Many pundits have tipped Burnley for relegation this season, those that did will have had egg over the face last weekend after an astonishing performance at Stamford Bridge from Sean Dyche’s men. The Clarets grabbed all the opening Saturday headlines after a sensational 3-2 win over Chelsea.
It was a result that tore up the script in the opening weekend and once again proved that no fixture is ever given in this division. What is more remarkable though is not just the win itself but the fact that they had raced into a 3-0 lead at half time.
The most pertinent question to come from that game would have been just how Burnley would have coped playing 11 against 11. After Gary Cahill’s early sending off for Chelsea they took full advantage of their numerical on pitch superiority and scored three well crafted goals in the process.
It would have been easy for Burnley to launch balls into the box and create an aerial problem for the defending Premier League champions but their brand of football last Saturday was very easy on the eye and they were handsomely rewarded for it.
That win in West London matched the same amount of away wins that they had last season and today they will look to see if the fortress which is Turf Moor is still at it is most unpenetrable as they play host to Tony Pulis’ West Brom side.
Both teams got off to opening Saturday victories as The Baggies got the better of Bournemouth at The Hawthorns, it was a centre back who was the man of the moment last week as new signing Ahmed Hegazy endeared himself to The Baggies faithful by scoring the game’s only goal.
There has however been focus on another of West Brom’s centre backs in recent days as Jonny Evans has been linked with something of a surprise move to Manchester City. Tony Pulis has gone on record by saying he doesn’t need to sell but once The Etihad outfit are interested then they usually get their man.
That would be a huge blow to West Brom as in additional comments made earlier in the week, Pulis also mentioned that his squad is looking a little light in terms of personnel and the players he does have are at “top end age” – it has been alleviated slightly by the signing of Gareth Barry from Everton. But at 36 years old he will not be providing much in the way of youth.
Burnley do look slightly light up front after the departure of Andre Gray last week, although they did not show any issues of that last Saturday when Welsh international Sam Vokes bagged a double to put his side well on the way to a stunning victory.
The club are reportedly close to landing Chris Wood from Leeds United for a fee believed to be no less than £15m – that could prove to be a smart bit of business but not one that has been completed just yet, with that mind in Vokes will be charged with leading the line once again this afternoon.
Burnley’s home form was pivotal to them staying up last season and it will be again this time around, after the result at Stamford Bridge they need to make sure they continue that momentum. Something I think they will be able to as they get the better of West Brom later today. It’s a home win for me.
You can also vote on the outcome on social media
Who will be celebrating out of #Burnley and West Brom?
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 18, 2017