It’s been well documented by now that Burnley’s Turf Moor ground resembles that of Fort Knox this season, their incredible home form has almost secured them their Premier League status which is quite handy considering their away from has been the opposite. A long list of clubs have struggled at Burnley and today it is turn of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham to try and succeed where so many others have failed and that is picking up all three points this afternoon.
These two sides met back in December and Sean Dyche will have no doubt felt aggrieved that his side did not pick up at least a point at White Hart Lane. Not only did they go ahead but they also felt that Moussa Sissoko should have been sent off after a rather robust challenge. The French international was only shown a yellow card and moments later played a key role in Danny Rose’s winner for the home side.
So with that in mind Dyche will feel that there is a score to settle this time around and will also be boosted by the fact that Tottenham have slipped up here on a number of occasions. This ground has seen a number of cup upsets at the hands of Burnley, in 2002 they knocked out them out of the League Cup and 7 years later they would almost book a place at Wembley after being 3-0 up in the Semi Final second leg overturning a first leg deficit by the same score. But their hearts would be broken by late extra time goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe.
For all the cup exploits when you mention these two sides playing at Turf Moor, the most stark memory that it probably conjures up is the awful ‘chip’ from Paulinho when these two sides met here in 2015. That was a dour game highlighted but that moment of misery and more than likely ended the Brazilian’s time as a Tottenham player, the hope from both sets of fans is that it is a better contest this afternoon and there is a bit more skill on offer.
Burnley will not necessarily worry about skill but they will be concerned with the fact they have not won any of their last 6 matches. A run which has seen them draw three and lose three since beating Leicester at the end of January. That means they go into this game in 13th and although the job is nearly done in regards to securing a Premier League berth next season they cannot afford to rest on their laurels just yet.
And Burnley will have their work cut out this afternoon as this is a Tottenham team firing on all cylinders even without their talisman Harry Kane. It’s just one defeat in their last 10 for the North London side and they come into this encounter off the back of three successive wins. The last of those being their 2-1 over Southampton before the international break. That win coupled with Manchester City’s draw with Liverpool on the same day sees Spurs open up a 2 point gap over Pep Guardiola’s men.
With the absence of Kane many were questioning as to whether or not the supporting cast could step up in his place when facing Southampton and with goals from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli they did exactly. There will have to be more of the same this afternoon though as they look to further extend their gap over Manchester City who face off against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. A win today would see that gap extend to 5 points and further solidify their hopes of being the best of the rest come the end of the season.
Many clubs have fallen short here this season with only Arsenal and Manchester City picking up wins here, even champions elect Chelsea could only manage a draw so if Tottenham are to earn all three points they are going to have their work cut out. But should they win it would show that they mean business and are not necessarily reliant on Harry Kane. I think it’s going to be tight but I think the away team will just edge this one.