Burnley vs Leicester City
Turf Moor welcomes Leicester City on Sunday for a mouth-watering clash with hosts Burnley… with both teams having plenty to play for.
Premier League Burnley vs Leicester City always throws up a good contest between two teams who reached the top flight together in 2014. It was Leicester’s first appearance in the Premier League for a decade, while the Clarets were returning after a four-year absence.
But since then their paths have taken different courses. Burnley were relegated back to the Championship, for a season, while the Foxes famously won the league. Since then the Clarets have reached the heights of Europa League football, but are more accustomed to keeping the bottom three at arms length; while Leicester appointed Brendan Rodgers as head coach, in an attempt to challenge at the top again.
And they’re doing a pretty good job of it, currently in third place and with a Champions League spot seemingly nailed on. Meanwhile, the Clarets have had a poor run of results and are looking over their shoulders.
But both sets of fans know they get good value from their teams.
Burnley aiming to stop the rot
The Clarets find themselves in a relegation battle after defeat to Chelsea left them just three points above the drop zone. Sean Dyche’s team were sitting handily in mid-table, but four consecutive defeats has left them with plenty of work to do to guarantee another season in the top flight.
Burnley are at 4.30 to go down, far too close for comfort, but this is a battling club and they have the experience and quality to steer clear of trouble. It looks likely that two from seven clubs will join bottom club Norwich City in the drop.
Last season the emergence Dwight McNeil saw Burnley pull away from the bottom end of the table with a spectacular second half of the season. And Burnley need a bit of the 20-year-old winger’s magic to do the trick again. Despite going down to Chelsea 3-0 McNeil still looked likely to spark something for Burnley, crossing for Jeff Hendrick’s disallowed goal and driving forward at every opportunity.
Dyche was highly impressed, saying: “On a platform like today, I thought Dwight McNeil was outstanding. He has got to be one of the top talents in the country at the moment.”
The Clarets may be dipping into the January transfer market after the loan of former Leicester star Danny Drinkwater failed to pay dividends; they are in need of a box to box midfielder.
Evergreen Vardy hungry for goals
Jamie Vardy sits at the top of the Premier League top scorers with 17 goals and that’s despite being out recently with an injury. He has Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (14) and Sergio Aguero (13) in pursuit so he’ll be desperate to get on the score-sheet again as soon as possible.
Watch out for Vardy’s battle with Burnley’s England defender James Tarkowski in the Burnley vs Leicester City highlights. Tarkowski was a Leicester target in the summer after the sale of Harry Maguire to Manchester United, and he too has a point to prove.
The Foxes would have expected to win their home game against Southampton last week, but the red hot Danny Ings put paid to that. The Saints are a different prospect to the shambles which capitulated 0-9 to Leicester earlier in the season, and now the Clarets will hope they can emulate the South Coast team.
These clashes generally give great value for money Burnley and the last two meetings have delivered exciting contests with a healthy smattering of controversy.
The Clarets have won two of the last three meetings at Turf Moor, though the Foxes won this tussle at the KingPower earlier this season as Chris Wood had a late equaliser controversially chalked off by VAR.
And, not long after the arrival of Rodgers as Leicester boss, the Foxes scored a last-minute winner in a 1-2 win at Turf Moor after Harry Maguire had been sent off in the 2018/19 clash.
Clarets fans haven’t seen a draw yet this season. Burnley’s home record is five wins and six defeats.
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