Burnley out to create a Spurs set back

28 March 2017 09:32

April Fool's Day is imminent and Burnley will hope to create more top of the table chaos at Fortress Turf Moor.

Burnley return to Turf Moor on Saturday 1st April, for their first home league game since a Robbie Brady screamer helped the Clarets hold Premier League Champions elect Chelsea to a 1-1 draw, some seven long weeks ago.

It's an unusually long time without a home league game, but equally strangely, Saturday's opponents Tottenham have not played an away game in the league in the same length of time since a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool. In fact, you have to go back to New Year's Day to find the last time Spurs won away, including a 0-0 draw with Sunderland .

An ankle ligament injury means last season's Golden Boot recipient Harry Kane will be absent from the North Londoners' starting line-up. Despite their high ranking prior to beating Southampton 2-1 in their last league game, Spurs have won just 3 of their last 9 top flight games without Kane this season , scoring just 8 goals in the process.

It is however, a confident Spurs team currently lying second in the Premier League table. Spurs' charismatic manager Claudio Pochettino declared before the international break, his side were in a "fantastic position" in the Premier League.

Spurs are now a lot more than just their talismatic 24 goal striker. They usually play with a back 3 who have proved stubborn defensively, ably supported by arguably the most powerful central midfield in the Premier League. In fact, Spurs have been uncharacteristically un-Spurs like in their defensive resilience this season.

All the present top four sides who have visited Turf Moor this season will vouch for the fact that the Clarets can be just as stubborn and resilient as Pochettino's team . Both Merseyside sides have left Turf Moor pointless and Manchester City had to come from behind to take the points.

The only other home defeat to a top side being decided by the officials in a controversial encounter with Wenger's beleaguered Arsenal. So just where might this game be decided? England's Michael Keane and his partner in crime Ben Mee, it is hoped will nullify the Tottenham attack.

It would be a brave move for the Burnley gaffer Sean Dyche to change his favoured 4-4-2 system that has operated so well for most of the season, but Dyche has changed the system before with success.

He has had two weeks now to work out how to combat the free scoring, almost telepathic Christian Erickson and Dele Alli. The pair are two superbly gifted, creative players who ghost into the box and thrive on playing one two combinations and constantly display accurate shooting. Hopefully, we wont see the darker side of Alli.

Luckily, I don't have to find the answer to this particular enigma and trust that Dyche will find a way to discover and probe any weak links in the Tottenham ranks. It is hoped the creativity of Burnley's injury plagued Belgian international, Steven Defour will feature from the start.

After witnessing the horrific injury to Everton's Seamus Coleman at the weekend on international duty, it will be an enormous relief to see all of the Burnley players return safely from their various global travels.

There was an injury scare over Canada's Scotty Arfield but there is no news to suggest he is doubtful for Saturday's game. There will undoubtedly be a big welcome back to the Clarets' international brigade on Saturday from the Burnley faithful. None more so than for Michael Keane; three Tottenham players were his England team mates in England's World Cup qualifier 2-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday. 

All of the Southgate engendered bonhomie will, I am sure be forgotten once the game starts.

With an almost fully fit squad available, Sean Dyche has a multitude of choices available to him. Whoever Dyche selects, Burnley will give Spurs a tough afternoon and I have a funny feeling the game will be decided by a late arrival or by an astute substitution.

A warm welcome will be given to ex-Burnley favourite Kieran Trippier before and after the game. I hope Kieran follows the carefully written script closely .

It is customary for Burnley to be in or around the bottom 3 in the Premier League at this stage of the season. It is credit to everyone at the club that this season the Clarets have caused chaos at Turf Moor.

In yet another fully sold out game in the English Premier League, here's hoping for more top of the table chaos emanating from Turf Moor, come Saturday evening?

This article was written by Michael Donnelly alias "The Donz". Michael writes regularly on all Burnley Football Club matters and contributes on an almost daily basis to Clarets Mad. (TEC.)

Source: DSG