Premier League newcomers Burnley and Leicester are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table and are set for a huge clash at Turf Moor this weekend in a bid to boost their battle to avoid the drop. With both teams sitting in the bottom three, this relegation six-pointer could go a long way in helping one of these teams avoid relegation at end of the season so the result will be crucial with teams in and around looking to capitalise on the potential loser of the match.
Burnley come into the game at the bottom of the league, which does not bode well with only five games left but the encouraging fact is that they are only two points away from safety with the bottom half of the table being so tight. On current form, Burnley look like they’re heading one way and it is not the way they would have hoped for with only one win in their last ten matches. Funnily enough, that win was against champions Man City but defeat in their last match against Everton means that they have only won five of their 33 games so far.
Leicester on the other hand are in scintillating form and have risen from the dead after being all but written off a few weeks ago. Winning their last three games, this hot form couldn’t have come at a better time for the Foxes and are now on levels points with Hull who are just outside the relegation places. Wins against West Ham, West Brom and most recently Swansea has given Nigel Pearson’s side genuine hope that they can beat the drop but cannot afford to lose on the weekend.
In the first match between the two sides in October last year, Burnley stole a point in a 2-2 draw with Ross Wallace scoring a 95th minute equaliser.
Burnley will be without forward Ashley Barnes for the clash against the Foxes due to suspension. Barnes was sent off in the defeat at Everton after receiving two yellow cards with the only other absentee being Dean Marney who is out with a ACL knee injury.
David Nugent was forced to sit out the win at home to Swansea last week after tweaking his calf but should be available for this weekend. The only other doubt is defender Marcin Wasilewski who was substituted at half time in the Swansea game with a thigh problem but there is a good chance he will be passed fit as well.
- Burnley are without a win in eight league meetings with Leicester City, drawing three and losing five.
- David Nugent has scored in eight of his last 11 league appearances against his former side Burnley.
- Burnley have failed to score in six of their last seven league matches, with their only goal resulting in a win against Champions Man City.
League Head to Heads
2014/2015 Sat 04 Oct Leicester 2 – 2 Burnley
2013/2014 Sat 29 Mar Burnley 0 – 2 Leicester
2013/2014 Sat 14 Dec Leicester 1 – 1 Burnley
2012/2013 Sat 29 Dec Burnley 0 – 1 Leicester
2012/2013 Wed 19 Sep Leicester 2 – 1 Burnley
2011/2012 Tue 17 Apr Leicester 0 – 0 Burnley
2011/2012 Tue 01 Nov Burnley 1 – 3 Leicester
Burnley: George Boyd
After scoring the winner in the unexpected 1-0 win over Man City just over a month ago, the performances of George Boyd and the whole Burnley team has dropped with only one point in their last four games since the victory over Man City. With their main goal threat Danny Ings on a goal drought that is currently at eight games, the likes of Boyd will have to step up and provide the attacking support especially with Ashley Barnes being suspended for this game. Boyd has five goals so far this season and offers a direct approach when on the attack for Burnley with the ability to get past defenders with 46% of his 59 attempted dribbles being successful.
Leicester: David Nugent
With the Leicester team in inspired form at the moment with three consecutive wins now in the Premier League, one of the important players in the last few games has been David Nugent. Although he did not feature in the 2-0 win against Swansea, he was excellent in the 3-2 win at West Brom in which he scored. Nugent hasn’t always been first choice up front with 12 of his 28 appearances coming as a sub but playing against his former club, he could have a point to prove and will be eager to add to the five goals to his name already this season.
It’s a mighty close call for this one but I’m backing the home side to take the points even with Leicester’s purple patch of late
My Prediction – Burnley 2-0 Leicester