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Burnley v Crystal Palace tonight means the Premier League’s longest serving manager will be coming up against the league’s oldest manager.

Roy Hodgson is now aged 73 and has been in charge at Palace for over three years. In his two previous visits to Turf Moor as Palace boss he’s gone back with all three points but he was quick to point out that it means nothing ahead of tonight’s game.

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“It’s only a few matches into the season and they’ve played one game less than us,” Hodgson said. “I don’t pay too much attention to that. In fact, I think last season they were quite lower down for long periods of the season and then they had a fantastic spurt and finished above us in the table.

“I pay far more attention to the quality of the team and what they are capable of doing. And the fact we have won there in the past, doesn’t mean you are going to win the next time around.”

I think most  would consider Wilfried Zaha to be a major threat tonight and Hodgson said of his talisman: “He is in very good form; he is playing very, very well and I’m pretty sure Burnley will be aware of that and working hard to stop him. He has been playing upfront for us in some sort of front position for all of that period of time that I’ve been here. He’s never really played as an out and out winger.

“He has always been dangerous. I think the major difference this year, and the fact he is attracting the sort of attention he is, is the fact that he has scored five goals and has two assists. Whereas in the past he has helped us win games but maybe not been on the scoresheet quite as often.”

Sean Dyche has seen his Burnley team start the season without a win with Sheffield United the only team below us in the table. With two draws in the last two away games, and with two clean sheets, he’ll be looking for at least that against Crystal Palace.

He said: “I think we’re showing some form of being back to what we should be. We’ve got to create better quality of chances, I believe that, but I think the shape of the team and the energy of the side has been very good. We’re just beginning to get the form back to what we think we can be. Some key players are still missing or will get back to true fitness, but I think we’re beginning to show signs again.

“I have spoken to the players before the international break and during it with the players who were left here. It’s about going and making things happen. You can’t wait in the Premier League. You can’t wait in football in general, but you definitely can’t wait in the Premier League for things to come your way. We’ve got to make it come our way and make results come our way. That’s a clear focus from me going into the players and going into the next game.”

The international breaks are over now until March and Dyche admitted: “I think it’s helpful. I’ve never questioned players going on international duty. I think it’s a great honour, but it does give us a focus on what we need to clear our minds to and the task in front of us.

“That hasn’t been lacking. I think there have been other things that have got in the way of our form, but we do have to take responsibility for what comes next, including myself of course. I think it does give us the clear view to get on with our workload and take it into the games and supply the performances that can get us results.”

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