For the first time in the Premier League era, Burnley will come up against Leeds United in a fixture which fans are able to attend. The much anticipated return of supporters to stadiums this season will only add to what is always an intriguing affair when Lancashire and Yorkshire lock horns with each other.
The Clarets last tasted a league triumph at Turf Moor in January, twice coming from behind against Aston Villa to claim a 3-2 victory. Since then however, Burnley have endured a dismal run of home form stretching eleven matches. The absence of the impact which fans can bring to a team has been clearly evident, something which Leeds United took full advantage off as they defeated The Clarets 0-4 in the penultimate home game of last season.
Form Guide -
For the second season in succession, The Clarets have tasted defeat in their opening two fixtures of the campaign. Within the context of the nine months ahead, the home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion two weeks ago won't be the decisive factor in whether Burnley retain their Premier League status. The manner of this defeat though provided a sense of concern for fans, surrendering a lead against sides which will likely finish around them is a habit which Burnley will not want to develop into a regular occurrence.
Whilst last week's defeat to Liverpool was somewhat expected despite hopes of repeating the famous victory at Anfield back in January, the performance across the 90 minutes is most definitely a positive to build from.
As for The Whites, their opening two games have shown Marcelo Bielsa's all out attacking style is very much going to remain in place for the matches ahead. Whilst not being able to attend all but one of their games last term upon the club's return to the Premier League after a 16 year exile, Leeds United fans were treating to plenty of entertainment as the club finished in an impressive 9th position.
Despite Luke Ayling's thunderous equaliser early in the second half, Leeds United eventually fell to an opening day 5-1 defeat at Old Trafford. The determination though to then twice come from behind to earn a point in a 2-2 draw against Everton, in front of the returning Elland Road faithful showed that the team will again be giving 100% in every match they play. Such a volume of goals so far won't surprise Whites fans, having witnessed 116 goals in total during their Premier League matches last season.
Team News -
The Clarets will be hopeful to continue having the service of midfielder Ashley Westwood for this weekend's match with Leeds United. A key member of manager Sean Dyche's core group of players over the last few seasons, Westwood missed the midweek cup victory over Newcastle United.
Another player looking to remain being available is Matej Vydra. The Czech Republic international returned late to Burnley's pre-season training following his involvement in Euro 2020 and had recently picked up a slight groin injury.
Both players have now resumed light training, but a late decision upon their availability will need to be made.
Local hero and standout performer in England's Euro 2020 run Kalvin Phillips is set to make his second successive Premier League start of the season. The midfielder nicknamed the Yorkshire Pirlo didn't start in the defeat at Old Trafford. However the feeling of captaining Leeds United in their Carabao Cup victory over Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night will have provided Phillips with an extra buzz ahead of the clash with Burnley.
A more familiar face returning to Turf Moor will be striker Patrick Bamford. A somewhat underwhelming loan spell with The Clarets in 2016-17 did not halt the former Chelsea youth player's progression . A call up to the upcoming England squad by manager Gareth Southgate is a clear indication on how far Bamford has come.
Predicted Line ups -
Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Cork, McNeil, Wood, Barnes.
Leeds United (4-1-4-1)
Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Dallas, Rodrigo, Rafinha, Phillps, Klich, Harrison, Bamford.
Recent meetings -
In recent times, Leeds United have had the upper hand against Burnley, winning the previous three encounters in league and cup. Last season's double for The Whites in the Premier League was emphatic, winning 5-0 on aggregate across both fixtures at Elland Road and Turf Moor. The final win in this sequence came in the Carabao cup third round back in the 2017-18 season. Having drawn 2-2 after 120 minutes of action, Leeds progressed after James Tarkowski missed the decisive penalty in the shoot out.
Burnley's last victory in this fixture came during the club's memorable 23 game undefeated run on their way to the championship title back in 2015-16. The clarets took very little time to get going with former midfielder Scott Arfield scoring the game's solitary goal inside the first minute.
Who to watch -
Having made his first Premier League appearance 3 years ago, Dwight McNeil is set to make it one shy of a century of games in England's top flight this weekend against Leeds United. Such a milestone is a notable achievement given the midfielder had not got a taste of first team football in the EFL before embarking on this journey. With 23 goals and assists combined in 98 Premier League outings so far, it hard to see it being long until the 21 year old hits his stride for the season ahead.
After featuring in all of Leeds United's 38 matches last season, versatile midfielder Stuart Dallas is sure to be a key component once again should The Whites achieve another successful season. The Northern Ireland International registered 8 goals and 3 assists last term, with a brace to secure victory against eventual champions Manchester City the most notable highlight.
How to Watch -
Burnley Vs Leeds United will be the first part of Sky Sports regular Super Sunday slot for Premier league coverage this weekend. Build up to the match will begin at 13:00pm on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League channels.