By 90Min
August 18, 2017

Burnley and West Bromwich Albion face off in the Premier League on Saturday, with both sides hoping to continue their impressive starts after opening day victories against Chelsea and Bournemouth respectively.

Burnley's win away at champions Chelsea was undoubtedly the shock of the weekend as the Premier League returned last week, with an inspired defensive display coupled with some inventive and highly effective attacking play propelling the Clarets to a 3-0 lead at half-time. 

Despite a second-half Chelsea comeback, Sean Dyche's men held on for a famous 3-2 win, recording their first away win of the season (and in doing so matching their away wins total from last season).

West Brom's 1-0 victory against Bournemouth at the Hawthorns was much more routine, and was in many ways a classic West Bromwich Albion victory. An assured display at the back won them the game, and a debut goal from Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy from a free-kick epitomised what West Brom are all about. 

Ahead of the clash at Turf Moor between the two sides, here's everything you need to know.


Classic Encounter

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The last time Burnley and West Brom met at Turf Moor was as recently as May, with both sides sharing the spoils as the game ended 2-2, with in-form Sam Vokes scoring twice for Burnley (as he did last week). Salomon Rondon and Craig Dawson found the net for the Baggies. 

In the reverse fixture last season, West Brom ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. 

Despite Burnley's traditionally strong record at home, they have yet to beat West Brom in their last four meetings, with two West Brom wins (both 4-0) and two 2-2 draws in their last four meetings. Although recent history favours West Brom, the last time the Baggies beat Burnley away from home was in the Championship in 2002, recording a 2-0 win.


Key Battle


Sam Vokes vs Ahmed Hegazy & Craig Dawson

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Following a highly impressive opening day double at the home of the champions last week, Wales international Sam Vokes will take some stopping on familiar turf on Saturday. With his obvious prowess in the air matched by his neat footwork, Vokes will be confident of finding the back of the net once more against a team he scored against twice back in May.

For Hegazy and Dawson, a new partnership whilst Gareth McAuley and captain Jonny Evans are out injured (with the latter also being heavily linked with a shock move to Manchester City this week), their job will be to continue where they left off, after largely nullifying Bournemouth's attacking threat last week. 

Although Hegazy got on the scoresheet, it was his pace and power which showed itself against Bournemouth's Josh King last week which impressed the most, with Dawson complementing the Egyptian well.

However, they will be up against an entirely different threat altogether in Vokes. They cannot afford the Welshman too much space in the box because, as he showed last week at Stamford Bridge, he can be deadly when given the opportunity.


Team News

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Sean Dyche is likely to stick with the same Burnley starting XI as last week, with no new injury worries to report. Jack Cork and Jonathan Walters are therefore likely to make their home debuts, the latter from the bench in all probability.

For West Brom, James Morrison is touch-and-go following a knee injury which kept him out of last week's win against Bournemouth. If he's passed fit, 19-year-old Sam Field is likely to make way. New signing Gareth Barry could also feature. 

Jonny Evans is once again struggling to overcome a hamstring injury, with fellow centre-back Gareth McAuley also sidelined for the Baggies.

Potenital Burnley Starting Lineup: Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Berg Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Defour, Cork, Brady; Vokes


Potential West Brom Starting Lineup: Foster; Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Brunt; Yacob, Phillips, Morrison, Livermore, McClean, Rodriguez


Prediction

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Both sides will massively fancy their chances of making it two wins from two on Saturday, but Burnley's imperious home record in the Premier League gives them the edge. This, and the fact the squad will be full of confidence after last week's fantastic result against Chelsea.

For West Brom, a huge challenge will be thwarting the effectiveness of Sam Vokes, and those who provide him with the service he needs. The left-flank duo of Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady caused havoc last week at Stamford Bridge, and Allan Nyom may well have a busy afternoon if history is to repeat itself.

West Brom's new signing James Rodriguez looked threatening last week, especially with Matt Phillips and James McClean bombing down the wings. Tony Puils may look to bring in Salomon Rondon or Hal Robson-Kanu to bolster West Brom's attacking threat.

This will be a fascinating match-up, with both sides possessing managers who prioritise strength at the back over easy on the eye attacking football. It could go either way, but Burnley will just nick it.

Prediction: Burnley 2-1 West Brom


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