Feature

Battle for safety: Burnley

15 Feb 2019
Chris Wood, Burnley

A series on the teams fighting to avoid relegation continues as we assess the Clarets' fixtures, form and key man

The battle to avoid relegation is intensifying as the season enters its final third, so we have taken a look at the prospects of the eight teams with the biggest fight to remain in the Premier League.

 
Burnley

There was little festive cheer around Turf Moor on Boxing Day as a 5-1 home defeat by Everton left Burnley in the bottom three, and three points from safety.

The situation has improved markedly since then, with the Clarets now lying 15th after a seven-match unbeaten PL run. 

But Sean Dyche's team are still only three points above the bottom three and will be hoping to avoid a similar run of form to the eight-match winless streak that first put them into the relegation zone.

Form 

Burnley have taken 15 points from 21 in their seven-match unbeaten run.

The Clarets almost pulled off an impressive victory at Old Trafford in that run, only for Manchester United to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the closing stages.

During that period they also beat relegation rivals Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion, and earned a comeback draw against Southampton.

Next fixtures

Dyche’s side will need to fare better against their next five opponents than they did in the reverse fixtures.

 

Burnley scored only two goals and took one point from their meetings with Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Leicester City.

The point came from a 0-0 draw with the Foxes in November.

The matches against Newcastle and Palace are where Burnley are likely to be most confident of picking up three points.

The Clarets are unbeaten at St James’ Park and have won their last two home matches against Palace.

Key man

While much focus has been on the return of Tom Heaton sparking Burnley's upturn in form, the contribution of Chris Wood at the other end of the pitch cannot be overlooked.

After just one Premier League goal from his first 19 matches of the season, the New Zealander has scored five times in his last seven, including a double at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out.

The forward's partnership with Ashley Barnes, who has four goals in his last six matches, will play an important role in ensuring the Clarets can edge the results to maintain their form, and their Premier League status.

Also in this series

Part 1: Battle for safety: Crystal Palace
Part 2: Battle for safety: Brighton & Hove Albion
Part 4: Battle for safety: Newcastle United
Part 5: Battle for safety: Cardiff City
Part 6: Battle for safety: Southampton
Part 7: Battle for safety: Fulham
Part 8: Battle for safety: Huddersfield Town

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