Back home and searching for much needed points
The draw in our last home game against Luton Town three weeks ago has left us with only two more opportunities to complete a double over another club this season and one of those is Fulham, our visitors tomorrow.
We won 2-0 at Craven Cottage on the Saturday before Christmas with goals from Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge and, given the opposition and their Turf Moor record, it would usually be a game that we would potentially expect to win, or at least not lose.
There is no team I’ve seen us beat more often at home in the years I’ve been going on the Turf. It’s twenty victories against them in the league with three more to add in the cups. There have only been three draws to add to that but way back in April 1951, approaching a year before I was born, Fulham beat us 2-0 here with two goals scored by Bob Thomas, the last time they picked up a Turf Moor victory.
I suppose it’s not often they have visited us with a much better side but they certainly did in the 1997/98 Chris Waddle season and then a year later when Stan Ternent had taken charge, but we still beat them.
That record will give them no confidence but our home record this season very definitely will. In the eleven games thus far at home in the league, the opposition have nine times gone away with all three points. Only Sheffield United, who we hammered 5-0, and Luton, who got away with a point following a ridiculous goal award right at the end, have not beaten us.
I think we all know we are in a very difficult position with 12 points from our 22 games to date. The closest we’ve had to that in previous Premier League seasons have been 20 in both 2009/10 and 2014/15 and 17 in 2021/22, the three previous relegation seasons.
It’s looking as though it is now beyond a tall order so all we can do is hope that we can start picking up some wins while those just above us continue to drop points on a regular basis.
There will be changes from the match day squad we had out at Manchester City this week. Two of the substitutes, Connor Roberts and Anass Zaroury, both of whom came on as substitutes, are no longer with us for the remainder of the season having joined Leeds and Hull respectively on loan.
They were the only two players to make temporary moves out from our first team squad, other than CJ Egan-Riley, who was surprisingly on the bench for the Luton game, and we have added to our squad since the trip to the Etihad with the loan signings of French defenders Maxime Estève and Lorenz Assignon from Montpellier and Rennes respectively.
Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor and Hannes Delcroix all remained out at City but manager Vincent Kompany suggested that one of them could be fit to resume although didn’t give any clues as to which of the three.
A reminder that we lined up at City: James Trafford, Vitinho, Dara O’Shea, Hjalmar Ekdal, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Sander Berge, Josh Brownhill, Wilson Odobert, Zeki Amdouni, Lyle Foster. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Jack Cork, Josh Cullen, Han-Noah Massengo, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Aaron Ramsey, Anass Zaroury, David Datro Fofana.
Our visitors Fulham are currently thirteenth in the league with 25 points from their 22 games. They would be considerably higher if the league was based on home form; they have won all but six of their points at Craven Cottage.
Away from home it’s very much a different story and only Sheffield United have won less points on the road. Their solitary away win came at Everton on the opening weekend of the season and they’ve since secured draws at Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Brighton. The last of those points was won at Brighton in October and they’ve since lost all five of their away games at Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Chelsea.
Back in December, they recorded successive 5-0 victories in home games against Nottingham Forest and West Ham, but the goals have dried up in the six games since. They’ve failed to score in five of them with the surprise 2-1 win against Arsenal three weeks ago the only time they have scored in that run.
They have, though, scored 28 Premier League goals this season which have been shared across twelve players. Raúl Jiménez leads the way with five, followed by both Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Willian who have both scored four times.
Jiménez is out of tomorrow’s game having suffered an injury in their 0-0 draw against Everton against Tuesday. He could be out for a while but they moved quickly yesterday to bring in Chelsea’s Armando Broja on loan.
They will also be without Issa Diop, Harry Wilson and Adama Traoré while Carlos Vinicius, who was in the squad on Wednesday, has now joined Galatasary on loan. They do have Fodé Ballo-Touré back in the squad having returned from the African Cup of Nations.
Their team against Everton was: Bernd Leno, Timothy Castagne, Tosin Adarabioyo, Issa Diop, Antonee Robinson, João Palhinha, Tom Cairney, Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Andreas Pereira, Willian, Raúl Jiménez. Subs: Marek Rodák, Kenny Tete, Harrison Reed, Tim Ream, Rodrigo Muniz, Saša Lukić, Carlos Vinicius, Tyrese Francois, Kristian Šekularac.
LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE
It’s just over five years since we were last able to attend a Burnley v Fulham game at home. On that occasion we fell behind to an Andre Schürrle goal in the second minute but recovered to win 2-1 with both goals coming in the first quarter of the game from Jeff Hendrick and a Denis Odoi own goal.
They’ve been here once since in the behind closed doors season of 2020/21 and on this occasion it was two goals early in the second half that saw the game end in a 1-1 draw.
Just four minutes into the second half we found ourselves behind. It came from a corner that was flicked on by Joachim Andersen. It bounced off Ola Aina’s chest and from there found its way into the net.
Thankfully, their lead didn’t last long, less than three minutes to be exact. Robbie Brady and Ashley Westwood combined to push a ball forward down the right for Jay Rodriguez who played in Ashley Barnes who seemed to take a heavy first touch with his right foot but then fired home with his left.
We kept the score at that with few concerns but with so many injuries, we really were running out of players as can be seen from the bench we were able to put out. The point kept us in fifteenth place.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (Robbie Brady 39, Josh Brownhill 64), Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Will Norris, Phil Bardsley, Jimmy Dunne, Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson, Joel Mumbongo.
Fulham: Alphonse Areola, Kenny Tete (Antonee Robinson 78), Joachim Andersen, Tosin Adarabioyo, Ola Aina, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Harrison Reed, Mario Lemina (André-Frank Zambo Anguissa 61), Ademola Lookman, Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Ivan Cavaleiro 67), Josh Maja. Subs not used: Marek Rodák, Michael Hector, Denis Odoi, Tim Ream, Josh Onomah, Terence Kongolo.Follow UpTheClarets:
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