PREVIEW: BURNLEY vs BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
Burnley vs Brighton and Hove Albion
Venue: Turf Moor
Referee: Roger East
Brighton make the long trip up to Burnley this Saturday afternoon for what is a pivotal game in their bid to cement their Premier League status. Brighton currently find themselves seven points above the relegation zone but have not won in five league games.
Chris Hughton’s team have been handed a particularly tricky run-in with their final three games of the season, coming up against Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.
A win against Burnley would take them up to 39 points. Almost certainly enough to keep them up in this particular season. Burnley, however, will be looking to cement their Europa League aspirations. With Southampton being knocked out the FA cup, 7th place is now enough to guarantee Europa League football.
Sean Dyche’s men have had a truly remarkable season. They are nine points clear of Everton in 8th and find themselves only four behind Arsenal.
Ashley Barnes will be looking to score his 7th goal in nine matches to continue his remarkable end of season form. During the January transfer window there were rumours that Chelsea were interested in the Austria youth player, and Sean Dyche may be struggle to keep hold of him this Summer.
Neither team have any fresh injury worries. Davy Propper will complete his suspension for Brighton whilst Scott Arfield could possibly make a come back from injury for Burnley.
In any other season both Dyche and Hughton could be contenders for manager of the season. What they have done with their respective squads and budgets is nothing short of remarkable.
From guiding Burnley to European football and keeping Brighton in the Premier League at the first time of asking, they are paving the way for British managers and constantly raising our expectations of our homegrown managerial talent.
Predicted Starting XIs
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward; Westwood, Cork, Gudmunsson; Wood, Barnes
Brighton: Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, Izquierdo; Gross, Murray
Prediction: Burnley 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Written by Dom Clarke.