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PREVIEW: Burnley v Fulham

Tale of the tape as the Clarets prepare for another big afternoon at Turf Moor

12 January 2019

The Clarets come to another potentially key stepping stone on their path towards the goal of Premier League safety when they face Fulham at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche’s men got their campaign back on track by beating West Ham a fortnight ago in what was close to becoming a ‘must-win’ game.

They then held their nerve to go and win at bottom club Huddersfield Town to gain a tiny bit of breathing space outside the relegation places.

That would be enhanced by making it three league wins in a row against a Fulham side yet to win away and who know that time is starting to go against them.

Victory would also take the Clarets to 21 points from 22 games – close to the point-a-match ratio that would be likely to guarantee top-flight status.

With Fulham becoming harder to beat under former Premier League title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri, Dyche’s side knows their performance level mustn’t drop if they are to avenge a 4-2 defeat at Craven Cottage at the end of August when the Londoners looked anything but relegation candidates.

But with Turf Moor buoyant after successive home wins and three victories from the last four home games, Dyche is looking for another collective effort to keep momentum building.

“There is expectation, but I think it’s a healthy one,” said the Burnley boss.

“The fans have seen the ups and downs of the division this year and the different challenge we’ve faced.

“I don’t think we’ve ever taken the opposition lightly here and there are no gimmes in football, particularly in the Premier league.

“They know and we know we are going to have to go and work hard to get what we want.”

Team news

Burnley are without the banned Robbie Brady, who serves the second of his three-match suspension.

Nick Pope, Stephen Ward and Steven Defour all returned from injury in the FA Cup a week ago, but wingman Johann Berg Gudmundsson is a slight doubt.

Aaron Lennon remains sidelined following knee surgery.

Fulham will be without defender Alfie Mawson due to a knee injury.

Form guide

The Clarets have won their last three games, including two in the Premier League.

A 2-0 win over West Ham at Turf Moor at the end of last month brought a second win in three home games in the league.

Fulham remain the only club in the top flight without an away victory.

The Cottagers won their first game following the appointment of ex-Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri in November but have picked up maximum points only once since – a vital last-gasp win over bottom club Huddersfield Town a fortnight ago.

However, Fulham have lost just five of their 10 games under the Premier League-winning boss, including their shock FA Cup exit to Oldham last weekend.

Match stats

The Clarets are unbeaten in 29 home matches against Fulham in all competitions, winning 24 and drawing five in a run going back to 1951.

Burnley have lost just one of their last 13 games against a side in the bottom three.

Fulham have the worst defensive record in the division, having conceded 47 goals.

The Cottagers are yet to win away from home in the league this season.

 

Opposition camp

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri: “It’s another crucial match. I say every time that every match for us is crucial.

“This week at Burnley is more crucial, as Huddersfield was crucial. We know there will be a very great battle there and I hope we can survive.

“Burnley think, ‘if we kill Fulham, Fulham stay there and we move up.’ And for this reason I think it is a very, very crucial match.”

Referee

Martin Atkinson

Kick-off

Saturday, 3pm


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