Sean Dyche’s Burnley continued their assault on the Premier League’s European positions mid-week and will be hoping for more of the same when they travel to Brighton Saturday afternoon.
The Amex will provide the setting for this battle. Brighton currently sits three points off the relegation zone, on the other hand, Burnley couldn’t have wished for a better start to their campaign sitting in sixth place above the likes of Arsenal and Everton.
The last time the two sides met was in the Championship where a Michael Keane last-gasp winner saw Burnley grab a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Premier League newcomers Brighton, however, have had a tough start to life in English football’s highest tier and have lost their last three games heading into the weekend’s game, and need to turn things around to avoid playing the dangerous game of slipping into the relegation zone during the tough Christmas period.
Burnley, however, sits in a very different position to that of the Championship. The Clarets have defied all odds so far this season, and sit in a Europa League position, something which no one saw coming at the start of the campaign.
Key to Burnley’s success so far this season has been their away form, something which was so horrendous last year they were nearly dragged into a relegation battle because of it. A change of fortunes has seen the Clarets win four, draw two and lose two of their eight away games this campaign; including wins against Chelsea and draws against Liverpool and Spurs.
It’s been a fantastic showing from Sean Dyche’s men so far, and his side’s confidence will be sky high going to the Amex.
This one is unlikely to be a high scoring affair, however, with Burnley recently happy to churn out 1-0 victories and Brighton scoring just the 14 times this season.
Brighton has won three and drawn three of their last six meetings with Burnley, but all of these meetings took place in the Championship, and this will be the first time the pair have met in the top-flight.
Of the Premier League managers with at least 20 wins, Sean Dyche has won the highest percentage of those games by a one-goal margin (82% – 22 of 27).
Burnley have won six of their last eight Premier League matches winning six and losing two, as many as they’d won in the previous 26 in the competition. And their red-hot form as of late may be too much for Brighton to handle in this one, even with the backing of their loyal home support.
Stephen Ward, Ben Mee, Matthew Lowton, and Dean Marney are all doubts for the Clarets, with Jon Walters, Tom Heaton, and Robbie Brady sidelined with long-term injuries.
Steve Sidwell remains the only injury problem for The Seagulls, with no suspensions for Chris Hughton’s men.
Predicted Score: Brighton 0-1 Burnley.