Burnley FC vs AFC Bournemouth Preview : Howe's men hoping for victory against battling Clarets

Burnley FC vs AFC Bournemouth Preview : Howe's men hoping for victory against battling Clarets

The two sides face off on Saturday with Bournemouth in the upper half of the table and Sean Dyche's men inching closer to the relegation zone.

Ninad Barbadikar

Burnley and AFC Bournemouth have had a long history of battles in the Championship, and now the two sides face off for the first time in the premier league.

Sean Dyche and Eddie Howe know each other all too well, both are seasoned Championship managers and both know exactly the way other thinks.

The Premier League is a different level compared to the Championship and if the past two seasons are anything to go by, Bournemouth are more than capable of holding their own with the big guns as they proved in their historic win against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

Bournemouth in good shape ahead of Saturday's clash

Bournemouth have put behind a slow start to this season's campaign and with two victories out of their last three outings, the Cherries have all the more reason to be confident going into their game against Burnley.

A good run of games which has seen Howe's men grab points against Stoke and produce a historic comeback against Liverpool and they will be hoping they can continue this good form against Burnley as they face the Clarets for the first time in the top tier of English football.

Good news on the injury front for Howe

No injury concerns for Howe as prepares his side for this game against the physical and battling Burnley team led by Dyche. They will not give up without a fight and Howe will be confident in his side's abilities to deal with the physical nature of the game, given the amount of running they will do throughout the match.

Key players for Bournemouth for this game will be the young english duo of Callum Wilson and Jack Wilshere, Wilshere will aim to be the creative force in midfield and will hope to unlock a Burnley defence that has conceded at least two goals in their past four games in the premier league, certainly a cause for optimism for Howe and his staff.

Burnley need a win to boost confidence

Burnley's form has hit a snag of late. The Clarets have failed to win their past three fixtures in the premier league with defeats coming against the likes of Manchester City, Stoke City and a surprisingly heavy defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Dyche will hope his team's fortunes can improve against Howe's Bournemouth, a fixture which has proven to favour the Clarets in the past.

Both teams have met on several occasions in the past and Dyche has got the better of Howe every time the sides have met at Turf Moor and Burnley's players will be hoping they can make home advantage count again.

Dyche has a few concerns heading into an important game

Tom Heaton was a big presence between the sticks for Burnley, ever since his injury, premier league veteran Paul Robinson has stepped in but hasn't provided the same kind of assurance as Heaton did, this has resulted in Burnley failing to keep a cleansheet since their dogged performance at Old Trafford.

No injury concerns for Dyche going into this game, but he will be concerned with the suspensions of Dean Marney and Matthew Lowton, two very solid players and also ever-presents in the team, their respective suspensions presents an opportunity for the rest of the team to step up and deliver for the team in desperate time for the club.

Burnley will once again look to use their physicality and  either Ashley Barnes or Sam Vokes will be the focal point for the Clarets' attack as they hope to exploit Bournemouth's defensive weaknesses. Michael Keane will have a challenge on his hand with the pacy Wilson as he looks to keep the Bournemouth front man out. The pace of Andre Gray will also be an asset for Dyche if he opts to use the striker in this game. 

Possible XIs

Bournemouth XI:

Boruc, Francis, Cook, Ake, Smith, Arter, Gosling, King, Wilshere, Stanislas, Wilson.

Burnley XI:

Robinson, Flanagan, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Defour, Hendrick, Arfield, Vokes, Gray.