Burnley vs Crystal Palace: How the game could be won and lost

Saturday afternoon, Burnley will be looking to continue their impressive home form as they face Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in the Premier League.

Both sides will be confident in taking three points out of this fixture even if Roy Hodgson and Sean Dyche had contrasting results last time out.


Burnley will want to improve on their poor first-half against Watford even though they managed to get three second-half goals. However, the Clarets should remain unchanged from their comfortable win last weekend.

The full-back areas will be full for Burnley with Matt Lowton, Phil Bardsley and Charlie Taylor available for selection with Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes likely to start upfront.

The Clarets will likely remain with a 4-4-2 formation that has been so successful for them lately. Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork will be helping out the defence in midfield with Dwight McNeil and Jeff Hendrick supporting the front two.

James Tarkowski and Ben Mee will continue their partnership with the pairing key to Burnley's strong defence. Burnley has also started to score more goals with Barnes and Wood firing weekly to torment defences in the Premier League.

The visitors will likely play a 4-3-3 formation but they can also play a 4-5-1 formation as they did against Liverpool last weekend.

Palace will want to play counter-attacking football that they are so famous for when they travel on the road. They will want three crucial points to take to South London after their horrible run of fixtures has just ended. The Eagles lost 2-1 to Liverpool last time out and were very unlucky to not get anything from that game. 

James Tomkins and Gary Cahill are likely to start but Mamadou Sakho could return as he featured for the U23s earlier this week. Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend will be looking to trouble the full-backs from the wide areas.

Joel Ward is out after a knee injury suffered against Liverpool so Martin Kelly is likely to feature in his place with Patrick Van Aanholt in the left-back position.

Luka MilivojevicCheikhou Kouyate and James McArthur will sit in the middle of midfield with Jordan Ayew upfront but Christian Benteke could also feature.

Key Battles

Phil Bardsley v Wilfried Zaha

Burnley's back-four has been resilient at home. However, the wide areas are where Palace becomes dangerous as they showed against the league leaders. The aging full-back will have it all to do to stop the star trickster from giving him a ragged afternoon.

Chris Wood v Gary Cahill

Both players have been in inspired form for their teams. Wood has been prolific whereas Cahill is putting in performances that not even Palace fans expected from him. It should be a very physical clash that will decide what way the game goes.

Dwight McNeil v Martin Kelly

Ward is out for a few weeks so Kelly will have to step up in his place. Kelly will struggle for pace and that is something that McNeil will look to take advantage of. Kelly will be right up against it just like Bardsley with Zaha but Kelly's physical presence will offer a problem for McNeil though.

Final Verdict?

This won't be a classic but the game will be tightly contested and neither side will be out of this until the final whistle. Either side could get three points but most neutrals and fans of either side will agree that a score draw is the most likely result.