Burnley travel to Southampton this Saturday lunchtime. What tactics will Sean Dyche and Ralph Hasenhuttl deploy and how do the sides compare?
The Key Clash.
Danny Ings V Ben Mee.
The fan-favourite returns. Danny Ings will face plenty of former teammates this Saturday. However, the most notable face-off will be with Burnley captain Ben Mee, who will remain professional despite their close connection.
The now Southampton striker has scored 24 goals in 53 games since leaving the Clarets in 2015. The Saints have had some impressive results since the new year beating Chelsea, Tottenham Hostpur and Leicester City in the league, Ings has been an integral part to this run inform grabbing the winner in both the Leicester and Spurs game. There have also been rumours of the now 27-year-old earning an England call-up and being taken to the European Championships if Harry Kane’s injury is serious.
The man trying to keep Ings at bay boasts 135 aerial duels won this season. Mee, and his partner James Tarkowski, will look to stop Ings from making runs through the channels, cutting off his main supply line. Southampton will look to use the pace of their front-man to on the counterattack, something that Burnley could suffer from if Ings is not contained.
Southampton are winless in their last six against Burnley with three draws and three losses. Dyche and his squad will travel to the south coast looking to do the double and make it seven games unbeaten. Hasenhuttl’s side have also taken the least amount of points from home in the league (11).
Burnley will look to make it three consecutive clean sheets, the last time this happened was in December 2017.
Southampton’s formation in their last game was a 4-4-2 system that they deployed away at Tottenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The Squad was almost full strength with the only difference being James Ward-Prowse playing at right-back. However, new signing Kyle Walker-Peters is likely to make his debut, allowing Ward-Prowse to slot back into the centre-of-the-park. Southampton will use the pace of players such as Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal and Ings to beat a Burnley defence that will be considerably slower.
Burnley’s latest line-up used the same 4-4-2 system as Southampton. The Turf Moor faithful should expect to see almost the same side as Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The right-back position, just like Southampton, is the one position most likely to be changed. This is due to a potential knee injury, meaning Phil Bardsley will take that spot. Burnley will keep it simple and stick to old tricks using Wood as the main outlet.
With both sides playing the same formation, this game could become a stalemate as the two systems cancel each other out.
At home Southampton would be expected to go for it, whilst Burnley will look to sit back and use the areal advantage when it comes to set pieces. This game will be even especially if the Saints play a possession-based brand of football, as this will suit Dyche’s side perfectly. The hosts will look to take the first goal in the game as Burnley struggle to turn the tables when going one goal down.
Burnley, unlike many other way days, will feel confident heading into this fixture due to Southampton’s poor home form. If Burnley get the first goal that confidence will skyrocket as Southampton have lost heavily at home numerous times thanks to heads dropping after the first goal goes in. Burnley will setup narrow compact and ready to fight for a victory.