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PREVIEW: Burnley v AFC Bournemouth

Build-up as Clarets look to extend unbeaten run against former boss

21 February 2020

The Clarets head back to Turf Moor for the first time in three weeks looking to extend their unbeaten run and possibly climb as high as eighth in the Premier League table.

A fourth win in five games would take Sean Dyche’s men up to 37 points and above Arsenal, Everton and Wolves, who all play on Sunday.

The in-form Clarets face a Bournemouth side embroiled in the relegation battle and struggling for points away from home.

Dyche group full time.jpg

No side in the division has lost more away games than Eddie Howe’s side, who have been beaten nine times on their travels.

But the former Burnley boss masterminded an unlikely victory at Chelsea in mid-December and the Cherries have breathed new life into their fight against the drop with two wins in their last three matches to move out of the drop-zone.

And Dyche insists there can be no sense of complacency for the Clarets after transforming their own fortunes in the past month.

“I think the performances have been good. The players have worked hard for what they’ve got and that’s got to continue,” said the Burnley boss, who saw his side win the reverse fixture 1-0 with a late jay Rodriguez goal just before Christmas.

“This game doesn’t owe you anything. We’ve had a tough run and then a really strong run and now it’s down to us to take on the next challenge.

Rodriguez goal 1.jpg

“We’re at Turf and we always like playing at home, of course, where the fans get right behind us.

“But there are no gimmes. They are a decent side. They’ve had an up and down time recently, but they are still a decent outfit with a good manager.”

Team news

The Clarets will again be without Ashley Barnes and Matt Lowton.

Top scorer Chris Wood also faces a check on the hamstring he tweaked at Southampton last weekend.

But winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is set to return to the squad for the first time since early January after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Gudmundsson goal.jpg

Bournemouth have record signing Jefferson Lerma available after the midfielder missed their defeat at Sheffield United last time out through suspension.

However, none of their long-term absentees will be back.

Ex-Claret Junior Stanislas may earn a start.

Form guide

The Clarets are one of the form sides of the division after winning three of their last four games and going unbeaten on that run.

Sean Dyche’s men, who drew 0-0 with Arsenal in their last home fixture, have climbed to 11th place in the table – 10 points clear of the relegation places and seven points behind the top four in a packed top half of the table.

Bournemouth are just two points and two places above the drop zone following a bleak mid-winter.

Vydra goal 1.jpg

The Cherries went seventh in the table when they beat Manchester United in early November but then added just four more points to their tally before a crucial win over Brighton last month.

Eddie Howe’s side then followed that up with another big home victory against Aston Villa to steady the ship and climb out of the bottom three.

However, a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United in their last fixture before the player break made it seven defeats in their last eight away games.

Draws for both sides have been thin on the ground, with Bournemouth sharing the points just once since late October and Burnley drawing only once since the end of September – each fighting out a stalemate with Arsenal.

Opposition camp

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "Whenever you go to Turf Moor you know it's going to be a very difficult match.

"They've done very well in recent games, four games unbeaten, and it's transformed their season.

"They've got points in very difficult matches and you've got to give them credit for that.

Eddie Howe January 2020.jpg

"If you look at our last three games, overall you've seen an upturn in performance.

"I think it's important that the momentum shift is there in terms of the level in which we played at.

"Brighton was very good for 60 minutes, Aston Villa was good I felt for the entire game, and Sheffield United for the first half was very strong.

"If we hit those markers then we've got a good chance of winning any game."

Match stats

Chris Wood could make his 100th Burnley appearance if he is passed fit to play.

Phil Bardsley is set play his 50th league game for the Clarets spread over two spells following his loan stint in 2006.

Bardsley Vydra FT.jpg

The next goal Burnley score will be the 400th under manager Sean Dyche.

The Clarets have won five of the Premier League meetings between the sides, including each of the last three, and have lost just once in 13 games against the Cherries.

Bournemouth have kept one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League fixtures.

Referee

Mike Dean

VAR

Chris Kavanagh

Kick-off

Saturday 3pm.


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