The Burnley View
In the penultimate Premier League match of the season at Selhurst Park, the Eagles welcome Burnley to South London so we had a chat with Tyrone Marshall from the Lancashire Telegraph to get the lowdown on the Clarets.
Q. The last time the two sides met, Burnley won 3-2 at Turf Moor back in November. What were your views on the game?
There were remarkable similarities with the game at Turf Moor two years ago, but the fact Burnley came back this time showed their improvements from that campaign. Just like 2014/15, they lead 2-0 early on but were pegged back, but this time it was they who scored a late winner. It was a very entertaining game and a big one for Burnley to win.
Q. How has the season been for Burnley since that game?
At home it has been excellent. They’ve now won ten Premier League games at Turf Moor this season and they’ve looked very good there. Away from home it’s a different story. They’ve still yet to win on the road this season and a recent run of just one win in eleven league games has them looking over their shoulders again.
Q. Did the club address all their needs in the January transfer window?
If you were being particularly picky you might say another striker would have been nice, but the key issues were bringing in another winger and bolstering central midfield, both of which they did.
They needed a wide man with a bit of pace and creativity and they got that in Robbie Brady, even if his form so far has been hit and miss. Ashley Westwood has strengthened the centre of midfield while the return of Joey Barton delighted the fans and he has played a key role since January.
Q. Once again, Burnley have won many plaudits this season but what has the general feeling been among the fans?
If they can get over the line then it will be one of delight. A couple of months ago they looked like staying up comfortably but there are a few nerves jangling now going into the final four games. One win should do it and staying up will be a great achievement, but the away form is an area that needs improvement.
Q. Is there a fear that Sean Dyche will move on from Burnley at some stage after several years of stability at the club?
Dyche has always been honest that this won’t be a ‘forever story’, but it is hard to see where he goes at the moment. There are no obvious vacancies for him and it is unlikely he is going to want to take a step back. At some point the time when Dyche moves on is going to come, and it will probably happen fairly quickly with a suitable job coming up, but for now there is no sign of that.
Q. If you had the power to make one change to the game of football, what would it be and why?
This is a particular bug bear of Dyche’s and having listened to him argue it passionately over the last couple of years I’m going to say retrospective bans for diving. Dyche has taken his pleas for bans to be introduced to the FA, but says there is little appetite for it. He sees it as a major flaw in the game and is stunned action isn’t being taken. Once a couple of players are hit with bans it will soon put a stop to it.
Q. What is your view on Palace both as a club and how the season has panned out so far?
I like them as a club, even if the ground is a nightmare to get to, and the fans are excellent. I’ve been surprised at how long they’ve spent in a relegation battle this season, it’s a squad that should be pushing for top half in my view, and they appear to be turning the corner now.
Q. Name one player from each team that the opposition should be concerned about.
On recent form it’s difficult to pick an individual threat for Burnley, but I’d go with Andre Gray. He returned to the team last weekend having been dropped for the trip to Everton and he looked sharp against United. He’s Burnley’s best striker and most likely goalscorer. For Palace I’m a big fan of Wilfried Zaha and he is someone Burnley will have to keep quiet.
Q. Your prediction ahead of the game at Selhurst Park?
It’s difficult to see Burnley getting that first away win given Palace’s recent form, but they may be able to sneak another draw out of it. Let’s go with 1-1.