Tottenham Hotspur will look to move up to the fourth spot in the Premier League table when they play hosts to Burnley this weekend.

With just two more rounds of fixtures left to be played in the 2021/22 Premier League season, the top-four race is still far from over, with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur still battling it out for the fourth spot. And Antonio Conte’s men will get an opportunity to get their noses in front and heap pressure on their local rivals when they lock horns with Burnley at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday noon.

Tottenham kept their hopes of finishing in the top four alive after securing a comfortable 3-0 victory over Arsenal on Thursday night, riding on goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. The victory helped the Lilywhites close down the gap to the fourth-placed Gunners to just one point.

With Mikel Arteta’s scheduled for a tricky fixture against Newcastle United on Monday, Spurs can claim the fourth place for themselves heading into the final matchday. Standing in Tottenham’s way will be a resilient Burnley side, who beat them 1-0 in the reverse fixture in February and have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes under caretaker manager Mike Jackson but are still facing the threat of relegation.

Indeed, Burnley went on a four-game unbeaten run over the past month (W3 D1) to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, but that streak was snapped by Aston Villa last weekend. The Clarets are level on points with 18th-placed Leeds United but have a game in hand to pull themselves away from danger and secure their Premier League status for another season.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Cristian Romero is out for the season after picking up a hip injury against Liverpool last weekend. He joins Japhet Tanganga, Matt Doherty, Sergio Reguilon and Oliver Skipp out on the sidelines for Tottenham. Despite a quick turnaround between fixtures, Antonio Conte is unlikely to make any changes to the side that defeated Arsenal in the North London Derby earlier this week.

There is no looking past captain Hugo Lloris between the sticks for Tottenham. He will be shielded by a three-man defensive unit as usual, with Davinson Sanchez filling in for the injured Romero alongside Eric Dier and Ben Davies. Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon are the only fit wing-backs available at the manager’s disposal and ought to start on the right and left sides, respectively.

Rodrigo Bentancur has been a solid addition to the Tottenham midfield unit since arriving in January from Juventus. He will hold the fort in the centre of the park alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, with the pair looking to force turnover of possession and play forward passes to initiate attacks.

Harry Kane will be the leader of the Tottenham attack and will look to add to his impressive tally against Burnley. He will once again be partnered by the lively Dejan Kulusevski on the right and in-form man Son Heung-min on the left. Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura will provide options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son

Burnley

Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood and Matej Vydra have been ruled out for the season. But there is some positive news for Burnley as Jack Cork, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, and Jay Rodriguez have returned to training and might play some part in the Clarets’ remaining three fixtures of the season.

Burnley have done away with their defence first philosophy under caretaker boss Mike Jackson and have been trying to play more on the front foot. Whether they stick to the same tactics at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium or revert to a more defensive approach will be interesting to see. What is certain is that the Clarets have what it takes to frustrate their hosts on Sunday noon.

Nick Pope will guard the goal as usual for Burnley. And even though Tarkowski and Mee have resumed light training, they are unlikely to be rushed back, with Nathan Collins and Kevin Long likely to pair up at the heart of the defence. Connor Roberts and Charlie Taylor ought to line up as the full-backs, who will have their hands full against the dual threat of Spurs’ wide forwards and wing-backs.

The fit-again Cork should pair up alongside Josh Brownhill in the centre of the park and look to protect the defence while also charging forward during the attacking phases.

Dwight McNeil is back in the scheme of things after seemingly falling out of favour under Sean Dyche. The ex-Manchester United trainee should start on the right flank and look to make the most of the space left behind by Ryan Sessegnon. Former Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon is likely to occupy the left wing. Wout Weghorst and top-scorer Maxwel Cornet will form the two-pronged strikeforce.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Roberts, Collins, Long, Taylor; McNeil, Brownhill, Cork, Lennon; Weghorst, Cornet

Key Stats

  • Tottenham are undefeated in their last nine Premier League home matches against Burnley (W8 D1). The Lilywhites won the previous three by an aggregate scoreline of 10-0.
  • Burnley are looking to complete their first league double over Tottenham since 1974/75, which was also the last campaign in which they defeated the north London giants away from home.
  • Since Antonio Conte took over, Tottenham have earned 50 points in the Premier League. Only Manchester City and Liverpool have collected more during this period. Furthermore, Spurs have netted 54 league goals during the Italian’s reign, a tally only bettered by the top two teams in the table.
  • Maxwel Cornet is Burnley’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League this term, with eight strikes to his name.
  • Tottenham Hotspur superstar Harry Kane has been involved in 11 goals in 11 Premier League matches against Burnley, netting eight and setting up three for his teammates.

Player to Watch

Son Heung-min

One of the most underrated stars in the Premier League, Son Heung-min is enjoying a fine 2021/22 campaign. The Tottenham Hotspur forward has 21 league goals and is just one behind Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot award. 

Son has been in red-hot form heading into the final phase of the campaign. The 29-year-old has been involved in six goals in his last three league matches (four goals, two assists) and was one of the chief tormentors for Arsenal earlier this week. He will be looking to carry forward in the same vein of form and add a couple of goals to his tally to pull ahead of Salah in the battle for the Golden Boot.

Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Burnley

Burnley have enjoyed a good run over the past month or so, which has helped them push out of the drop zone. However, they will be coming against a Tottenham Hotspur side whose morale will be sky high after the derby victory. Son Heung-min is in unstoppable form of late, and Harry Kane was also among the goals last time out. As a result, it is hard to look past a win for Antonio Conte’s men on Sunday, which will take them to the fourth spot.

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