Tottenham’s season is on life support following four successive defeats. Although they’d managed to draw in the week, they were knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties by Norwich City. They travel to face an in-form Burnley side on Saturday and they won’t be relishing their task. They lost in this fixture last season and they will be aware of the threat posed by the Clarets. It will be a battle on the pitch and a lot will be learned about the current Spurs squad. They need to deliver a performance at Turf Moor.
Supporters are already doubting Jose Mourinho’s ability to lead the club to a brighter future. It isn’t surprising based on the recent performances. There will be some slack cut due to the recent injury crisis, but there remains a lot of talent on the pitch. Despite the recent run of defeats, Spurs remain in the race for the top four and only trail by a goal in their Champions League tie. If the players can find some form and deliver two wins in the next week, the mood will change once again.
Burnley are once again showing consistency in the Premier League. Despite their lack of big investment, Sean Dyche has achieved success with the squad and they could finish in the top half of the division. That would represent a huge achievement by the long serving manager. There has been a steady improvement year-on-year and Dyche deserves more credit. This weekend, there will be no pressure on Burnley and that could play into their hands. They will fancy their chances against a struggling Tottenham side.
- Tottenham’s four successive defeats across all competitions is their worst run of form this season.
- Burnley are now unbeaten in six Premier League matches. This is their longest run in the competition since February 2019.
Burnley are seen as a functional team by many, but there is a lot of talent within the squad. Dyche has improved things on a yearly basis in that regard. The jewel in the crown is homegrown winger Dwight McNeil. Due to the club being regarded as unfashionable, he doesn’t receive the hype that his talent and consistency deserves. Since breaking into the first team, he has been one of the side’s best players. Although his contribution of two goals and five assists in the Premier League doesn’t stand out, his consistency has been a major reason for Burnley’s success. In the last home fixture, he was the man of the match against Bournemouth, with a goal and assist. During the game, he completed 88.5% of his passes, made two big chances and had three shots. He will know that the Tottenham defence is lacking confidence and see an opportunity to impress.
The Brazilian has been given a prominent role in the Tottenham attack since the injuries to Son Heung-min and Harry Kane. However, he hasn’t had the desired impact and it has been a difficult year for the Brazilian. At the time of writing, he has contributed four goals and two assists in the Premier League. That is fewer goal contributions than McNeil discussed above and he has been playing in a superior team, albeit one that has struggled. He hasn’t managed a single goal contribution during the last five matches across all competitions. Mourinho may be running out of patience with him and for that reason, he needs to perform this weekend. His pace and directness can cause real issues for Burnley if he utilises it correctly. This will be a big day for him and his short term future as a starter.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson remains a few days away from a return to action. Ashley Barnes won’t be available until later this month. Chris Wood could be primed for a return to the starting eleven following his substitute appearance against Newcastle United last weekend.
Ryan Sessegnon and Juan Foyth are both nearing a return and could be available this weekend. It is hoped that Hugo Lloris will return for he visitors. Moussa Sissoko, Son and Kane remain on the sidelines.
This is going to be a very difficult game for Tottenham to negotiate. They need to win this if they are to challenge for the top four. There is little margin for error now and Mourinho will know that he can’t afford another defeat. Burnley will see this as a huge opportunity to repeat the result from last season. They have every chance of getting something out of this match.
Burnley 1-1 Tottenham