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Tomorrow is going to be a bit special for me. It will be a reminder of my first ever trip to London. I was a ten year old full of excitement as I left home with my dad to watch Burnley play Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

progs6162 tottenhamc frontThere are certainly some differences between that trip over 55 years ago and the one I’m making tomorrow. That 1962 trip was for the FA Cup Final while tomorrow it is a Premier League fixture, and the journey itself will be somewhat different. We’ll be using the M6 and the M40 to get there but in 1962 I seem to remember us having to leave on the Friday night and then driving through Manchester and other towns and cities before hitting this new road called the M1 which stretched no more than a few miles.

I saw something written the other day suggesting tomorrow will be our fifth visit to Wembley, old and new, but it is actually number six. We lost the first three against Charlton and Spurs in the FA Cup and then Wolves in the Sherpa Van Trophy, but have since beaten both Stockport and Sheffield United in play-off finals, the Blades game being the only one in the new stadium.

Having been for that 1962 FA Cup Final, I’ve seen the three since, so it will be visit number five for me, but for some of our younger fans it could well be the excitement of a first ever visit when I hope they can see what I didn’t see all those years ago, a win against Spurs.

Some of our players will have played there while others won’t. Tom Heaton has played there for England while recent signing Jack Cork had the honour of featuring there in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Cork said: “You can see it as a special occasion really. A lot of players might not have the chance to play at Wembley in their careers. Wembley is a special stadium and means a lot, especially to British players.

“When you’re younger and growing up, all you want to do is play a game at Wembley. When you play in the garden, you always imagine yourself playing at Wembley. It’s one of those places that’s really special and hopefully it will add a little bit more motivation for us.”

He added: “We’ve got to focus in what it is and where we are. It’s Tottenham and it’s another Premier League game we want the points from. We will have our minds set on that. We proved we can do it at Chelsea and hopefully we can cause another upset. That would be a great achievement to start with two good away wins.”

Cork has started well on his return to Burnley. He got an assist in the game at Chelsea, played well against West Brom and then topped that with a goal, an assist and a man of the match performance against Blackburn at Ewood Park.

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He played alongside Ashley Westwood on Wednesday after Jeff Hendrick pulled out with a thigh injury; Cork wouldn’t have featured at Blackburn otherwise. Hendrick remains doubtful for tomorrow while Jon Walters, who has been used as a substitute in both Premier League games so far, is ruled out with the ankle injury sustained at Ewood.

I’d expect Westwood to come in for Hendrick if indeed he does miss out and we could line up: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Steven Defour, Robbie Brady, Sam Vokes. Subs from: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Charlie Taylor, Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood, Dan Agyei.

Tottenham got their season off to a winning start in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle courtesy of goals from Dele Alli and Ben Davies but fell to a 2-1 defeat last week in their first home game of the season against Chelsea, seeing Marcos Alonso get his second goal of the game two minutes from time after they’d levelled via a Michy Batshuayi own goal.

Having finished as runners-up last season they have not played yet in the League Cup and qualified for the group stages of the Champions League where they’ve been given a tough task alongside Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Limassol.

They’ve received criticism for their lack of activity in the transfer market this summer but have now made two signings. Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, who we tried to sign from Gillingham a few years ago, has arrived as cover from Southampton while they’ve splashed out a big fee for Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez from Ajax.

Sanchez is available. The international clearance came through and that’s been followed by his work permit. However, Spurs are still without Erik Lamela with a hip injury, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou who has a foot problem and Danny Rose who will be out for some weeks yet as he recovers from a knee injury.

Spurs will have a team similar to that which played against Chelsea and that will mean a second game for them against his old club for Kieran Trippier. Their team last week was: Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kieran Trippier, Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembélé, Ben Davies, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Harry Kane. Subs: Michel Vorm, Kyle Walker-Peters, Kevin Wimmer, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, Son Heung-min, Vincent Janssen.

 

LAST TIME WE WERE THERE

 

The away game against Spurs last season was our last away game of 2016. We’d had a difficult time on the road with only one point from the first seven games on the road and some of the performances had not been very good.

Four days earlier, at West Ham, it was better despite the defeat and, although we were beaten again, this was a much better away performance than we’d previously seen.

Our only goal on the road had come from the penalty spot at Southampton, but we put that right in the 21st minute when Ashley Barnes scored from close range after the ball had come into the box from the left via Scott Arfield and George Boyd. Unfortunately the lead lasted only six minutes when Dele Alli converted a Kyle Walker cross.

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We started the second half the better of the two sides although Spurs did come back. However, it was an even contest until fate played its hand. Moussa Sissoko has just come on for Mousa Dembélé when he received a yellow card for a foul on Stephen Ward.

Referee Kevin Friend got it wrong; it should have been a red, and within a minute the player had set up Danny Rose to score the winner.

The search for an away win continued for some time after that, but this game certainly signalled a real change in our performances away from home and we weren’t often second best for the remainder of the season.

The teams were;

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose (Ben Davies 77), Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembélé (Moussa Sissoko), Harry Winks, Dele Alli (Son Heung-min 73), Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane. Subs not used: Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Kevin Wimmer.

Burnley: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, George Boyd (Michael Kightly 83), Jeff Hendrick, Dean Marney (Steven Defour 84), Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes (Sam Vokes 80), Andre Gray. Subs not used: Paul Robinson, Jon Flanagan, Tendayi Darikwa, James Tarkowski.

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