Burnley against Huddersfield Town presents an opportunity for either side to build upon their solid starts to the campaign. Despite being tipped for relegation in some areas of the industry, both sides have lost just one game each in their first five Premier League fixtures of the season.
Expect a scrap in the engine room
That said, neither team come into this match in particularly sparkling form. Both clubs were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the week, whilst Burnley have won just one of their last four top flight games and the Terriers have picked up just two points in their last three matches.
Yet Sean Dyche and David Wagner would have bitten your hand off if you offered them a spot in the top seven after their first five games of the season. With an incredible work ethic across all areas of the pitch present in both squads, this contest is likely to see passion overshadow flair.
Steven Defour offers the most potent creative ability in the Burnley squad but he has been relatively inconsistent in the opening weeks of the season. With the workrate of Aaron Mooy facing the Clarets, Ashley Westwood could be selected ahead of the Belgian.
One player who is almost guaranteed a place in the starting eleven for the hosts is Robbie Brady. His set-piece delivery is often pinpoint and not many Premier League players can match the threat he has presented from corners and free-kicks thus far this season. With Chris Wood netting in all three matches he has played since his record transfer, the Huddersfield defence will have to be wary of the partnership combining.
Embed from Getty Images
Huddersfield lacking a potent attacking threat
However, the visitors offer an attacking threat themselves. The likes of Tom Ince and Elias Kachunga have licence to roam between the midfield and defensive lines and will cause problems for Burnley’s two banks of four. Jack Cork has been instrumental in his protection of the Clarets defence this season and will have to use his footballing instinct to limit Huddersfield chances.
Yet the Terriers are light in the number nine position this weekend. Top goalscorer Steve Mounie remains sidelined whilst Laurent Depoitre is lacking match fitness. Yet Wagner will be keen for his side to pressurise James Tarkowski who registered a disappointing performance against Leeds in the week, resulting in his manager and teammates feeling the need to offer public support for the central defender.
A draw appears the most likely result, though Burnley will hope they can grasp an edge through their home advantage whilst Huddersfield will look to pounce on any fatigue displayed by the Clarets after their midweek game went all the way to penalties.