If Burnley could play all of their games at Turf Moor then they would win the league this season, ok perhaps not but it’s astonishing that they have earned 22 of their 23 points this season in front of their own fans. Today they will look to add to that tally with the visit of Southampton.
Sean Dyche’s side had a forgettable cup tie with Sunderland last Saturday, a game that finished 0-0 and if they were still playing now you would imagine that still nobody would have scored. That said for both teams the sole priority is Premier League survival and the fact that they have to go to a replay is probably more of an inconvenience than anything else.
You certainly could not put Cup Football and inconvenience in the same sentence when mentioning Southampton. They have given their chances of reaching the EFL Cup Final a massive boost as they have the upper hand in their Semi Final pairing with Liverpool.
That’s because Nathan Redmond’s goal on Wednesday night was enough to give The Saints a slender lead to take to Anfield for the 2nd leg. They still have some work to do but they will travel to Merseyside full of confidence and will look to add Jurgen Klopp’s side to a list of scalps that already includes Arsenal in the competition.
They featured without captain Jose Fonte in Midweek after the Portuguese international handed in a transfer request and you would have to imagine that it will be the same for the trip to Lancashire this Afternoon. They didn’t miss him on Wednesday but can the same be said Today.
Burnley’s last league outing was a defeat to Manchester City at The Etihad, City went down to 10 men after Fernandinho’s sending off but still had enough to dispose of The Clarets. Even with a man short Burnley could not take full advantage as their aversion to playing on the road was once again highlighted.
So it’s at home where they have to be much better to make up for the poor away performances, they are getting away with now because of the impressive results at home but if they evaporate then they could find themselves in a spot of bother.
The Saints have dropped to 10th in the table after a run of three successive league defeats. That run of results will be of concern to Claude Puel with the EFL Cup almost being a very welcome distraction but should that run of negative results continue then Southampton could see themselves dropping into the bottom three.
It’s been a mixed bag of results as of late, as well as the aforementioned victory over Liverpool there has been a heavy defeat to Everton as Ronald Koeman got one over his former employers and a draw against Norwich in the F.A. Cup as Steven Naismith’s late header at Carrow Road secured a replay.
With concerns over not just keeping hold of Fonte but also Virgil Van Dijk these are testing times for Southampton and most fans will be happy when the transfer window closes and there will then be a bit more stability returned to the team.
But firstly they need to worry about getting another league win on the board but as many have witnessed getting a win at Turf Moor is no easy feat. Which is why I think Burnley will add to their tally of points later Today but I can see this one ending in a draw. A share of the points for me.