This Sunday, we will be witnessing two sides in dire need of 3 points to climb up the table and distance themselves away from the drop zone , in Burnley and West Bromwich Albion. Cameras will be rolling on the Turf Moor as Sean Dyche’s Clarets will be desperate to make a mark and notch up what would be a significant result in one of those games where more than just 3 points are at stake. Three of Burnley’s four victories this term have come at home and Dyche is confident the home fans can drive his team on after admitting to being disappointed with a lack of activity in the January transfer window. On the back of two consecutive losses following a significant win at home against Queen’s Park Rangers in the Premier League and sit two points and two places below the visitors meaning a win could lift them above Tony Pulis’ Albion.
After a mixed transfer window that saw Tony Pulis bring in an experienced pair of legs in the shape of Darren Fletcher to the fray at a time as vital as this when every single point counts and every fixture against teams in and around you can make or break a season, Albion quite simply need to get them results now. Tony Pulis though sounded confident that his side will quickly acclimatize to his playing style especially when it comes to the defensive discipline that his teams are often remembered for while also acknowledging the resilience of Sunday’s opposition. Their away form has been largely underwhelming with just 3 points from the last 6 games but it is never too late to turn the corner with a truckload of games set to be played between now and May.
The Clarets could miss up to 3 players for the weekend with Ward and Taylor out owing to their respective calf and shin injuries that will sideline the pair for two more weeks at the least. Long is the only long term absentee who will sit out the rest of the season after injuring his cruciate ligament.
The Baggies would also miss a few players, some key players at that in Mulumbu, Myhill and Olsson (Shin) ahead of the trip to the North West. James Morrison could miss out due to tendonitis in a knee.
Burnley (from): Gilks, Heaton, Duff, Keane, Lafferty, Mee, O’Neill, Reid, Shackell, Trippier, Arfield, Boyd, Jones, Kightly, Marney, Wallace, Barnes, Ings, Jutkiewicz, Sordell, Vokes.
West Bromwich Albion (from): Foster, Myhill, Baird, Davidson, Dawson, Gamboa, Lescott, McAuley, Pocognoli, Wisdom, Brunt, Dorrans, Fletcher, Gardner, McManaman, Morrison, Sessegnon, Roofe, Yacob, Anichebe, Berahino, Ideye, Nabi.
- Burnley have scored just 11 goals in 12 Barclays Premier League home matches this season, but four of those have been netted in the last two outings at Turf Moor.
- None of the last nine league meetings between Burnley and West Bromwich Albion have ended as an away win (seven home wins, two draws).
- West Brom have conceded the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of BPL matches this season (9).
- The Baggies have scored a divisional high 55% of their goals from set pieces this season.
Danny Ings – Burnley
Ings has slowly but steadily made a name for himself in the top division living up to his billing as an all round, typical English center forward. With 7 goals and 3 assists, he’s been their most important player who can be even more pivotal as the side enters the business end of the season. In 20 appearances, Ings has managed to create 23 chances from open play including the three assists, with a respectable passing accuracy of 74%. Having taken 58 shots in total out of which 18 were on target and 7 of those finding the net, Ings has turned out to be the focal point of all their attacking play and will need to be more on the ball if the Clarets are to post a vital win come the weekend.
Saido Berahino – West Bromwich Albion
Berahino has had a very good season on a personal level and is supposedly looking to join a football club with bigger ambitions with all due respect to West Brom. Having come through the Baggies academy, Saido has been facing questions lately regarding his commitment to the cause and the 21-year old can respond best with his performances on the pitch as Tony Pulis mentioned in his press conference. With 9 goals to his name in 23 appearances with a shot accuracy of 50%, it is understandable why he is a target or one of the targets for some of the top sides in the league. His direct style and the ability to go past defenders makes him one of the best young forwards in the division and can certainly determine the outcome of Sunday’s crunch fixture.
Neither side will want to throw in the towel in a game like this. A score draw is written all over.
Burnley 1-1 West Bromwich Albion