Huddersfield Town will play its final game of the calendar year as it welcomes Burnley to the John Smith’s Stadium for the 21st game of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.
David Wagner’s side played two games over the festive period with both games ending in a 1-1 draw. Laurent Depoitre headed home an equaliser in the first game against Southampton at St Mary’s before Tom Ince grabbed his first Premier League goal of the season, only to see it cancelled out by second half substitute Ramadan Sobhi for Stoke City on Boxing Day.
The Clarets currently sit in 7th place in the Premier League table having amassed 33 points from their opening twenty games. Sean Dyche’s side has only conceded 17 goals all season, only bettered by the top three sides in the League.
In their last game, Burnley took a shock two-goal first half lead over Manchester United as Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour fired the Clarets ahead at Old Trafford; before a second half brace from Jesse Lingard ensured the spoils were shared at two goals apiece.
Sean Dyches’ side have an impressive away record that includes four wins, two draws and two defeats from their eight away games this season, including an opening day 3-2 victory over reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford bridge.
This is Burnley’s second consecutive season of Premier League football, having initially achieved promotion to the top flight in the 2015/16 season finishing on 89 points and securing automatic promotion spot alongside Middlesbrough in the Championship. Sean Dyche lead his side to safety last season finishing in 16th place racking up forty points across the season ensuring safety for another year in the Premier League.
Only Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe surpass Sean Dyche’s five-year reign at the Clarets, in his time he has guided his side to Premier League promotion on two separate occasions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chris Wood is Burnley’s leading scorer this season scoring on five occasions for the Clarets. Their record signing joined from Town’s West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United in the summer for a reported £15million fee having netted 27 goals in the Championship last season.
Having scored a memorable free kick in their last game, Steven Defour plays an integral role to the Burnley system. The Belgium international joined from Anderlecht in 2016 and has scored twice in 42 appearances for the Clarets since joining.
Sean Dyche recruited heavily in the summer ahead of this year’s Premier League campaign introducing seven new faces and breaking the Club’s transfer record along the way.
Former Huddersfield Town forward Nahki Wells, Chris Wood and former Stoke City forward Jon Walters were all brought in to boost the Clarets firepower. Full-backs Phil Bardsley and Charlie Taylor also came in along with ‘keeper Adam Legzdins and central midfielder Jack Cork.
Four went out in the last transfer window including Micheal Keane and Andre Gray who both left for significant fees along with George Boyd who left on a free transfer and goalkeeper Paul Robinson who retired from Professional football.
BURNLEY’S LAST STARTING XI (4-1-4-1):
GK: Nick Pope
DL: Charlie Taylor
DC: Ben Mee
DC: Kevin Long
DR: Phil Bardsley
CDM: Jack Cork
LM: Scott Arfield
CM: Steven Defour
CM: Jeff Hendrick
RM: Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
FW: Ashley Barnes
TEAM NEWS - TOWN
David Wagner will give an update on the availability of his squad in Friday’s pre-match Press Conference.
Elias Kachunga (knee), Philip Billing (ankle) and Jon Gorenc Stanković (knee) are all out with their respective injuries and are unlikely to be ready in time for Saturday’s game.
TEAM NEWS – BURNLEY
James Tarkowski will miss the game as he sits out the third and final match of his three-game suspension.
Club record Chris Wood is a doubt having sat out their recent draw against Manchester United having been taken off with an injury during his side’s recent game against Tottenham Hotspur. Long-term absentees Tom Heaton and Robbie Brady are unlikely to return in time whereas Stephen Ward could also be a doubt having missed out the Man Utd game with a knee problem
Huddersfield Town will wear the blue and white striped home kit for this Saturday’s game.
Tickets for this game are sold out, but supporters can still get a ticket using the Terrier Exchange. Please CLICK HERE for more information on the Exchange.
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