By 90Min
November 03, 2017

Burnley travel to Southampton for the two sides' next Premier League clash on Saturday.

Just three points separate the two teams, who have both started their latest Premier League campaigns positively. In particular, Burnley will hope to continue their flying start to the season where they find themselves level on points with Liverpool and just three points off a top-four place.

Meanwhile, Southampton will hope to firmly cement themselves in the top half of the Premier League table. Defeat could leave the Saints falling as far as 15th if other results go against them.

Here is how both teams are shaping up ahead of the game. 


Classic Encounter

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Historically, there is little to separate these two teams. Burnley and Southampton have met just four times in the Premier League, with two wins each.

But this is a fixture which dates back as far as 1908, when the two clubs first met in an FA Cup match. Since then the clubs have faced each other 54 times across various divisions, with both teams having recording 20 wins each.

This fixture has produced a number of classic encounters, but a recent thriller came in the FA Cup in January 2014 when Southampton triumphed over Burnley 4-3.

Opening goals from Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert had put the Saints 2-0 up in the first half. Their efforts were cancelled out when Sam Vokes and Danny Ings found the net for the Clarets within six minutes of each other early in the second half.

Jay Rodriguez came off the bench to find the Saints a third goal, and Adam Lallana quickly followed up to restore Southampton's two-goal lead. A late Kevin Long consolation header for Burnley was not enough to see Sean Dyche's side progress to the next round. 


Key Battles


Manolo Gabbiadini vs Ben Mee & James Tarkowski

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche has kept faith with the same back four all season. The centre-back duo of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski has conceded just nine goals in 10 league matches - that's less than Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini will have to be at his best to break through this Burnley back four. The Italian started his Saints career in some style when he joined in the club in January 2017, with five goals from his first four Saints matches.

With three goals for this season, Gabbiadini is Southampton's top scorer. With clear natural ability and an eye for goal, Gabbiadini's movement off the ball and his ability on it could be enough to undo this Burnley defence. 

But it will be a Burnley rearguard full of confidence after their strong start to the season.

Jeff Hendrick vs Steven Davis

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With both teams often opting for five in midfield, this clash could be decided over who controls the middle of the park on Saturday.

The sources of goals from midfield this season for Southampton and Burnley have been Steven Davis and Jeff Hendrick respectively. The pair have two goals to their name each this term and could be the duo to watch out for in their respective midfield lineups.

Davis, who typically plays a deeper role, has the passing ability and attacking influence to build attacks from the back. It may also be his job to mark Hendrick, who often plays further forward than the other midfielders, almost as a second striker. 


Team News

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Southampton may continue to be without striker Charlie Austin, who is recovering from a knock. Jeremy Pied and Mario Lemina are also injury doubts for the Saints.

Burnley top scorer Chris Wood is 50-50 to return in time for the trip to Southampton on Saturday. Wood missed the win against Newcastle on Monday night with a thigh problem.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton remains out for Burnley as he continues to recover from a dislocated shoulder.

Potential Southampton Starting Lineup: Forster; Cedric, Yoshida, van Dijk, Bertrand; Romeu, Davis, Redmond, Tadic, Boufal; Gabbiadini


Potential Burnley Starting Lineup: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmondsson, Cork, Hendrick, Defour, Brady; Vokes


Prediction


Very little separates these two sides going into this fixture. Both teams have scored nine goals this season, with just three points being the difference between the Saints and the Clarets.

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Burnley have done well on their travels and have only lost once in their last eight league games - and that came against the seemingly unstoppable Manchester City. 

Southampton may have the bigger point to prove after their shaky start, and will look to pick up back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.

Prediction: Southampton 1 - 0 Burnley

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