Clarets back home for some Fox hunting
We are back at the Turf tonight following our disappointing performance at Spurs, but it’s not been home sweet home recently with none of the last five league and cup games won.
Since coming back from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 3-2, we’ve gone out of the cup at home against Bournemouth, been beaten by league leaders Manchester City but more concerning has been our failure to beat three teams currently below us in the table with us picking up only draws against Brighton, Fulham and more recently West Brom.
In the middle of all that we did win 3-0 at Crystal Palace and they were a vital three points. Without those we’d currently be sat just two points above the drop zone in 17th place. With them, thankfully, we are 15th and incredibly, right now, only two points behind Southampton who not long ago held a thirteen point advantage over us.
A win tonight would see us go above the Saints but of more importance it would give us extra breathing space above the bottom three. In truth, we have no worries of Sheffield United catching us and shouldn’t about West Brom either, but we don’t want Fulham getting any closer and what a boost it would be to get our advantage over them back up to where it was two or three weeks ago.
In a season where we’ve spent as much time checking out injuries as anything else, it’s been good to see Charlie Taylor back recently after two spells out with a hamstring injury. He returned, crucially, just as Erik Pieters dropped out.
Looking forward to being back home, he added: “It’s always seemed to have been a big game (playing Leicester) and it is another big game. In recent seasons we’ve done well against them, especially at home, and hopefully we can carry that on and get a result against them.”
It’s time for the injury check now. Chris Wood and Dale Stephens were back on the bench at Spurs and both have come through but Sean Dyche wasn’t too positive that any of the other four injured players would be ready. Erik Pieters and Robbie Brady are the closest but he ruled out a return for either Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson or Ashley Barnes.
Wood got around twenty minutes at Tottenham and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the starting eleven tonight in what could be the only change. If he were to come in for Matěj Vydra then I’d expect our team to be: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Chris Wood, Jay Rodriguez. Subs: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Jimmy Dunne, Anthony Glennon, Dale Stephens, Josh Benson, Lewis Richardson, Matěj Vydra.
We are not the only ones with injury problems, Leicester are in a similar position, but before looking at their problems it really does have to be documented what a good season they are having. We played at Leicester in what was our first game of the season; they beat us 4-2 but had already won 3-0 at West Brom. They then followed that up with a 5-2 win at Manchester City on a day when Michael Oliver gave them three penalties, as many as we’ve had in the last two years.
Defeats to West Ham and Aston Villa in the next two games suggested the bubble had burst but not on your life and they come to the Turf in third place in the table after what can only be described as a terrific season for them. They currently have 49 points knowing that victory tonight could take them into second place. They are already five points clear of fifth place Chelsea so looking strong for a Champions League place.
There is talk of Leicester being without eight players through injury although I’m not so sure that will be the case although we do know that the Burnley born Barnes is out and facing surgery. Jonny Evans could also be out although Wesley Fofana is likely to be ready to return and replace him if needed while the latest news is that Jamie Vardy will be available. None of Ayoze Pérez, Dennis Praet or James Maddison are expected to feature.
The Leicester team beaten at home by Arsenal last Sunday was: Kasper Schmeichel, Timothy Castagne, Jonny Evans, Çaglar Söyüncü, Luke Thomas, Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans, Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy. Subs: Danny Ward, Daniel Amartey, Christian Fuchs, Vontae Daley-Campbell, Marc Albrighton, Cengiz Ünder, Hamza Choudhury, Nampalys Mendy, Sidnei Tavares.
LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE
We ‘d just been beaten at Chelsea, a fourth successive defeat in the Premier League while Leicester were bang in form. We’d dropped to 15th in the table and things didn’t look too good when we trailed 1-0 at half time to a Harvey Barnes goal even though we’d played much better than in those recent defeats.
We were close to conceding a second early in the second half but Nick Pope kept us in it with a good save and soon after Chris Wood drew us level when Kasper Schmeichel made a good save to deny Ben Mee following a corner only for the goalkeeper to find Wood’s right foot and he stabbed it home.
Confidence had been restored and we went on a remarkable run from January that saw us lose only once, and that at Manchester City, until Brighton beat us in the final game of the season.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hendrick, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Jay Rodriguez, Chris Wood (Aaron Lennon 90+3). Subs not used: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, Erik Pieters, Robbie Brady, Matěj Vydra.
Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans, Ҫaglar Söyüncü, Christian Fuchs, Nampalys Mendy, Ajoze Pérez (Kelechi Iheanacho 74), Dennis Praet (Youri Tielemans 74), James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy. Subs not used: Danny Ward, James Justin, Wes Morgan, Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton.Share this page :