Tottenham Hotspur travel to Turf Moor this weekend, to face a tricky Burnley side as Mauricio Pochettino’s men look to close the gap at the top of the table.

Tottenham’s most recent outing in the Premier League came on 10th February when they comprehensively beat Leicester City 3-1 to keep their place in the title race alive. Tottenham can make an impact with a win over Burnley as Liverpool are not in action until Sunday while Manchester City are busy with the Carabao Cup Final.

Tottenham, however, will be wary of the Clarets, knowing very well the difficulty they might have to endure to break up Sean Dyche’s defence. In the reverse fixture this season at Wembley, a Christian Eriksen goal right at the end of playing time was needed to beat Burnley, and Tottenham will be motivated to wrap things early this time around.

After finishing in a promising position last season, Burnley started proceedings this time out in dire circumstances, losing 13 and drawing three of their first 19 games. A major blow was struck when they lost 5-1 at home to Everton on Boxing Day. However, since then Sean Dyche’s men have collected 15 points of a possible 21 helping them rise up to 15th spot in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone.

Burnley’s rise in form since Christmas saw them go seven games undefeated – only Manchester United went more games unbeaten in that period. However, the visit of Tottenham could prove to be a difficult test for the Clarets, who since beating Liverpool in August 2016, have collected only two points of a possible 42 against Big Six sides at home.

Team News & Tactics

Burnley

Sean Dyche does have a few absentees in his squad ahead of Tottenham’s visit. Burnley remain without Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour for this clash. Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are back in contention after missing Burnley’s 1-3 away win against Brighton last week due to injuries, but neither are likely to start.

Phil Bardsley has been a regular fixture in the team that went on the unbeaten run, and is likely to continue at right-back ahead of Matthew Lowton. No changes are expected in the rest of the backline either, with James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor all definite starters.

Dyche will stick with his standard 4-4-2 formation, with Jeff Hendrick and Dwight McNeil in the wide areas, while Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork will man the centre of the park.

Ashley Barnes, who has scored in each of his last three games for the club including two from the penalty spot, will partner up with Chris Wood in attack.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Barnes, Wood

Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino will be a happy man after star striker Harry Kane resumed training this week, and could return to first-team action well before schedule. However, Pochettino will be wary enough to not risk him so soon, despite a week’s training under his belt, meaning Kane will likely play from the bench rather than from the start against Burnley.

In other news, Ben Davies and Eric Dier have also returned to full training and are in contention to get back into the side after recovering from their respective injury problems. Dele Alli, however, remains sidelined.

Danny Rose is a doubt to feature with an illness and with Davies also only returning to full training recently, Poch could stick with Jan Vertonghen at left-back. Kieran Trippier is in line to start at right-back against his former club ahead of Serge Aurier. Davinson Sanchez should hold onto his slot alongside Toby Alderweireld at the heart of the defence.

Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks have been ever presents in recent matches for Spurs and that is unlikely to change, while Christian Eriksen will be in-charge of the playmaking duties, starting in the No.10 role. Heung-min Son is likely to start up front as Kane is expected to be on the bench, and could partner Fernando Llorente in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2):  Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Sissoko, Dier, Winks; Eriksen; Llorente, Son

Key Stats

  • Burnley are without a win in their last seven Premier League meetings with Tottenham (D2, L5), since winning 4-2 on the final day of the 2009-10 campaign.
  • Tottenham have kept a clean sheet on each of their last three visits to Burnley in the top-flight, winning twice and drawing once.
  • Only Manchester United (9) are on a longer current unbeaten run in the Premier League than Burnley (7).
  • Burnley have only taken two points from their last 42 available at home against ‘big six’ opponents in the Premier League (W0, D2, L12).
  • Tottenham have won 11 Premier League away games this season, already their most in a single campaign in the competition.

Betting Odds

Favourable Bets

1. Tottenham to beat Burnley @ 1.70

Player to Watch

Christian Erkisen

Will he strike again to down the Clarets? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

Will he strike again to down the Clarets? (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty)

It was Christian Eriksen’s late goal that sealed all three points for Tottenham when they met Burnley in the reverse fixture. The Danish International has been in sound form for Spurs this season and everyone expects him to keep it going as his side aims to upset the top two in the table.

Eriksen has been key for Tottenham, especially in Kane’s absence churning out masterful performances regularly for the North London outfit. His ability to create opportunities for Son and Llorente in front of him and the eye for goal will once again be critical for Spurs.

Will he score again and put in a decisive performance to down the Clarets yet again? We’ll have to see, but he sure is the player to keep an eye out on at Turf Moor.

Prediction

Burnley 0-2 Tottenham

Burnley are undoubtedly in a good run of form, and so are Tottenham and Pochettino’s men will be hungry to close the gap at the top. Sean Dyche’s side may have the edge because they are playing at home, but Tottenham’s overall form indicate the team will come through as winners in this clash. While Burnley are more than capable of putting up a fight, expect Spurs to cruise through to a win.

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