Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
West Bromwich Albion will be looking to keep their diminishing hopes of staying in the Premier League alive when they travel to Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The Baggies are currently 19th in the table, 12 points behind 17th-placed Newcastle United on the same number of matches, while Burnley are 15th in the division, now eight points clear of the relegation zone.
There were fears that Burnley could be pulled into a relegation battle when they drew 1-1 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on February 6 as the result left the Clarets in 17th position in the table.
Sean Dyche‘s side then lost 2-0 at home to Bournemouth in the FA Cup but managed to return to winning ways away to Crystal Palace last weekend, putting three unanswered goals past the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
Burnley then prevented 18th-placed Fulham from picking up all three points on Wednesday night as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with the Cottagers at Turf Moor.
The Clarets are now 15th in the division, eight points clear of the relegation zone, and it is difficult to imagine them being pulled into any sort of serious trouble, particularly if they manage to beat West Brom.
Burnley have won a third of their 12 home Premier League matches this term and will be taking on a Baggies side that have the second-worst away record in England’s top flight in 2020-21.
West Brom, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s contest off the back of a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with Manchester United last weekend.
The Baggies scored early through Mbaye Diagne before Bruno Fernandes levelled just before the break, but Sam Allardyce‘s side had the better chances in the second period and arguably deserved to secure all three points.
The strugglers are running out of time when it comes to escaping the relegation zone, having picked up just 13 points from their 24 games this season courtesy of two wins and seven draws.
Allardyce’s side are 12 points behind 17th-placed Newcastle on the same number of matches, while they are also six points behind Fulham in 18th, which is an indication of the size of their task when it comes to avoiding the drop.
West Brom actually recorded a 1-0 win over Burnley when the two teams last met at Turf Moor in August 2017, though, while they have lost just one of their last eight league games with the Clarets.
Burnley Premier League form: WLLDWD
Burnley form (all competitions): LLDLWD
West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: LLDLLD
Burnley boss Dyche revealed during Thursday’s press conference that Ben Mee and Matej Vydra would both be available for selection this weekend.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady both picked up injuries during the draw with Fulham on Wednesday night, though, and the pair are set to miss out against the Baggies.
Dale Stephens and Erik Pieters are also still unavailable, while Chris Wood might not be ready for the contest, meaning that Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes should operate as the front two once again.
As for West Brom, Grady Diangana is still absent, while Lee Peltier is a doubt with the issue that he picked up against Man United, meaning that Darnell Furlong could start at right-back.
Allardyce could otherwise name the same XI that started against the Red Devils, with Diagne again operating at the tip of the attack with support from Robert Snodgrass and Matheus Pereira in the wide areas.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Okay Yokuslu and Conor Gallagher should feature as the midfield three, meanwhile, meaning that Jake Livermore might have to accept a spot on the bench once again.
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Barnes
West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Snodgrass, Maitland-Niles, Yokuslu, Gallagher, Pereira; Diagne
We say: Burnley 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
West Brom were impressive against Man United last weekend, but it is difficult to back the Baggies in this match due to their struggles on the road this season. Burnley frustrated Fulham on Wednesday night, and we expect the Clarets to pick up another point on Saturday afternoon.
— to www.sportsmole.co.uk