Home again as search for a win continues
Following Wednesday’s defeat against Liverpool we are back home this afternoon against Brighton as we go looking for only our third Premier League win of the season and our first since beating Cardiff at the end of September
There’s been much talk this week of our current situation compared to a year ago. We’ve scored 14 goals and conceded 32 with our nine points leaving us in 19th place. A year ago we’d just lost at Leicester, we’d scored the same number of goals but conceded only 12 and we were seventh with the next two games both won 1-0 which took us to Proudsville. Incredibly, our six home goals is more than at this stage last season.
But the negativity has definitely turned to positivity following our game with Liverpool. The result certainly didn’t reflect the performance and this was probably as well as we’ve played at home this season since the first half against Watford.
Ben Mee, who has ridiculously received more publicity for one 100% fair challenge than for his overall performance, got it absolutely right when he said: “Having played like that, that’s now got to become the norm again, along with points to go with it. We know with the situation we are in, in the table, we have to start winning again soon and hopefully that will start against Brighton on Saturday.
“I think a similar level of performance will give us a good chance of doing that, but we must make it happen and not drop off from the level we showed on Wednesday night. If we can do that, I’m positive about what’s coming up.”
It’s a while since we beat Brighton. That last victory came on Good Friday 2012 when a Charlie Austin goal midway through the first half gave us a 1-0 win. Sam Vokes, who had been on loan at Burnley earlier in the season, started that game but was replaced after an hour with Ashley Barnes coming on.
Since then, there have been three draws and a defeat at home with two draws and two losses away. All of the last five games between us have ended in draws, the two in the Premier League last season both ending 0-0 leaving Michael Keane, with the one that counted, the last player to score in this fixture.
Sean Dyche made five changes on Wednesday as he went looking for a winning formula. He didn’t get the win but the performance would suggest there won’t be much change this afternoon. Steven Defour was ruled out of that game with an injury. He’s rated doubtful today so I would think there is every chance we will line up with the same eleven.
Wednesday’s team was: Joe Hart, Phil Bardsley, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Robbie Brady, Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood. Subs: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon, Matěj Vydra, Sam Vokes.
There is no doubt that Brighton have done well since winning promotion in 2017. They ended last season in 15th place with 40 points, some distance from the bottom three, and it was only defeat in each of their final two games that saw them drop four places when a top half place looked possible.
Currently, they are in the top half. They sit 10th with 21 points, just two points behind sixth place Everton. They’ve done particularly well at home where their only defeat has come against Spurs. Away from home, they have been beaten twice but have recorded two wins. They won at Newcastle in October and recorded a 2-1 victory at Huddersfield last Saturday, the first time they’ve come from behind to win a Premier League game.
Shane Duffy and Florin Andone (pictured above) scored their goals at Huddersfield but Duffy won’t play today having ridiculously got himself sent off in their win against Palace four days ago for head butting Patrick van Aanholt while the game was stopped.
Romanian striker Andone came on for the injured Glenn Murray to score his second Brighton goal, a player who we were linked with in August last year, the speculation going as far as Sky reporting that we’d made an offer of €13 million to his then club Deportivo La Coruna.
He’s very likely to start today with Murray likely to be ruled out with a shoulder injury. It’s a similar situation for José Izquierdo who remains doubtful with a knee problem. Brighton do though welcome back Dale Stephens, a player who was all but a Burnley player in the summer of 2016. He’s just completed a three match ban.
Their team against Palace last Tuesday was: Mat Ryan, Martín Montoya, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Bernardo, José Izquierdo, Davy Propper, Yves Bissouma, Solly March, Pascal Groß, Glenn Murray. Subs: Jason Steele, Gaëtan Bong, Beram Kayal, Jürgen Locadia, Leon Balogun, Anthony Knockaert, Florin Andone.
LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE
It ended 0-0 at Turf Moor last season, just as it had done at the Amex, and it brought us our 54th and final point of the 2017/18 season on the day when we all but guaranteed our place in the Europa League qualifiers.
This was very much the sort of game that had 0-0 stamped on it very early with very little goal mouth action. Kevin Long hit a post with a left foot shot before it cannoned off Lewis Dunk’s arm. Roger East, who had an appalling afternoon, actually got this one right, and allowed play to go on.
But our game had been as disappointing as any we’d been involved in all season.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward, Aaron Lennon (Georges-Kévin NKoudou 72), Ashley Westwood (Jeff Hendrick 81), Jack Cork, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Chris Wood (Sam Vokes 66), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Tom Heaton, Phil Bardsley, Charlie Taylor, Nahki Wells.
Brighton: Mat Ryan, Bruno Saltor (Ezequiel Schelotto 89), Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Gaëtan Bong, Anthony Knockaert, Beram Kayal, Dale Stephens, José Izquierdo (Solly March 85), Pascal Groß, Leonardo Ulloa (Glenn Murray 67). Subs not used: Tim Krul, Connor Goldson, Jürgen Locadia, Markus Suttner.Share this page :