Premier League safety within reach of Burnley with trip to Bournemouth


Bournemouth welcome Burnley to The Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with the visitors knowing three points could put them within touching distance of safety.

Sean Dyche’s side recovered form a poor run of form of losing four in a row to overcome high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Turf Moor and put themselves back on the path to safety. A Conor Coady own goal and a second by teenage sensation Dwight McNeil meant the Clarets kept level with fellow strugglers Southampton and dragged Brighton into the relegation mix, all currently sat on 33 points.

Bournemouth meanwhile, are five points better off with 38, and look to have settled for a bottom half finish. The Cherries began the season in blistering fashion but injuries and inconsistent performances have seen them drop off in recent months. Eddie Howe will have no concerns about a late fight for safety, with the number of sides between Bournemouth and the relegation zone giving them a buffer to play free of that concern.

The last five meetings between these sides have seen over 2.5 goals produced in each, a good sign for those in attendance. Bournemouth are in a relaxed mood and it is expected that Burnley will seek to take all three points, a concoction for attacking football, and goals.

68.42% of Bournemouth’s points have been picked up at home, but have only won twice in their last seven games on their own turf. But Dyche has the edge over Eddie Howe in terms of managerial record, these two bright English coaches have faced off on nine occasions, which the Burnley man winning four of those, compared to Howe’s two victories.

Howe will be without a number of first team players, Lewis Cook, Steve Cook, Simon Francis and Andrew Surman are all out whilst Adam Smith is a doubt. Charlie Daniels also suffered an ankle injury but could return for this fixture. The Lancashire outfit are still without Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour, whilst Peter Crouch is suffering from appendicitis so misses a return to the south coast.

Burnley’s Dwight McNeil has three goals and four assists in his 15 appearances this season, and could prove key for his side in what is a vital game for them. Bournemouth will hope Josh King can continue his fine form, who has four goals in as many games for club and country.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-2 Burnley


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