The Clarets travel to Wembley on Saturday to take on third place Spurs in the first of back-to-back games against North London opposition.
On paper, away games don’t come much harder than this one and given the run Burnley have been on, expectations of any sort of points haul will be understandably low ahead of trips to Wembley, then the Emirates.
Thankfully though, games aren’t played on paper and Burnley defied expectations last season when they came away from Wembley with a hard earned point, following a late Chris Wood equaliser.
In addition, Burnley have just enjoyed a long overdue, morale-boosting win against Brighton, that followed a creditable performance in the defeat to Liverpool; so it’s fair to say that confidence is growing.
However, to inject a dose of realism, it has to be said that Spurs are playing some excellent stuff at the moment and go into the game on the back of an excellent draw at the Nou Camp.
Spurs had gone behind to Ousmane Dembele’s early goal, but then created chance after chance against Barcelona, with both Harry Kane and the in-form Son Heung-min going close, before substitute Moura, equalised with five minutes remaining.
It remains to be seen how Spurs European exertions will have effected them – it may be that the morale boosting qualification for the Champions League last 16 gives them a huge lift, in which case the Clarets may be in for a torrid afternoon. However, if the heroics have taken it out of them, Burnley may be able to capitalise and keep the run of better form going.
Of these two scenarios, I’m going for the latter. I expect the Clarets to come under intense pressure, but to dig in and come away with an extremely valuable point. So I’m predicting a 1-1 draw and I expect Burnley to line up as follows.
Hart; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brady, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Hendrick; Wood.