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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Southampton v Burnley

Build-up as the Clarets resume Premier League push at the St Mary's Stadium

15 February 2020

The Clarets return to action looking to pick up where they left off before their first mid-season ‘player break.’

Burnley signed off with a goalless draw against Arsenal nearly a fortnight ago which extended their unbeaten run to three games.

They could easily have made it a maximum nine points from nine in an impressive performance against the Gunners.

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But the stalemate seemingly did little to check the momentum as Burnley head to face a Southampton side which has also pulled itself clear of the relegation scrap to sit level on points with the Clarets.

And with his players refreshed from a few days away from the training ground immediately after the Arsenal game, Sean Dyche is looking to build on a run which has revitalised the Clarets’ campaign and lifted them to 11th place in the Premier League.

“It just shows how quickly the feel can change, both within the group and the fans,” said the Burnley boss.

“Suddenly everything looks better after a few good results. But just to give a bit of depth to that, it’s not about just the results.

“They are very important of course, but also the feel and the delivery of the performances that have earned us three good results.

“We take all the positives from the games, including Arsenal, when we delivered again, and move forwards.”

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Southampton’s revival has been built largely around impressive away form and the goals of former Burnley striker Danny Ings, whose 14 league goals are his best return since scoring 21 times for the Clarets in their promotion-winning season under Dyche in 2013/14.

“He’s done well. He’s really found and his fitness and his form and he’s playing very well.

“But it’s not a massive surprise to me because once he got over his injuries, he’s a good player. There’s no two ways about it,” added Dyche, who has his own ‘old boy’ to unleash in former Saints’ frontman and current player of the month Jay Rodriguez as the Clarets look to keep climbing.

Team news

The Clarets will be without Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson – the goalscorers in Burnley’s 3-0 opening day win over Southampton – as they recover from injury.

Matt Lowton is rated 50/50 following a knock to the knee against Arsenal, while fellow full-back Charlie Taylor (hamstring) will have late check.

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The Saints are expected to have a fully fit squad.

James Ward-Prowse is hoping to be able to extend his ever-present Premier League record after recovering from a gashed knee sustained in the Saints’ FA Cup replay defeat to Tottenham.

The long-serving midfielder has played the last couple of games at right-back but could return to his normal position with Yan Valery and loan signing Kyle Walker-Peters both available to fill that slot.

Form guide

The Clarets head to the south coast unbeaten in their last three league games to open up a seven-point gap above the bottom three.

Sean Dyche’s men won on their last away trip – a 2-0 victory at Manchester United.

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The Saints – level on points with the Clarets and two places behind in 13th-spot ­– have won one of their last five games in all competitions.

Southampton have lost two of their last three Premier League games, their only league defeats since mid-December in a run that has pulled them clear of the relegation places.

But no side in the division has won fewer home games than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, who have tasted victory in the league just three times at St Mary’s and have the lowest points’ tally in the top flight.

Opposition camp

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “It is always difficult to play against Burnley. We lost 3-0 and we know how tough it always is.

“I think we want to show that we are better now than we were at the beginning of the season.

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"We're playing a different shape and hopefully also a different style, and hopefully it will be more successful.

"Everybody knows they are a robust team, who are well organised, and with their set-pieces and high balls into the box they are always dangerous,.

"They have good strikers who can always score, so it's a dangerous opponent."

Match stats

Former Southampton midfielder Jack Cork is in line to make his 150th league appearance for the Clarets.

Jeff Hendrick is set to make his 350th appearance in English football.

Burnley haven’t lost to Southampton in their last six Premier League games.

The Clarets are looking for a first double over Southampton since 1947.

Burnley are aiming for a third successive clean sheet, which would equal their best run in the Premier League. Only Liverpool have recorded more than the Clarets’ nine shut-outs.

Referee

Simon Hooper

VAR

Gary Beswick

Kick-off

Saturday, 12.30pm

 


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