By 90Min
August 25, 2018

The third round of Premier League fixtures sees Sean Dyche's Burnley make the long trip to the capital for an intriguing encounter with a newly promoted Fulham side still finding their feet in the top flight.

The Cottagers will go into Sunday's game off the back of successive defeats at the hands of Crystal Palace and Tottenham. Despite not playing poorly in either game, Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic will want see a complete revamp on the results front, considering pre-season expectations and investment.

Burnley, meanwhile, have just returned from a gruelling European trip in Athens where they were beaten 3-1 by Greek side Olympiacos on Thursday night. A 3-1 defeat at home to Watford last weekend will mean that both managers will have similar mindsets going into this one, with a win desperately needed by both sets of fans.


Classic Encounter


Fulham 2-3 Burnley (8th March 2016, Championship)

Fulham v Burnley - Sky Bet Championship

This not a tie with much recent history but all in all, both sides have faced each other 94 times in competitive football, with Burnley maintaining the superior record. The last time these two teams faced each other was during the Clarets' title push from the Championship. 

It was a big moment in the season with the visitors needing to win to stay in contention for automatic promotion places, while Fulham were struggling and found themselves in the bottom half of the table.

Burnley hadn't won a game at Fulham since 1980 but moved four points clear at the top of the Championship with the victory, as second place Middlesbrough dropped points against Rotherham United in a shock twist in the plot. 

Goals from Andre Gray and a brace from Sam Vokes gave the Clarets, who were 2-1 down at the break, all three points


Key Battle


Johann Berg Gudmundsson vs Tom Cairney

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Despite the Cottagers losing 3-1 to Spurs last weekend, they were effective in the midfield areas, with Tom Cairney pivotal in the buildup to Alexsandr Mitrovic's goal.

The Clarets meanwhile had a shocker last time out against Watford on Sunday. Johann Berg Gudmundsson could not handle the attacking threat posed by the Hornets and was completely dominated by the likes of Daryl Janmaat and Will Hughes.

The Icelandic star must get the better of his opposite number on Sunday, or Fulham's Scotsman can get attacks going with clinical effect.


Team News

MB Media/GettyImages

After a difficult challenge on Thursday against Olympiacos, Dyche may be forced to rotate his team.

Shot stopper Nick Pope is out for the foreseeable future with a dislocated shoulder (although Tom Heaton made his long-awaited return mid-week) while Steven Defour also won't feature as he recovers from a calf injury. Robert Brady has returned to training but may be fit enough only for the bench. Many first team regulars such as James Tarkowski, and Aaron Lennon did not start on Thursday so will be expected to be thrown back into the mix for the domestic clash.


Fulham will be missing Alfie Mawson and Floyd Ayite who are both nursing knocks. American defender Tim Ream is expected not to feature as the Cottagers look to turn their season around early on. Despite the defeat at Wembley, there was some positives to take forward for Jokanovic and his side so the majority of players will be expected to play at Craven Cottage on Sunday.


Predicted lineups


Fulham: Fabri; Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan; Cairney, Schurrle, Seri; Kamara, Mitrovic, Sessegnon.


Burnley: Hart; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Gudmondsson, Hendrick; Wood.


Prediction

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

The likes of Cairney, Ryan Sessegnon and Jean Seri have looked promising in patches in support of Mitrovic, but the Whites will need to improve defensively to earn their first Premier League win of 2018/19. 

The big question mark, ever since they qualified for the Europa League last season, is how the Clarets would adapt to the extra football. One defeat and one draw after European ties so far suggests there is still a way to go on the learning curve for Dyche and co. 

However, both sides will believe they will have enough to come away with their first win of the season in this one. After a difficult night in Athens for the visitors, the Cottagers might just take it, but only just.


Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Burnley

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