board and we need to pick up plenty more.”

Tonight’s game completes a busy period of eight games in 33 days for the Clarets before they get a break from Premier League action with Saturday’s visit of Barnsley in the third round of the FA Cup.

Team news

Matt Lowton will be available again for Burnley after completing a one-match ban.

Winger Robbie Brady may also come back into contention following a hip problem.

However, Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon remain out and left-back Stephen Ward is not yet ready for a Premier League return.

Huddersfield are without injured play-maker Aaron Mooy, as well as Danny Williams, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Tommy Smith still injured.

Town have allowed winger Rajiv van La Parra to joined Championship promotion-chasers Middlesbrough on loan.

Form guide

The Clarets ended a run of three defeats with a 2-0 win over West Ham in their final game of 2018 – Chris Wood and teenager Dwight McNeil getting the goals as the chances flowed.

As well as an outstanding performance, the victory – only a second in 13 games – came with a welcome fifth clean sheet of the campaign and took Burnley level on points with 17th-placed Southampton.

Sean Dyche’s men will now be looking for a first away win since the end of September.

Huddersfield are on a seven-game losing streak, with their last point coming in a 2-0 win at Wolves at the end of November.

The Terriers’ last home success was a 1-0 win over Fulham on Bonfire Night. Town’s record of five points and four goals from home matches are both the lowest in the top flight.

Opposition camp

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner: “Whatever the opposition you have to be ready and you have to clear your head after the last match - this is the most important thing.

“You have to accept and respect the situation and realise we can't change the past. But we can change the future and this is what we have to do.

“We called the Fulham match a must-win and we called the first meeting with Fulham at home a must-win.

“I think where we are and the situation we are in, every game we have is important.”

Match stats

The Clarets are unbeaten in their last six games against Huddersfield.

All three Premier League meetings between the two sides have been drawn. Both fixtures last season ended goalless with October’s game at Turf Moor finishing 1-1.

Chris Wood confirmed his liking for playing against West Ham with a fifth goal in four games against the Hammers in Sunday’s 2-0 win. The Clarets’ striker also has an impressive record against Huddersfield, scoring eight times in 15 appearances.

Town have equalled a club record of seven successive defeats, a run they last suffered in 1955 and 1913/14.

The Clarets and Huddersfield are the only two teams not to have been awarded a penalty in the Premier League this season.

Referee

Mike Dean

Kick-off

Wednesday, 7.45pm


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