Burnley v Tottenham: Clarets can frustrate Spurs

Sean Dyche's Burnley side have been in fine form
Sean Dyche's Burnley side have been in fine form
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Jack Lang is expecting a tight battle at Turf Moor and feels the hosts are underrated...

"Burnley have won four of their last five home league games and Tottenham have lost four of their last five away, so it's only really reputation that has Spurs as 1.58 favourites"

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Clarets loving life

If you'd told Sean Dyche before the season that his Burnley side would be above Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table coming into this match, he'd surely have raised an eyebrow. Then probably burst out laughing. And yet here we are: the Clarets are sixth, just a couple of points off the top four and one point better off than their pre-Christmas visitors. It's been quite a season so far.

Theirs is a defensive success story: only five sides have scored fewer goals, yet their frugality at the other end of the pitch has been staggering. Burnley have kept nine clean sheets already this term and appear to be getting better as the campaign wears on, with just three goals conceded in their last nine games. Even injuries - to Ben Mee, Tom Heaton, Matthew Lowton and Stephen Ward - have not stopped them.

Mee returned to action against Brighton last weekend, which is good news because James Tarkowski has been banned for three matches for violent conduct. That means Kevin Long should get another run in the side, while Lowton may also be in line for a recall in place of Phil Bardsley. After a week off, the rest of the XI is unlikely to change much.


Tough times for Spurs

The table does not make such happy reading for Spurs. Their title aspirations fizzled out weeks ago, and while the Champions League has provided respite and a welcome distraction, Mauricio Pochettino will be well aware that his charges have a fight on their hands to even qualify for that competition again. Even if Burnley fade, Arsenal and Liverpool won't give up that fourth spot without a fight.

It would be a surprise if the morale in the Tottenham camp was not hit by last weekend's defeat to Manchester City. There's no great shame in losing to one of the best teams in Europe, but the manner of defeat was concerning: Spurs were completely blown away and one can only imagine what the final score might have been had Dele Alli and/or Harry Kane been dismissed for wild challenges.

Davinson Sanchez makes a timely return to the squad this weekend after completing a three-match suspension, and chances are he'll slot straight into the starting XI after the Etihad fiasco. Erik Lamela and Ben Davies will also be hoping for recalls after cameos off the bench last time out.


Ignore the reputation game

Burnley have won four of their last five Premier League games at Turf Moor. Tottenham have lost four of their last five Premier League away games. Burnley, who are playing at home here, are sixth in the Premier League. So it's only really longer-term factors and reputation that can have Spurs as 1.584/7 favourites to win on Saturday evening.

Yes, Tarkowski is a big miss for Burnley. But they coped well in Mee's absence and got a point at Wembley earlier in the season, so this game shouldn't hold too much fear. Odds of 7.26/1 on the Burnley win seem faintly absurd, so we'll be backing it on principle.


Tight game in store

Every one of Burnley's home games this term has remained under the 2.5-goal line. Including the latter stages of last season, only two of 17 matches has gone over that mark, and three of their four most recent meetings with Tottenham have gone low. So while Spurs have been involved in a few thrillers on the road, we're happy to side with the unders at 1.824/5.


Eriksen may carry Spurs threat

If Spurs are to get something from this game, it may take a bit of opportunism or individual brilliance from outside the box. Christian Eriksen scored against Man City, is on free-kicks and often takes responsibility by shooting from range, so could be a good goalscorer pick at around 3.711/4.


Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2017/18

Staked: 23pts
Returned: 27.30pts
P/L: +4.30pts

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