We’re back home and it’s leaders Hull
A home game has become a rare event recently, and certainly on a Saturday afternoon. We’ve only played one league game on a Saturday afternoon in 2016 and that was the 0-0 draw against Ipswich. Since then, including cup ties, five of our six games have been on the road so it will be good to be back at the Turf tomorrow.
It’s going to be a tough game, no doubt about that with league leaders Hull our visitors. They are top of the league and haven’t dropped a point this calendar year and have only conceded one goal. But they inflicted on us our heaviest Championship defeat for 26 months when they beat us 3-0 at the KC on Boxing Day and we’ll certainly be looking to avenge that result and try to put the top two under some pressure.
We dropped to fourth tonight with Brighton kicking off the weekend with what proved, in the end, to be a comfortable 3-0 win against Brentford,
The journey home from Hull was initially a subdued one, partly because of the result and also because we knew we were off through the floods again, but it hadn’t been a good performance and left us with 38 points at the half way stage of the season, probably good enough if repeated to get us into the play-offs but no more.
It really has been positive since then and the goals, apart from the Ipswich game, have flown into the net at regular intervals.
George Boyd has netted a couple of those goals, in the away wins at MK and Brentford, and it was no surprise that he took centre stage for the media yesterday given we are playing his former club.
He said: “It is always nice to see a few familiar faces but we know how important it is to win the game on Saturday to close the gap. Steve Bruce will be looking to get one over on us, but we are confident that we can get the win and make a move on those top two places.
“I think you would have to say that we are two of the most in-form sides at the minute and it should be a great game. The last three or four games have been brilliant and the win against Derby at home was important against a team in and around us. It is important again on Saturday against Hull to get the three points and close the gap.”
Boyd is one of two former Hull players in the squad, the other being Dean Marney, but he’ll be missing again. He’s back on the grass after his calf problem but not yet ready to be included.
I don’t envisage any changes from Tuesday but new signing James Tarkowski could be on the bench. He’s played once on the Turf this season, for Brentford in our 1-0 win back in August, and he’s also lined up for Brentford against Hull at Griffin Park, a game Hull won 2-0 at the beginning of November.
I expect us to line up: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, George Boyd, Joey Barton, David Jones, Scott Arfield, Sam Vokes, Andre Gray. Subs from: Paul Robinson, Tendayi Darikwa, Michael Duff, James Tarkowski, Fredrik Ulvestad, Matt Taylor, Michael Kightly, Rouwen Hennings.
Hull, like us, were in FA Cup action last week. Whilst we were going out at Arsenal they won 3-1 at Bury to win themselves a 5th round tie at the Emirates against Arsenal. Unlike us, they didn’t quickly rearrange the league game they should have played against Brighton at home. That won’t be played until a week on Tuesday, 16th February.
Hull were relegated with us at the end of last season. They showed horrific form in the run in with six defeats in eight games going into the last game against Manchester United. It meant an 18th place finish and relegation.
They lost some players in the summer following relegation, particularly James Chester and Robbie Brady, but they were able to strengthen significantly too and like us they raided Brentford to sign Moses Odubajo.
They’ve been consistent this season and have never been out of the top six, and have not been as low as sixth since mid-October. Seven wins in the last nine games eventually took them back to the top with the only losses in that period coming at Rotherham and Preston, either side of their win against us.
Last time out they won 1-0 at Fulham with an Abel Hernandez penalty ten minutes from time. It was his 15th league goal of the season with Sam Clucas next on five goals.
It is thought Hull could name the side that played in that win with Nick Powell, since signed on loan from Manchester United, set for a place on the bench.
Their team could be: Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo, Curtis Davies, Abel Hernandez, Robert Snodgrass, Sam Clucas, Harry Maguire, Jake Livermore, Mohamed Diame, Isaac Hayden, Andrew Robertson. Subs from: Eldin Jakupovic, Ryan Taylor, Shaun Maloney, Sone Aluko, Ahmed Elmohamady, Alex Bruce, Tom Huddlestone, Nick Powell.
LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE
It was the second week in November 2014 when Hull last pitched up at Turf Moor. They had eleven points from their first ten games of the season and they were in 14th place although only two points clear of Leicester who were in the highest placed relegation position.
We were down in bottom place. In our first ten games we’d drawn four, three of them successive 0-0 draws, and lost the other six. Things weren’t looking too good for us and Hull arrived with manager Steve Bruce shouting from the roof tops that they did not want to be the first team to lose against Burnley.
We nearly went in front in the first minute. Danny Ings got past James Chester but shot just wide. It signalled a good first half from the Clarets and we were so unfortunate not to get a goal. I thought we had at one point but the goal decision system used in the Premier League rightly ruled that it hadn’t quite crossed the line.
In an earlier home game against West Ham we’d dominated the first half only to go in level at half time with the score 0-0 and the same happened here. Against West Ham they came out a different side and went on to beat us 3-1.
The big moment came five minutes into the second half. Stephen Ward and Ings linked down the left for Ashley Barnes to get in a shot from the edge of the box. It was blocked but went out to Kieran Trippier on the right. This time there was no mistake as his cross was met by Barnes who headed home.
It was only the second time we’d gone in front all season. The previous occasion had wounded Chelsea in our opening match but this time it proved to be enough to win the game for us.
We never looked like losing the lead and the only nervousness seemed to be in the stands. But at the final whistle the home fans could finally celebrate a Premier League victory.
The teams were;
Burnley: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Stephen Ward, Scott Arfield (Michael Kightly 55), Dean Marney, David Jones, George Boyd, Danny Ings, Ashley Barnes (Lukas Jutkiewicz 75). Subs not used: Matt Gilks, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Nathaniel Chalobah, Marvin Sordell.
Hull: Steve Harper, James Chester (Hatem Ben Arfa 59), Paul McShane, Ahmed Elmohamady, Tom Huddlestone (Gaston Ramirez 51), Mohamed Diame, Jake Livermore, Robbie Brady, Sone Aluko (Stephen Quinn 51), Abel Hernandez. Subs not used: Eldin Jakupovic, Liam Rosenior, Andrew Robertson, David Meyler.Share this page :