The Clarets face bottom of the table Huddersfield at Turf Moor on Saturday and will be hoping for a third consecutive win, following victories against Bournemouth and Cardiff City.
However, Huddersfield will have other ideas and can draw some inspiration from the Clarets, who now sit comfortably at 12th place in the Premier League, having themselves been propping up the table just a couple of weeks ago.
Burnley will be keen to get more points on the board – especially with two tough games coming up against Manchester City and Chelsea, but will take heart from the likely inclusion of Stephen Defour in the match day squad, following his return to fitness. Robbie Brady is also now very close to full fitness.
Confidence in the home camp should be high with several players having now come into decent form – especially Hart, Westwood, Gudmundsson and Lennon. And any concerns about James Tarkowski’s groin problem should be alleviated by the excellent performance of stand-in centre half, Kevin Long at Cardiff.
It’s not unfair to suggest that Sunday’s game lived up to it’s billing and wasn’t one for the purists. However, the Burnley team aren’t being paid to entertain the South Wales public, so most Clarets supporters will be able to live with the fact that the team returned with the spoils! That said, most will be hoping for Saturday’s game to go the way of the Bournemouth game – hugely entertaining and despite the 4-0 scoreline, a very competitive spectacle. It’s not lost on many Clarets that for all last season’s plaudits they only scored 17 home league goals.
If scoring has been a challenge for Burnley, for Huddersfield it’s almost a crisis – no home goal in the league yet and just three on the road. Many are predicting a long hard season for the Terriers and it’s fair to say that they don’t appear to have pushed on in terms of squad development since their promotion. Nevertheless, they showed real spirit in the latter portion of last season to seal Premier League survival and some of that was on display last weekend as they huffed and puffed, albeit to no avail against Spurs.
However, I suspect that Huddersfield will have to continue to wait for their first win when they cross the Pennines for this Lancashire-Yorkshire derby and that Burnley will be too strong for them on Saturday. I’m sure they’ll compete but I expect Burnley to win fairly comfortably and I’m going for a 2-0 scoreline.
I expect Burnley to line up: Hart, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson, Vydra, Vokes.