COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 1st April 2017
VENUE Turf Moor
2.  Mathew LOWTON
5.  Michael KEANE
6.  Ben MEE
7.  Andre GRAY
8.  Dean MARNEY
9.  Sam VOKES
10.  Ashley BARNES
12.  Robbie BRADY
13.  Jeff HENDRICK
16.  Steven DEFOUR
17.  Paul ROBINSON
18.  Ashley WESTWOOD
19.  Joey BARTON
21.  George BOYD
23.  Stephen WARD
26.  James TARKOWSKI
27.  Tendayi DARIKWA
28.  Kevin LONG
29.  Nick POPE
32.  Dan AGYEI
36.  Conor MITCHELL
37.  Scott ARFIELD
PREVIEW Tottenham's trip to Turf Moor sees them visit a lower table team, but won who have a good home record (if you take out the FA Cup loss to Lincoln City that is).  To add to that Spurs have failed to win on their visits to Burnley in their last four matches, which proves that this will not be a simple task of rolling over the Clarets in their own back yard.

We might need some outrageous luck like Arsenal had in winning there earlier this season, but more likely, it will be down to hard work to match Burnley's efforts to shut us down on the ball and trying to hit us on the break.  With some midfielders missing, Burnley might pack that area of the pitch to make it difficult to play through them, but with Walker and Davies wide, there are alternative ways around that.  Dyche has got the side well organised, but the lack of top flight quality lets them down on their travels, when they find it hard to break out of their own half.

They have two sound keepers in England international Tom Heaton and ex-England & Spurs goalie Paul Robinson.  With new England cap Michael Keane in front of them, with Ben Mee alongside him, there is an established partnership, but they do get pulled out of position by better sides and Spurs will need to produce good movement to do that.  Full backs Stephen Ward and Matthew Lowton have good experience, but may suffer against the pace of our attacking full backs. 

Another former Spur, Dean Marney, will be missing with a cruciate injury ruling him out for the rest of the season, but the midfield enforcer Scott Arfield is expected to recover from a knock to play, while Jeff Henrdick has come in from Derby County and added an element of surprise  with industry and artistry, but he does have a dark side to his play.  Steven Defour has only had limited playing time, being a star Belgium international in his time, but Robbie Brady's introduction has also brought some creative ability in midfield.  George Boyd has been a regular at Burnley for a while now, coming up from Stevenage a few years back, with Joey Barton returning from Glasgow Rangers and former Villa man Ashley Westwood also giving some years of Premier League experience to the engine room.

In attack, Andre Gray has been linked with a move to Spurs in the summer and he has a good goal-scoring record, with a knack of popping up in the box to finish off good supply into him.  Sam Vokes has led the line for Wales, but is more of a bit part player at Burnley, with Ashley Barnes preferred to him.  With 31 goals in 29 league games, the rest of the side has to work hard to keep the opposition out.

Spurs need to keep winning to keep the pressure on at the top, even though Chelsea are way out in front, but also to keep the clubs behind them right there.  The side have stepped up their game in Harry Kane's absence, with Eriksen, Alli and Son chipping in with goals to help maintain the position behind the leaders.  It may take a bit of magic to break Burnley's resolve and they played well at the Lane without reward.

Without Rose and Kane, Tottenham look slightly less threatening, but the way they are looking so confident in possession these days, there should be a controlling influence on the game and a win is overdue at Turf Moor for Tottenham.

PREDICTION Burnley    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Burnley
Kevin Long, Dean Marney and  Johann Gudmundsson (all knee) are definitely out of the game,  while Scott Arfield  will be a late consideration after suffering a knee knock.
Harry Kane (ankle), Danny Rose (knee) and Erik Lamela (hip) are all ruled out of the Burnley game, while Vincent Janssen will have a late assessment of his recovery from last week's illness.

Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:25 Sunday]  Also available online.
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Burnley  - (0)  

Premier League
Saturday 1st April 2017
Turf Moor
Tottenham Hotspur  - (0)

Kick off 15:00
None Dier  66m 05s
Son  76m 58s
Keane (foul on Janssen)  47 
Barnes  (foul on Dembele)  77





Crowd :   21,684 Weather :  Warm, sunny
Referee :  Stuart Atwell (Warwickshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. G. Beswick; Mr. D. Bryan
Fourth Official :  Michael Oliver  
Tottenham  kicked off and played towards the Jimmy McIlroy stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Burnley : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Tom HEATON

  2  Matthew LOWTON
  5  Michael KEANE      
  6  Ben MEE
  Stephen WARD

21  George BOYD  (12  Robbie BRADY  75)
19  Joseph BARTON
  Scott ARFIELD  (16  Steven DEFOUR  79)

10  Ashley BARNES     
  7  Andre GRAY  (  9  Sam VOKES  56)

Unused subs: 
19  Ashley WESTWOOD


    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

15  Eric DIER 

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
12  Victor WANYAMA  (19  Mousa DEMBELE  44)
29  Harry WINKS  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  45+2)
33  Ben DAVIES

23  Christian ERIKSEN
20  DELE Alli

  9  Vincent JANSSEN  (  7  Heung-Min SON  73  )

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

  2  Kyle WALKER

14  Georges-Kevin NKOUDOU


Manager :  Sean Dyche Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Dafabet Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

A stultifying first half sprang into life in the second period, when Spurs notched two goals to give them victory and keep on Chelsea's shirt-tails.

With Pochettino playing Janssen up front, Winks in for Dembele and replacing Walker with Trippier, the fans could have wondered if someone was playing an April Fool's joke on them, but  there is a game at Swansea on Wednesday, so with that in mind, it was Poch's squad rotation rather than anything more sinister.

It was a sunny afternoon in the North-West and Turf Moor is an old fashioned ground, with gaps in the stands and proper pies, as we settled down for a contest Spurs had to win (along with the rest of their games this season) to push Chelsea all the way.

Among the early exchanges, Spurs had been looking for the diagonal ball behind the Burnley defenders to the attacking full backs.  It earned a couple of corners, but no real clear chances.  Burnley produced one header from Barnes, on the end of a Lowton long cross, but his header back into the goalmouth was simple for Lloris to claim.  The first effort on goal in anger came in the 17th minute when Eriksen touched aside a free-kick 30 yards out to Toby Alderweireld, who struck it well, with some swerve, but Tom Heaton was right behind the head high shot.

Crosses into the Spurs box were won by Burnley heads, but went wide, while a break just after the half hour gave Spurs a great chance.  Eriksen broke on the left, drilled a shot in across Heaton, who beat it out into the middle of the goal.  Running onto it, Dele Alli looked set to score, but with Keane coming in to pressure him, his shot went wide to the right of the goal.  That was the first time they moved the ball quickly, despite all the possession.  On 35 minutes, they looked to have lost the chance, as Burnley got back behind the ball, but Eriksen ended the move with an effort that came off Keane to fly over the bar.  From the corner, they worked the ball back to Trippier, whose 30 yard effort was always rising over the goal.

A knee in Wanyama's back by Ashley Barnes finished the Kenyan's afternoon's work, especially after a couple of other late challenges on him and the Spurs lost Harry Winks, with what looked like a nasty knee injury, made worse by a drinks cart left by the touchline that the midfielder went over after he fell over the sideline.  With the loss of the two defensive midfielders within minutes, it was going to be tough for Tottenham to break down a resolute Burnley side.

The home club's announcer's downbeat welcome to Tottenham at the start of the second half might have  been an effort to dampen the Spurs fans' ardour, but an early chasing down of a long ball by Janssen saw him pushed over by Keane, who got a booking.  Unfortunately, they were not punished further, as Eriksen's free-kick and follow-up were both charged down.  Janssen showed good awareness when he broke towards the left corner of the penalty area and hit a cross-hot that Heaton saved, but once more pushed out in front of goal, but Moussa Sissoko was crowded out.  In the 53rd minute, Davies played a ball into Janssen in the box and he laid it into the Welshman's path, striking the ball early and pulling another save out of Heaton.

Chances were coming as the tempo of the game stepped up.  Eriksen's 25 yarder didn't trouble Heaton unduly and Barnes turned on the edge of the box to send a shot at Lloris, but it was straight at him.  A better chance came when Dembele won a tackle just inside the Burnley half and sent Janssen away.  He held onto the ball well despite three players around him, but was robbed by Keane's tackle that took the ball to the right into Sissoko's path and his first time shot skewed wide of the goal at Heaton's near post.  A break on the right gave Trippier the chance to cross  to the far post and it was hooked back in, with Barton nearly heading into his own goal, but conceding a corner.  Eriksen swung it in and Keane's poor clearance dropped to Dier, eight yards out and he took one touch before side-footing the ball into a spot wide of the defenders on the line.  It was a calm and composed finish form the central defender and a vital goal in the context of the game.

Suddenly, the runs and space available to Spurs kept Burnley under pressure and the grumbling home fans, who had voiced the injustice of the referee's decisions were suddenly quietened as "When The Spurs Go Marching In" rang around Turf Moor.  But there was still 25 minutes left.  And an up and under free-kick from Burnley produced a chance for Keane after Barnes pushed Dier over.  The Clarets central defender sliced the ball well wide from ten yards out and Arfield had a couple of shots off target.  Spurs could have increased the lead when Eriksen broke away and played the ball left to Son, but pushed him too wide and his shot ended up in the side-netting, with Alli furious in the middle that the Korean shot instead of squaring the ball.  It didn't stop Alli rolling a ball across the box with his first time pass from the right for Son to knock it into an empty net in the next attack.  The ball had been won on the halfway lien and Eriksen's pass set Alli away to create the goal. 

At 2-0, Burnley started to lose it and Barnes was booked for an agricultural hack at Dembele.  Spurs did what they have done to a number of teams and started stretching them, with Alli having a shot blocked and Son getting the rebound stuck under his feet.  Game management came into play, with Spurs passing the ball well and retaining possession, while Burnley struggled to get a foot on the ball.  When they did, it wasn't for long and losing the ball again, Son went left with the ball and then did pass across the box to Dele, who turned past a couple of players, before dragging his shot across the goal and wide of the far post.  Burnley had gone from organised to a shambles, as they consistently turned over possession to Tottenham.  One free-kick into the box brought a punch from Lloris as Vokes tried to clatter him, but the game petered out.

The Spurs players were probably elated to hear Chelsea had lost at home to Crystal Palace to reduce the lead to seven points, but are Tottenham running out of time to catch Chelsea or running out of players ?  While Spurs had to take off Wanyama, Winks and Janssen, the replacements performed well, with Dembele running the midfield, Sissoko doing OK and Son getting on the score-sheet.  With a game in mid-week, it will be interesting to see Mauricio's selection, with those injured probably unlikely to play.  As things stand, we cannot afford to slacken off and drop points in the next few games against sides in the bottom half of the table.

This was a valuable win, with a clean sheet and no bookings, it was just a shame that the injuries marred what was a good away day.

Kevin Murchison




Burnley were a small Lancashire side until they were pitched in alongside the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Preston North End and Accrington Stanley ... but where are those clubs now ?


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2 Saturday
Hull City 2 West Ham United London 1 Saturday
Leicester City 2 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Liverpool 3 Everton 1 Saturday
Manchester United 0 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Southampton 0 Bournemouth 0 Saturday
Watford 1 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2 Sunday
Swansea City 0 Middlesbrough 0 Sunday




League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 29 22 3 4 60 23 69 +37
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 18 8 3 57 21 62 +36
3 Liverpool 30 17 8 5 64 36 59 +28
4 Manchester City 29 17 7 5 57 33 58 +24
5 Manchester United 28 14 11 3 42 23 53 +19
6 Arsenal 28 15 6 7 58 36 51 +22
7 Everton 30 14 8 8 52 33 50 +19
8 West Bromwich Albion 30 12 8 10 39 38 44 +1
9 Stoke City 30 9 8 13 33 44 36 -11
10 Southampton 28 9 7 12 33 35 34 -2
11 Bournemouth 30 9 7 14 42 54 34 -12
12 Watford 29 9 7 13 34 48 34 -14
13 Leicester City 29 9 6 14 35 47 33 -12
14 West Ham United London 30 9 6 15 41 54 33 -13
15 Burnley 30 9 5 16 31 44 32 -13
16 Crystal Palace 29 9 4 16 38 47 31 -9
17 Swansea City 30 8 4 18 36 63 28 -27
18 Hull City 30 7 6 17 28 59 27 -31
19 Middlesbrough 29 4 11 14 20 33 23 -13
20 Sunderland 29 5 5 19 24 51 20 -27

Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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