Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur
Venue: Turf Moor
Referee: Michael Oliver
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
This week’s Monday night fixture sees Spurs travel north to Turf Moor to take on a glum Burnley side currently sitting in the relegation zone.
Four or five matches in and we are beginning to see a small handful of teams that could be in trouble come to the end of the season, and whose managers could face the chopping block before we get into the meat of the campaign. Although Burnley are on just one point in eighteenth place, it’s hard to imagine that the board will lose faith in Sean Dyche and as such most are expecting the current manager to turn the Clarets’ fortunes around.
However, a fixture to Tottenham presents an extremely difficult opportunity to grab any points, especially when taking into account the current form of Spurs’ attackers. Having said that, Burnley have often been renowned for their defensive work as a squad and claimed a clean sheet against West Brom last time out. This could give them the confidence they need to tame the ravenous Kane and Son.
On a positive attacking note, Dwight McNeil has signed a new contract with the Clarets having had a promising start to the season. The youngster excelled last season so will be hoping to be the instigator of some attacking momentum at the club. A lack of signings this window has left the Burnley squad a bit stale, but McNeil could turn out to be worthy compensation for this.
Spurs were absolutely sailing after just sixteen minutes in the West Ham game last week – Kane had picked up two goals and Son one goal. But West Ham pulled off the unthinkable with less than ten minutes left of regular time to draw 3-3. The positives and negatives in this game for Mourinho were as stark as they could possibly be, with Kane and Son’s superiority on one end of the spectrum, and a concentration calamity on the other end.
Perhaps the more overarching positives at Spurs, which shouldn’t be taken for granted, is the fact that injury problems have been few up to now. With the risk of tempting fate, it’s worth mentioning that none of Spurs’ crucial players have suffered serious injuries, which is a promising feat considering the congested fixture list they have trudged through. On top of this, chairman Daniel Levy’s indulgent transfer window has finally left Spurs with a level of depth in the squad.
As such, Tottenham’s next three league games become must-wins. Burnley, Brighton and West Brom have all had fairly dismal starts to the season, shipping plenty of goals between them. If Son and Kane continue their dominance, we could see some more wacky scorelines in Tottenham’s favour in the coming matches.
Ben Mee potentially looks set to return to the squad in the next few weeks, but likely not until after the Tottenham game. The defender has been out since July with a thigh injury. Similarly, Jack Cork has been out since late June and is not likely to be fit for the next few games at least. Elsewhere, Phil Bardsley tested positive for coronavirus last week so will be self-isolating for the upcoming match.
A few knocks picked up over the international break remain in the Spurs squad, with Eric Dier and Lo Celso both picking up fairly minor injuries ahead of the West Ham game. There is certainly a good chance both players will be rested against Burnley. Japhet Tanganga has also been unfortunate with October injuries and will likely not feature on Monday. This could give new signing Joe Rodon a chance to make a debut off the bench.
Predicted Starting XIs
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope; Taylor, Tarkowski, Long, Pieters; McNeil, Brownhill, Westwood, Gudmundsson; Wood, Barnes
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Reguilon, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Aurier; Hojberg, Sissoko; Son, Ndombele, Lucas; Kane
Score prediction: Burnley 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur
This Monday night fixture presents an opportunity for both a clean sheet and a goal fest for Mourinho’s side, with Burnley scoring just three goals and conceding eight in their four matches so far. The Clarets will need a huge collective effort to keep Kane, Son and potentially Gareth Bale at bay.