Any Football club will look to turn their home ground into a fortress but Burnley have turned theirs into Fort Knox this season. The Clarets have won a staggering 19 out of their 20 points at home during this campaign, that’s 95% of their points won in front of their own fans.
They will look to add to that tally when they play host to Sunderland this Afternoon. Sean Dyche’s men seem to have an aversion to scoring points on the road, with their only point coming in that draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford when Tom Heaton saved everything including the kitchen sink.
But with their home form being so impressive in comparison it has meant that Burnley currently find themselves in 14th place and more importantly 6 points clear of the drop zone. A win today would give them even more of a cushion in terms of beating the drop.
And they will need to continue that impressive home form if they keep failing to win points on the road. Due to the failure to pick up away points then 14th might well be as good as they can hope for this season but in fairness that would still be an incredibly successful return to the top flight for The Clarets.
Today they play host to a Sunderland side that travel to Lancashire after being dealt the blow that Jordan Pickford is ruled out for at least six weeks. The England Under 21 international has arguably been their best performer so far this season and his absence will be sorely missed.
At the start of the season Pickford was making saves that were at least keeping scorelines respectable but in the past couple of months he has been making the saves that don’t just win plaudits but they also earn much needed points at the bottom of the table.
And Sunderland once again do need to return to winning ways after finally starting their season a couple of months later than everyone else they have only won once in their last four matches. With that win coming against Watford a fortnight ago.
There was little Boxing Day cheer for Sunderland and David Moyes in particular as his return to Old Trafford was not a happy one. He witnessed his Sunderland side roll over for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho’s men ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.
Not only has Moyes now got to worry about injuries to key players, he then also has to factor in the fact that some of his squad will also be departing for the AFCON next month but there biggest concern will be trying to keep hold of Jermaine Defoe when the transfer window.
The former Tottenham forward has been linked with a return to the Capital with West Ham and Crystal Palace believed to be lining up bids when the window opens. Pickford being injured is a massive blow but selling Defoe would suicidal.
If this is to be Defoe’s last ever game for The Black Cats then he will certainly want to go out on a high and return Sunderland to winning ways but with Burnley offering so much resistance at Turf Moor I can’t see anything other than another home win for Sean Dyche’s men as they move further clear of the drop zone.