I think it would be fair to say that Turf Moor has been turned into somewhat of a fortress for Sean Dyche’s side as 16 out of their 17 points during this campaign have been earned their. Today they will look to add to that tally as they play host to Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough.
And it’s arguably such a great run of results at home which has made Burnley’s season so far what it is. As without that points tally from Turf Moor which includes 5 wins and a draw then they could very well be in the bottom three right now.
The fact that they’ve failed to win on the road will be a huge concern for Sean Dyche but he has set up Burnley to play to their strengths and that main strength is playing in front of their own fans, therefore they may as well continue to try and make good use of it this afternoon.
In a week where Joey Barton was set to return to Burnley only to be slapped with a F.A. Misconduct Charge for a litany of betting offences, it shows that Barton brings baggage where ever he goes and Dyche will now have to decide whether it’s worth capturing Barton’s services again and the undoubted circus that will come with it.
Visitors Middlesbrough come here lying 14th in the table and just a point ahead of Burnley, so obviously a win for The Clarets would see them leapfrog ‘Boro and give them a bit more of a cushion between them and the trio of sides in the bottom three.
Last Saturday Middlesbrough beat one of that trio of sides with a 3-0 win over Swansea at The Riverside Stadium. A win that was most welcome after back to back defeats and a result which earned themselves a bit of breathing space between them and the dropzone.
That victory for Swansea saw a brace from Alvaro Negredo. A brace of goals which has doubled his seasons tally to 4 goals. The hope now from both manager Aitor Karanka and ‘Boro fans is that Negredo can get a run of scoring form together and start to earn a bit more of that £100k weekly wage.
And he could earn a lot more of that if he was to get on the scoresheet and get an important win over Burnley today. For teams in the bottom half these are the all important games which define whether the season is either a success or failure with the failure ultimately meaning relegation.
With Burnley having such a good home record it’s incredibly hard to look past them today especially with ‘Boro still scoring less than 1 goal a game on average this season. Due to a mixture of those factors I’m going to go for another Burnley win at fortress Turf Moor.