Burnley v Tottenham: the predictions and the psychology

Tottenham Hotspur may be third in the league, with only the most optimistic of their supporters thinking they might overtake both of the clubs above them to win the league in colour (as their manager suggested the other day), but when it comes to away form, they are supreme.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26

Over two goals a game away from home scored, and only two matches all season that they have not won.  It is quite a remarkable record.

This form hasn’t come completely out of the blue (they were second in the away league last season) but it is an improvement.  Last season they had four away draws and five away defeats by the end of the season.

Burnley at home however are in the lower part of the league

Home games only

14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15
15 Leicester City 12 4 2 6 13 13 0 14
16 Burnley 12 4 2 6 15 22 -7 14
17 Crystal Palace 13 3 4 6 9 12 -3 13
18 Newcastle United 13 4 1 8 12 18 -6 13
19 Southampton 13 2 6 5 15 21 -6 12
20 Huddersfield Town 14 1 2 11 6 22 -16 5

15 goals scored at home and 22 conceded.   On the basis of home and away form this looks very much like Tottenham’s game.

The only thing that might work in Burnley’s favour is Tottenham’s champions league game (this preview being written before that is played).  But other than that there is not too much to unsettle the team.  There have been three defeats in the last seven games, which is unusual, but the last three have been won.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham H v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham H  FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Tottenham H v Newcastle United W 1-0
10 Feb 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City W 3-1

Burnley however are having a tougher time of it

19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC L 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Burnley D 2-2
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley W 1-3

The draw with Manchester United game them some hope but otherwise it looks like Tottenham all the way.  I can’t see any psychological factor that will be likely to get in the way.

Burnley v Fulham: the predictions, the injuries and the psychology

A look at the foot of the Premier League table shows this is an important game for both sides…

Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Burnley 21 5 3 13 21 42 -21 18
17 Cardiff City 21 5 3 13 19 41 -22 18
18 Southampton 21 3 7 11 21 38 -17 16
19 Fulham 21 3 5 13 19 47 -28 14
20 Huddersfield Town 21 2 4 15 13 37 -24 10

A win for Fulham won’t take them out of trouble but will be helpful, but it will probably send Burnley back down towards the bottom three.

Looking at just the home form, Burnley are spreading such points as they get between the home and away matches – 10 out of 18 points coming at home.  There’s not the home advantage they have felt in other seasons.

16 Burnley 10 3 1 6 12 20 -8 10
17 Crystal Palace 10 2 3 5 5 9 -4 9
18 Southampton 10 1 5 4 11 17 -6 8
19 Newcastle United 11 2 1 8 7 17 -10 7
20 Huddersfield Town 11 1 2 8 5 16 -11 5

But Fulham are very much a home team – and sadly for them they are playing away this time.  Here are their away results.

16 Southampton 11 2 2 7 10 21 -11 8
17 Burnley 11 2 2 7 9 22 -13 8
18 Cardiff City 10 1 2 7 6 18 -12 5
19 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 8 21 -13 5
20 Fulham 11 0 2 9 7 28 -21 2

To get a win in this game they would need a major turn around from a club that has only scored seven goals on the road.

What makes matters worse for Fulham is the fact that Burnley has just had three wins in a row after a sequence of just one win and one draw in 11.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United W 2-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley W 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Burnley v Barnsley FAC W 1-0

Fulham did have a sort of run around Christmas but it did not last…

2 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2

Indeed three games without defeat was a run for them, but that was set aside by subsequent results.

The psychology

Damage is done to club morale with defeats to lower league opposition, and even more so when it happens in front of your own fans.

Worse, Oldham are not just lower league, they are in the lowest football league – League Two, and not even at the top of that league, but actually 10th.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Lincoln City 25 15 6 4 45 24 21 51
2 Milton Keynes Dons 25 13 8 4 41 19 22 47
3 Bury 27 13 7 7 49 29 20 46
4 Mansfield Town 25 11 12 2 37 19 18 45
5 Carlisle United 27 14 3 10 45 32 13 45
6 Forest Green Rovers 25 11 10 4 39 25 14 43
7 Exeter City 26 12 7 7 38 28 10 43
8 Colchester United 27 12 7 8 39 30 9 43
9 Tranmere Rovers 26 10 9 7 38 32 6 39
10 Oldham Athletic 26 10 8 8 40 33 7 38

This could be the biggest factor of all and herald a collapse by Fulham.  They will need enormous mental strength to win this game.  Failure could see the season come to a very quick end.  Victory would show that they might climb out of trouble in the league.

Injuries

In the physioroom injury chart both team have just two players out.  Bardsley and Lennon.  Mawson and Zambo Anguissa for Fulham.

I think the game will be Burnley’s.

Brighton v Burnley: the predictions

Saturday 29 December

Brighton v Everton
Referee: Andy Madley
Assistants: Simon Long, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

Brighton have a decent enough home record, and can fight back at home as was shown in their game against Arsenal

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 9 0 1 35 9 26 27
2 Liverpool 9 8 1 0 22 2 20 25
3 Arsenal 10 7 2 1 20 9 11 23
4 Chelsea 10 6 3 1 19 8 11 21
5 Tottenham Hotspur 8 6 0 2 17 6 11 18
6 Manchester United 9 5 3 1 17 12 5 18
7 Everton 10 5 3 2 18 15 3 18
8 AFC Bournemouth 10 5 2 3 16 14 2 17
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 9 4 3 2 14 11 3 15

Everton however are struggling to show that they are anything but a middle ranking team when it comes to away form… two wins, three draws and four defeats – the exact reverse of the Brighton results at home.

11 Newcastle United 9 2 4 3 7 11 -4 10
12 Crystal Palace 10 3 1 6 12 17 -5 10
13 Everton 9 2 3 4 13 14 -1 9
14 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 0 6 11 19 -8 9
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 2 1 7 7 16 -9 7
16 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
17 Huddersfield Town 9 1 2 6 8 20 -12 5
18 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
19 Cardiff City 9 0 2 7 5 18 -13 2
20 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2

The goals however are fairly similar.  Brighton at home have 14 for and 11 against, while Everton away have 13 scored and 14 against.   All this suggests Brighton might just edge it, but if so only by one go.

Here are Brighton’s recent games at home in the Premier League

27 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton W 1-0
24 Nov 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City D 1-1
04 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace W 3-1
16 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea L 1-2
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 1-1

That is a good run, with just one defeat to Chelsea thus far.  Everton’s last five in the league look like this

28 Oct 2018 Manchester United v Everton L 2-1
11 Nov 2018 Chelsea v Everton D 0-0
02 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Everton L 1-0
15 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Everton L 3-1
26 Dec 2018 Burnley v Everton W 1-5

Yes it was a fine win against Burnley but after a very poor run, and I can’t see Brighton giving up the ghost as Burnley did.   The stupidity of the Burnley manager coming out and saying that their team were always discriminated against by referees is revealed here – the team believe they can’t win because the manager has as good as said it.  What on earth did he expect?

So I take that as an oddity, and the result looks like a Brighton win to me.  The only chance of anything else by way of a result is a 1-1 draw.

Matchweek 20 the full list

Saturday 29 December

Brighton v Everton
Referee: Andy Madley
Assistants: Simon Long, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

Fulham v Huddersfield Town
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Andy Garratt
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh

Leicester City v Cardiff City
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistants: Richard West, Derek Eaton
Fourth official: Mike Dean

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolves
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Stephen Child, Neil Davies
Fourth official: Lee Probert

Watford v Newcastle United
Referee: Roger East
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Simon Beck
Fourth official: Paul Tierney

17:30 Liverpool v Arsenal
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss

Sunday 30 December

12:00 Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Eddie Smart
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

14:15 Burnley v West Ham United
Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Peter Kirkup, Daniel Cook
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

14:15 Southampton v Man City
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Lee Probert

16:30 Man Utd v AFC Bournemouth
Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Marc Perry, Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Mike Dean

Burnley v Everton match predictions

For Burnley’s manager to blame his side’s defeat to Arsenal on the fact that referees favour the bigger clubs and won’t give his team penalties may have convinced some of the journalists that his team were hard done by, but doesn’t really explain the recent run of results…

Date Game Res Score Competition
20 Oct 2018 Manchester City v Burnley L 5-0 Premier League
28 Oct 2018 Burnley v Chelsea L 0-4 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 West Ham United v Burnley L 4-2 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Leicester City v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
26 Nov 2018 Burnley v Newcastle United L 1-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Burnley L 2-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Burnley v Liverpool L 1-3 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion W 1-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley L 1-0 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley L 3-1 Premier League

Eight defeats one draw and one victory might be excused by having fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal, in the last four, and Man City and Chelsea at the start of the run, but still the club has also been losing to Newcastle, Palace and Brighton.

Everton’s run across the same period shows the same gulf between the top clubs and those lower down the league…

Date Game Res Score Competition
03 Nov 2018 Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion W 3-1 Premier League
11 Nov 2018 Chelsea v Everton D 0-0 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Everton v Cardiff City W 1-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Everton L 1-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1 Premier League
10 Dec 2018 Everton v Watford D 2-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Everton L 3-1 Premier League
23 Dec 2018 Everton v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-6 Premier League

And here we notice that although they are losing to the clubs at the top of the table, they are only managing to draw with Newcastle and Watford.  The two wins have come against Brighton and Cardiff.

Burnley’s league results at home have not been reassuring

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

Two wins, one draw and five defeats with just nine goals scored in eight games, is not the home form of a team surviving in the top tier.

But they might take some hope from the fact that Everton away have an equally miserable position

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
16 Everton 8 1 3 4 8 13 -5 6
17 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
18 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
19 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2
20 Cardiff City 8 0 1 7 5 18 -13 1

Eight away games for Everton have given one win, three draws and four defeats, with eight scored and 13 conceded.

To combine those goals it is 5-9 at home for Burnley and 8-13 away for Everton.

Pulling it all together a draw looks the likely outcome and the chances of a goal fest are low.  Maybe the classic 1-1 is the most likely result.

The two clubs have met just eight times in the Premier League before this match, and it is four wins each so far, with not a PL draw between them.  That again suggests it might be time for one.   Burnley have actually had the better of things in the last four games, winning three and losing one, but when the main thrust of a manager’s post match commentary is the referee, that suggests to me, he’s running out of excuses.  It might be true, but it is not the best thing to say.  What motivation does that give to the players, apart from saying, you’ve got no chance, the referee is against you?

Arsenal v Burnley: the predictions

Arsenal currently possess the fourth best home record in the League

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 9 0 0 33 6 27 27
2 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 19 7 12 21
4 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 17 8 9 20

Six wins, two draws and one defeat – and that one defeat right at the start of the season.

Burnley away however is a totally different matter

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 11 11 0 11
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
8 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 13 -2 11
9 Manchester United 9 3 2 4 15 18 -3 11
10 Newcastle United 8 2 4 2 7 7 0 10
11 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
12 AFC Bournemouth 8 3 0 5 11 14 -3 9
13 Crystal Palace 9 2 1 6 9 15 -6 7
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 9 2 1 6 7 14 -7 7
15 Everton 8 1 3 4 8 13 -5 6
16 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
17 Burnley 9 1 2 6 6 18 -12 5

One win in nine, two draws and six defeats.  Not exactly setting the place alight.

Burnley’s away win came right back in September – against also low flying Cardiff.  Here are their away games since then…

30 Sep 2018 Cardiff City v Burnley W 1-2 Premier League
20 Oct 2018 Manchester City v Burnley L 5-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 West Ham United v Burnley L 4-2 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Leicester City v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Burnley L 2-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley L 1-0 Premier League

They did however hold Tottenham to just one goal in their last game – but against this Burnley have not scored in their last three away games, and only scored two in their last five and six away goals all season in nine away games.

Arsenal on the other hand, having had 22 games without defeat have now suffered two in a row.   They will be anxious to recover the home fans’ support after losing to Tottenham in the league cup in midweek, and many is the time when we have seen such anxiety become the cause of a downfall.

But Arsenal have scored 17 goals in nine games at home, very much on a par with Liverpool and Chelsea, although admittedly a distance behind the home performance of Manchester City.

Burnley will undoubtedly put in an 11 man defensive display and Arsenal’s best chance is to get an early goal, to force Burnley to move forwards.  But early goals is what Arsenal are not good at this season, which suggests that this could be a difficult affair, possibly ending goalless (which would be a triumph for Burnley) or just 1-0 to the Arsenal, with the goal coming near the end.

On overall form, without taking nerves into account this should end 2-0 to Arsenal – possibly more if their forward line go on the rampage in the last 20 minutes, but much depends on when that first goal occurs.   It is going to be teious with a lot of timewasting from the off by Burnley as they seek to get a point at any cost.  Arsenal need to start scoring first half goals.