Tottenham have an opportunity to close the gap to Manchester City to only two points this weekend as they travel to face Burnley. The recent upturn from the home side means that it won’t be easy for Spurs to pick up the three points. However, Mauricio Pochettino has overseen a good run of recent form and they will be full of confidence ahead of this weekend.
The relegation fears have improved at Turf Moor during recent weeks as Sean Dyche’s team have returned to the performance level that we saw last season. They aren’t safe yet, but their position is looking stronger by the week and it would be a surprise if they were one of the three teams to fall out of the league. The decision to bring Tom Heaton back into the team looks to have played a major role in the revival and he will be important again this weekend. It won’t be easy for them, but they will go into the game with no fear and that makes them a dangerous opponent, especially at home.
Spurs are looking like they could have a say in the title race as they are only five points off the top of the table. As they have both Liverpool and Manchester City left to play, they will be looking to challenge. At the very least, they could be king makers as neither of the two teams above them will relish taking on this team. If they are to challenge, they need to avoid dropping points in matches like these. Harry Kane and Dele Alli are nearing a return, with a strong end to the season possible for Mauricio Pochettino.
- Burnley haven’t lost a league game in 2019.
- Tottenham have the third best attack and the third best defence in the league.
Ashley Barnes is one of the most important players for Burnley and his quality has been evident during recent weeks. He is a nightmare to deal with for defenders, as he runs constantly and isn’t afraid of a physical battle. The striker will relish the game this weekend and will see it as another opportunity to further his reputation against a big team. This season, he averages 1.7 shots per game and he is reliable to take the chances that come his way. Barnes has contributed seven goals and two assists, which is an impressive total considering Burnley’s limitations in attack. If the Clarets are to threaten this weekend, the 29-year-old is likely to offer the danger.
The South Korean is one of the in-form players in world football and he could be even more dangerous after a break. He has had to endure a packed schedule for the last 12 months and he will have benefited from over a week without a competitive fixture. Harry Kane is often talked about as the most important player for Tottenham, but Son gives him a run for his money for that title. This season, he has taken his game to a new level. There has been talk that he is world class. Although that may be premature, there is no doubting that the attacker is now one of the finest plying his trade in the Premier League. In the league, he has contributed 11 goals and five assists in just 1357 minutes of football. That averages as a goal involvement every 84.8 minutes, which is a remarkable record for any player. Burnley will look to keep things tight at the back, but the South Korean has the dynamism and flair to create a moment of magic out of nothing, as he has done on countless occasions this season.
Burnley could be given a major boost as Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are expected to be available after injury. However, Belgian midfielder Steven Defour remains on the sidelines.
Harry Kane is expected to be a part of the match-day squad, but he may not be risked from the start. Ben Davies is also available for the visitors. Danny Rose is a doubt and Dele Alli won’t be back in time to feature.
This is going to be a difficult test for Tottenham as they are facing a Burnley team that is much improved since the turn of the year. They have displayed their ability to compete against the best in the past. In the recent past, they took a two-goal lead at Old Trafford and became the first team to deny Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager. The visitors are a more accomplished team than Manchester United, but it is going to be tricky for them on Saturday. They should have enough quality to grind out a win, but it won’t be a great game to watch.
Burnley 0-1 Tottenham