Tottenham host newly-promoted Burnley at White Hart Lane on Sunday as they look to break back into the Champions League places.
Spurs have failed to replicate the consistency and quality that took them within a whisker of securing the title last season and will have been left disappointed by an early exit from the Champions League. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have one of the best home records in the Premier League this season and are only four points behind Liverpool who current sit in second place. If Tottenham can construct a decent winning run over the Christmas period then they may be able to break back into the top four and start to put some pressure on those sitting near or close to the summit.
Sean Dyche has managed to keep Burnley clear of the relegation zone so far this season but just one point on the road so far this season demonstrates how reliant The Clarets are on their home form. A trip to White Hart Lane will be a daunting prospect but Burnley where unfortunate not to claim a share of the spoils in mid-week when they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of West Ham United.
Tottenham have been blowing hot and cold on the domestic front in recent weeks with comfortable victories over Swansea City (5-0) and Hull City (3-0) being contrasted with defeats at the hands of Manchester United (1-0) and Chelsea (2-1). This means that Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been able to solidify their position just outside the Champions League places but are well short of replicating a genuine title challenge as they did last season. Spurs are certainly a dangerous proposition at White Hart Lane and have yet to lose a Premier League fixture on home soil (securing 6 wins and 2 draws) whilst they also hold the impressive record of having scored in each of their last sixteen home fixtures in the league.
Burnley are currently keeping their noses clear of relegation and have made a solid start to the campaign which sees them sit five points clear of the drop zone. However, The Clarets are almost entirely reliant on their home form and hold the worst away record in the Premier League having secured just one point and scored one solitary goal on the road so far this season. Only Burnley and Leicester have yet to win an away fixture in the Premier League and although Sean Dyche’s side were unlucky not to claim a point at the Olympic Stadium in mid-week, facing Tottenham at White Hart Lane will be an uphill task.
Mauricio Pochettino is expected to name a relatively un-changed side compared to the one that eased past Hull City in mid-week. Moussa Demebele faces a late fitness test and his availability could determine the shape of the team, especially the positioning of Christian Eriksen who played in a deep-lying midfield role last time around. Midfielder Erik Lamela is a long term injury absentee and is not expected to return from a hip problem until the start of the New Year whilst Vincent Janssen is a doubt with an ankle problem.
Burnley have no new injury concerns although Johann Berg Gudmundsson is close to a return after sitting out the last two weeks with a hamstring issue. Sean Dyche’s primary concern will be to find the structure, shape and personnel that will enable The Clarets to start picking up points on the road. Steven Defour, a creative influence in midfield, may be in line for a recall after having to settle for a place on the bench for the previous two fixtures, whilst Andre Gray, Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes are all in contention to lead the attack against Spurs
Tottenham Starting XI
Burnley Starting XI
After making a steady start to the season Christian Eriksen has come alive in recent weeks having scored five goals in his last four appearances, having found the net just once in his previous twenty three games. He is the central creative influence in this current Tottenham side and has been involved in 55 Premier League goals (28 goals and 27 assists) since making his debut in 2013. Burnley are likely to arrive at White Hart Lane on Sunday and you sense that Eriksen will crucial in breaking down the massed ranks of defenders.
- Tottenham have won their last five competitive home fixtures against Burnley.
- Burnley’s last victory at White Hart Lane came in a League Cup tie in 1983.
- Burnley’s largest Premier League defeat came against Tottenham in 2009.
- Burnley and Leicester City are the only teams yet to secure an away victory this season.
- Tottenham have scored in each of their previous sixteen Premier League home fixtures – the longest current streak of any team in the top flight.
Tottenham have made White Hart Lane something of fortress so far this season and with Burnley having scored just once on the road this campaign it is difficult to see anything other than a comfortable home victory.
Predicted Score: Tottenham 3, Burnley, 0
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