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I’m sure we were all hoping that we’d have more than fourteen points on the board with ten games remaining but that’s where we are with almost title winning form required now to get us out of the bottom three.

As things stand, we are back above Sheffield United on goal difference after last Sunday’s point at West Ham but sit seven points behind Luton and significantly some ten points behind Nottingham Forest who currently occupy that final safe position although they, like Everton one place and one point above them, are both subject to potential points penalties.

You would think the only other team in any potential trouble are now Brentford who are one further point clear of Everton. All of us have now played the same number of games with Luton having caught up with that sensational game at Bournemouth this week when they lost a three goal half time lead and went on to lose 4-3.

I’m usually glass half full but right now I think you’d have to be glass overflowing to have any confidence of staying up but miracles do happen. Just nine years ago, Leicester were sat in bottom place on nineteen points with only nine games to play and then won 22 points from those final nine games and actually climbing out of the bottom three on the day they won at the Turf.

I’m not suggesting that is going to happen but we would give ourselves something of a chance if we could go out for the remaining games and play as we did in the first half at West Ham last Sunday. So, whilst very unlikely, nothing is done until it’s done and we have to keep on trying to get some wins on the board.

Midfielder Josh Cullen has been back in the side since coming on as a substitute just after Josh Brownhill received his red card at Crystal Palace. He’s played really well too alongside Sander Berge and last year’s Up the Clarets Player of the Year said ahead of the visit of Brentford: “Brentford at home, we have to go and win the game, it’s as simple as that, and we need to start putting points on the board quickly.

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“We know we have to keep working hard to improve in areas of the game that are costing us at the minute, but we’ll keep fighting and there’s still enough points to play for. I’ve gone on record and said it before the last game, the game before that, every game has to be treated like a cup final now. There’s ten games to go.”

Cullen has surely won himself a place in the starting eleven with those recent performances but we are not sure just who might be available alongside him with manager Vincent Kompany suggesting there could be some positive surprises with players returning from injury.

That left us all guessing but there now seems to be contrasting information from the club’s own website. Kompany ruled out Ameen Al-Dakhil, a player whose injury hasn’t previously been reported, but the club have this morning that he remains a doubt but not definitely out.

They have also said that Lyle Foster and Jordan Beyer, two likely candidates in the surprise list, are still likely to be out alongside Aaron Ramsey, Nathan Redmond and Luca Koleosho.

So, it’s anyone’s guess, but the team last week at West Ham was: James Trafford, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Charlie Taylor, Vitinho, Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Wilson Odobert, David Datro Fofana. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Hannes Delcroix, Jack Cork, Josh Brownhill, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Mike Trésor, Manuel Benson, Zeki Amdouni, Jay Rodriguez.

Brentford arrive at Burnley on a run of five games without a win although during that run they have been beaten by the top three to add to a defeat at West Ham and home draw against Chelsea.

They too have their injury problems but might well have the boost of both Bryan Mbeumo (pictured below) and Sergio Reguilón returning from injuries.

Captain Christian Nørgaard, however, has been ruled out with a back injury sustained last week against Arsenal and he joins an injured list that includes Ethan Pinnock, Aaron Hickey and Kevin Schade not to mention the three players they have ruled out for the rest of the season, namely Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva and former Burnley captain Ben Mee.

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I’m sure it will be a huge disappointment for Mee who also missed the game at Brentford earlier in the season through suspension, and I’m sure it will be a similar disappointment to the Burnley fans who would have like to have had the opportunity to thank him for his outstanding eleven years as a Burnley player.

Brentford are in their third season in the Premier League. Two seasons ago, seven wins from their final eleven games took them away from just three points clear of the drop zone into a comfortable thirteenth place finish with 46 points. Last season was even better, considerably better; they finished ninth with 59 points and were just three points behind Brighton who took sixth place.

This season has not been anything like as good. At the start of November, a third successive win had taken them back into ninth place, but just three wins since has seen them pick up just ten points from seventeen games, the same as us and Sheffield United and less than any other team in the league.

That’s left them in fifteenth place and just five points clear of Luton which has left them in need of some points very quickly if they are to keep themselves out of the battle to stay in the league.

Their team last week at Arsenal was Mark Flekken, Mathias Jorgensen, Krsitoffer Ajer, Nathan Collins, Mads Roerslev, Frank Onyeka, Christian Nørgaard. Vitaly Janelt, Keane Lewis-Potter, Ivan Toney, Yoane Wissa. Subs: Thomas Strakosha, Mathias Jensen, Saman Ghoddos, Mikkel Damsgaard, Shandon Baptiste, Yehor Yarmoliuk, Ji-Soo Kim, Benjamin Arthur, Neal Maupey.

 

LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE

 

It’s the only previous occasion we’ve bet at Turf Moor in a Premier League game. We’d made a disappointing start to the 2021/22 season with only four points won in the first nine games which saw us in eighteenth place with Newcastle and Norwich the two teams below us. Brentford, in their first Premier League season, were twelfth with twelve points with eight of those points coming from an unbeaten start to the season away from home.

That all changed on the day with Burnley winning the game 3-1 and it took us just four minutes to get ourselves in front. Dwight McNeil played a cross field ball to Matt Lowton on the right. The right-back played a superb ball forward for Chris Wood. It took a deflection off a defender but that didn’t stop Wood from scoring with his one touch with a shot from the edge of the box.

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We were by the far better side but we had to wait almost half an hour to double our advantage. Lowton was having a stormer and he went on a surging ruin forward, played the ball to McNeil and went for the return. The ball didn’t come but eventually reached Charlie Taylor on the left and Lowton, who had found himself in the box, headed home Taylor’s cross.

Four minutes later and it was 3-0. McNeil found Maxel Cornet on the left. Cornet brought the ball down with his left foot, went inside a defender and from the edge of the box he found the top corner with his right foot.

It was 3-0 at half time and could so easily have been more but we couldn’t add to it in the second half but looked very much in control although Saman Ghoddos pulled one back for Brentford eleven minutes from the end.

The teams were;

Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Dwight McNeil, Chris Wood, Maxwel Cornet (Matěj Vydra 68). Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Erik Pieters, Aaron Lennon, Jack Cork, Jay Rodriguez, Ashley Barnes.

Brentford: Álvaro Fernández, Mathias Jorgensen, Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock, Sergi Canós (Mads Roerslev 77), Frank Onyeka (Saman Ghoddos 58), Christian Nørgaard. Mathias Jensen (Vitaly Janelt 68), Rico Henry, Marcus Forss, Ivan Toney. Subs not used: Matthew Cox, Charlie Goode, Bryan Mbeumo, Tarique Fosu-Henry, Mads Bistrup, Finley Stevens.

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