Six pointers are usually the preserve of the lower end of the table but it is quite easily a term you could apply to the meeting at Turf Moor this evening as Burnley and Tottenham go head to head in what is shaping up to be a fiercely contested battle for fourth spot in the Premier League.
With Arsenal and Liverpool squaring off the night before the landscape in the race for the final Champions League spot could look very different by the end of tonght, points will be dropped by at least two of the teams maybe as many as four but the question is who exactly.
Burnley go into this game without James Tarkowski after he accepted a violent conduct charge in the week, one that sees the defender miss the next three league matches. From a personal stand point at least he gets to have an extra portion of Christmas dinner.
But from Sean Dyche’s point of view there is no doubting the fact that he will be sorely missed over the busy festive period as he has been the bedrock of Burnley’s defence in this first half of the season, especially up until now he along with Jack Cork have played every minute of the Clarets’ league campaign.
Last weekend Burnley took the long trip down to the South Coast to face Brighton, perhaps not a game for the purists as it ended in a goalless stalemate as the two teams had to make do with a share of the points. It could have been a lot worse for the away team though as Glenn Murray spurned the chance to win the game for the Seagulls after missing from the penalty spot.
That however is one point more than Tottenham earned last weekend as they were the latest team to be steamrollered by Manchester City, it was not only defeat that was a bitter pill to swallow but the magnitude of it also as Pep Guardiola’s men ran out 4-1 winners.
The fact that the game was not a direct top of the table clash meant that the pressure was perhaps off of Tottenham going into last weekend’s encounter but if that was the case then it certainly does not excuse the second half capitulation that Spurs fans would have unfortunately of had to witness.
Tottenham’s last three league outings have been the perfect example of two steps forward, one step back. An impressive win over Stoke was then followed up by a well earned victory at home to Brighton but it is the failure to get a run of results going which has really hampered the club this season.
The inconsistency in Tottenham’s form this season is the reason why they sit seventh right now, much has been made of the Wembley effect but losing the fortress of White Hart Lane while coupled with the continual failure to win the big games away from home means that the club are going to have a fight on their hands if they are to return to the Champions League next season.
But at the same time there is not really the need for doom and gloom either at the start of the weekend, Tottenham are only three points behind Liverpool and are more than capable of grinding out results when needed, not only that but this is the time of year when the club starts to kick on and find its form.
Not only that but with Victor Wanyama’s return not that far away the first eleven is only going to get stronger and that is before we mention that Toby Alderweireld is out injured also. The inclusion of these two will undoubtedly strengthen the spine of the team and their presence is much needed.
Unfortunately tonight comes far too soon for either of them to feature and whoever does feature is going to have their work cut out as Burnley will certainly not make life easy for Tottenham especially if Sean Dyche’s men start the brighter and get their noses in front.
On paper Tottenham should win this but as we know Tottenham games are not played on paper, they definitely need a performance after being handed a drubbing this time last week. I’ll go for an away win, if it isn’t then quite simply Christmas is ruined.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 21, 2017