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Burnley are back on the road tomorrow with a trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace where it’s been all change this week since their 1-1 draw at Everton last Monday with Roy Hodgson, who had been taken ill last Friday, standing down and replaced by Oliver Glasner.

Never mind Palace, it’s critical now that we start winning games and plenty of them if we can have any thoughts of staying up. Along with Sheffield United, we look doomed, with both of us on thirteen points. The lowest number any team has ever had at this stage of a Premier League season and survived is seventeen which shows just how difficult, or near impossible, it is.

Luton, who went up with us and the Blades last season, occupy the other relegation slot with twenty points, behind Everton on goal difference. Everton are the confusion in it all right now. Without a points deduction they’d be sitting safety in twelfth place and presumably well clear of any relegation threat.

That leaves Palace with Brentford and Nottingham Forest, the two teams either side of them, as the next most vulnerable and they are all running at a point per game right now or very close to it and that suggests, should Everton win their appeal, it’s going to take a minimum of 36 points for a team to stay up which would leave us needing a further 23 points from our remaining thirteen games.

It’s been difficult all season but last week’s shocking 5-0 home defeat against Arsenal has tipped the scales even more against us in the eyes of the supporters with those present last week either leaving dumbstruck or having gone home long before the end.

That was the worst of the season. We plummeted horrifically against one of the best teams in the league currently and just had no answer to them. The defeat could have been by far more than five goals too.

I suppose going to Palace might be considered one of the best places to go to when a result is needed. It will be our eighth Premier League visit there and so far we’ve won three, drawn two and lost two. Our last defeat there came at the beginning of December 2018 when goals from James McArthur and Andros Townsend gave them a 2-0 win.

We’d previously won there in the Premier League two seasons earlier when Ashley Barnes and Andre Goals gave us a 2-0 win and our only victory away from home all season. Since that last defeat, we’ve won twice with both of them behind closed doors. Ben Mee scored in a 1-0 win in June 2020 and there were goals from Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Jay Rodriguez and Matt Lowton in the following season as we won 3-0, the stunner from Lowts winning the Up the Clarets Goal of the Season award.

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One way or another, we have to find a fourth victory there in this league and we could see a return for Jay Rodriguez who came on last week and at least showed the Burnley fans that he cared. He admitted: “It’s going to be a tough game. it’s always tough when you play at Palace, but we’ve got to go there and really work hard to get the points. We have to give everything. We have to leave everything out on that pitch, be really competitive in every moment of the game from the first to the last minute.”

Vincent Kompany surprised us all last week when he named an unchanged team. That’s something he won’t be doing tomorrow with Aaron Ramsey definitely out of the running. He was stretchered off last week and yesterday Kompany confirmed his season was over and that most of the rest of 2024 would be. He didn’t confirm the injury but it’s clearly an anterior cruciate ligament rupture and we can hope his recovery goes well and he eventually returns fully fit.

He joins Nathan Redmond, whose season is also over, on the injured list which continues to include Jordan Beyer, Luca Koleosho and Lyle Foster. Koleosho was injured at Wolves in December and we were told that it was long term and Foster had surgery although shouldn’t be out too long.

Beyer’s issue is a strange one. He went down early in the game at Aston Villa at the end of last year and it was clearly something the bench were aware of given they were getting Hannes Delcroix ready even before the medical staff had reached Beyer in the penalty box. He’s now missed a further six games, five in the league and the FA Cup tie at Spurs, but the manager said he looks like he’s progressing well although didn’t want to put a date on his return. He was more positive about Mike Trésor, revealing that he’s had some unfortunate things including illness, but hoped that he’ll be available again for this game.

A reminder that the team against Arsenal last week was: James Trafford, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Hannes Delcroix, Aaron Ramsey, Sander Berge, Josh Brownhill, Wilson Odobert, Zeki Amdouni, David Datro Fofana. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Vitinho, Charlie Taylor, Josh Cullen, Jack Cork, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Manuel Benson, Jay Rodriguez.

Things have not gone to plan for Palace this season although they still sit five points clear of the drop zone in fifteenth place in the table. It’s been clear for some time that Roy Hodgson would be leaving as their manager at the end of the season but big defeats against Brighton and Chelsea led to speculation that he was about to be replaced by Oliver Glasner.

Then, seven days ago, Roy fell ill during training and was admitted to hospital, but by the time they played at Everton last Monday, Glasner had been appointed with Hodgson having stood down, bringing to an end his second spell as Palace boss and most likely an end to an incredible managerial career that began at Halmstad in 1976 and saw him take charge of six different English league clubs, four national teams including England and big clubs such as Inter Milan.

Glasner, considerably younger than his predecessor at 49, has managed in his native Austria and in Germany at both VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt who he left at the end of last season. He’s become the third Premier League appointment since the start of this season, following Chris Wilder at Sheffield United and Nuno Espirito Santo at Nottingham Forest.

We take on a Palace side who have won six times this season, three at Selhurst Park and three on the road, The home wins have come against Wolves, Brentford and Sheffield United while the away victories have been claimed at Sheffield United, Manchester United and Burnley.

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They’ve scored just 28 league goals this season, that’s three more than us. Olise and Odsonne Édouard (pictured above) have both scored six and Eze has hit the net five times.

In his first press conference, he confirmed that none of Marc Guéhi, Will Hughes, Cheick Doucouré, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, all of whom were missing at Everton with various injuries, were likely to be ruled out again and that he would probably have the same squad to select from.

The Palace team at Everton was: Sam Johnstone, Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Chris Richards, Daniel Muñoz, Jefferson Lerma, Adam Wharton, Tyrick Mitchell, Jordan Ayew, Odsonne Édouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta. Subs: Dean Henderson, James Tomkins, Matheus França de Oliviera, Nathaniel Clyne, Naouirou Ahamada, Jairo Riedewald, David Ozoh, Franco Umeh-Chibueze, Jadan Raymond.

It’s not the first time we’ve been to Palace immediately after they’ve appointed a new manager. Back in 2001, after Steve Bruce had walked out on them, they were welcoming new boss Trevor Francis. We won 2-1 that day with Ian Moore scoring both our goals with their goal scored by Clinton Morrison. I think we’d all take the same result tomorrow.

 

LAST TIME WE WERE THERE

 

Were things beginning to look up for us? In the previous week we’d won at Brighton and beaten Spurs at home to move off the bottom of the table and up to eighteenth. Leeds and Everton were getting closer and for the first time in weeks there was real hope that we might pull ourselves out of the bottom three.

Unfortunately, we were behind after just nine minutes. Michael Olise got the better of Dwight McNeil and his low cross was met by Jeffrey Schlupp who made no mistake from close range. It led to a disappointing first half that ended with us a goal down.

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The second half couldn’t have started any better for us and we were level after just 37 seconds. Wout Weghorst and Aaron Lennon worked the ball out to Connor Roberts on the right and his cross found its way back to him. His second ball in saw Jay Rodriguez find Lennon with a superb cushioned header and Lennon’s ball back in deflected off Luka Milivojević.

Twice we came close to a winner. Weghorst had a header tipped over by Jack Butland and then when he did score he had it ruled out by a tight offside flag, although VAR confirmed it was the correct decision.

It was a good second half for the Clarets but little did we know that the next four games, three of them at home, would all be lost without us scoring a goal.

The teams were;

Crystal Palace: Jack Butland, Nathaniel Clyne, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guéhi, Tyrick Mitchell, Conor Gallagher, Luka Milivojević (Jean-Philippe Mateta 60), James McArthur, Michael Olise, Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp (Cheikhou Kouyaté 84). Subs not used: Vicente Guaita, Martin Kelly, Will Hughes, Eberechi Eze, Jordan Ayew, Chrisian Benteke, Odsonne Édouard.

Burnley: Nick Pope, Connor Roberts, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Erik Pieters (Charlie Taylor 60), Aaron Lennon, Josh Brownhill, Jack Cork (Ashley Westwood 60), Dwight McNeil, Wout Weghorst, Jay Rodriguez (Ashley Barnes 88). Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Matt Lowton, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Kevin Long, Maxwel Cornet.

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