Burnley-Newcastle United Preview
Burnley hope to follow up their priceless point at the champions by taking advantage of the turmoil at Tyneside.
The Clarets visit Newcastle United on New Year's Day having come from two down to secure a 2-2 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad in their last outing.
Newcastle's 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday ended a run of three straight losses but, in keeping with tradition, the Magpies never do anything the easy way at St. James' Park.
Seemingly no sooner had the final whistle blown than Alan Pardew was off to discuss the freshly vacated Crystal Palace managerial post, leaving assistant John Carver fielding the questions. On Monday, Newcastle announced the teams had agreed on a compensation package should Pardew succeed the fired Neil Warnock and join the team he played for in the 1980s.
Those among the Toon Army who so vocally and demonstrably campaigned to be rid of Pardew as their manager following their 0-4-3 start probably never imagined it happening quite like this.
With Pardew occupied in London, Carver will likely lead the team out against the Clarets, and the assistant got his first taste of the bright lights following the Everton win.
"It's nice to get a result after a tricky few games," he said. "We got off to a bad start but looked a different team after the first five minutes. We took the game to Everton and got a deserved win.
"When you have had a run of games were you haven't won, it's very important to get the win. We've got back-to-back home games with Burnley coming up. They had a great result today so we know it's going to be a difficult game."
Burnley (3-7-9) manager Sean Dyche credits his side's comeback Sunday to the mental toughness wrought from earning promotion last season after goals from George Boyd and Ashley Barnes cancelled out strikes from David Silva and Fernandinho.
"We did it a lot last year and it's a belief system that has been built up over a long time," Dyche told the official club website. "We talk about it a lot and it's a weapon. It's the culture and environment we set and this is where it's really at."
While a lot of teams would have crumbled 2-0 down at the break, at the home of the champions, Dyche used the adversity to challenge his players.
"I said to the lads at half time 'this is your growth lads'. To have the mentality to come to these type of stadiums and handle everything, being two goals down and still go and play.
"That is the key marker. Results come and go, but the marker is how the team operate and the willingness, desire and mentality on show today, because that is what carries you forward."
Burnley have doubts over defender Michael Duff and midfielder Matthew Taylor (both calf) while left back Stephen Ward (ankle) is out.
Newcastle (7-5-7) will be without Tim Krul (ankle), Rob Elliott (thigh), and Siem De Jong (thigh), while there are doubts over Sammy Ameobi (knock) and Ryan Taylor (knee).
The sides drew 1-1 at Turf Moor at the beginning of December. Boyd gave Burnley a first-half lead before Papiss Cisse leveled the match early in the second half. That fixture was the side's only meeting in the last 31 years.