Burnley vs. Southampton
Venue: Turf Moor
Kick off: 8PM
Burnley welcome Southampton to Turf Moor tonight for their first home game of the new Premier League season.
Both teams are still searching for their first points of the 2020-21 campaign, with Burnley losing at Leicester City in their belated opener and Southampton having lost two from two so far.
In a record-breaking weekend of Premier League goalscoring, these two teams were among the hardest hit last time out as Burnley shipped four at Leicester and Southampton were 5-2 losers at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
For both, it constituted a poor start to the campaign in the league, although Burnley have had more reason for cheer elsewhere with that defeat being sandwiched by wins over Sheffield United and Millwall in the EFL Cup.
The Clarets’ reward for the latter – a 2-0 triumph at The Den on Wednesday night – could be a fourth-round showdown with holders Manchester City next week, but Sean Dyche will be far more focused on getting off the mark in the league for now.
Stretching back to last season, Burnley have now lost back-to-back league games for the first time since January, having only lost one of their previous 15 top-flight outings prior to that.
Dyche will be hoping that a return to Turf Moor, where they beat Southampton 3-0 on the opening day of last season, will spark a return to winning ways, although they were beaten by Brighton & Hove Albion in their last home league game.
Southampton arrive in Lancashire with a poor recent record against their hosts, having lost home and away to them last season and failed to win any of their last seven Premier League meetings.
Indeed, you have to go back to 1974 for Southampton’s last top-flight win away to Burnley, although that defeat in the corresponding fixture last term was an exception to an otherwise impressive away record for the Saints throughout 2019-20.
Ralph Hasenhuttl may be reminding his side of that turnaround after they were beaten at Crystal Palace on the opening day of this season too, although the Saints are in growing need of a first win if the Austrian boss is to avoid pressure growing once again.
Southampton have lost all three of their competitive outings so far this season and were carved open by the Harry Kane and Son Heung-min partnership against Tottenham in their first home game last weekend.
That result was by no means on a par with the 9-0 humiliation they suffered at home to Leicester City last term, but heavy defeats at St Mary’s are certainly not the way for Southampton to improve on last season’s overall showing, when it was only their away form which saved them from a relegation scrap.
One of the ways to do that will be to improve their ability to hold on to leads; Southampton have thrown away a league-high 37 points from winning positions since Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018.
Burnley possible XI: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Long, Taylor, Pieters, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Vydra, Wood.
Southampton possible XI: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo, Adams, Ings.