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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Burnley, 20.12.14

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What happened in the Premiership in Match 17 2013-14

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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Burnley
Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home           1   1   0   0    5 -  0   3
Away           1   0   0   1    2 -  4   0
Total(Prem)    2   1   0   1    7 -  4   3
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   34  17   7  10   75 - 44  41 
Away(Div 1)   34   6  10  18   44 - 74  22
Total(Div 1)  68  23  17  28  119 -118  63
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)   10   8   2  0    34 -  7  18 
Away(Div 2)   10   1   3  6     6 - 13   5  
Total(Div 2)  20   9   5  6    40 - 20  23 
Total(Prem)    2   1   0   1    7 -  4   3
Total(Div 1)  68  23  17  28  119 -118  63
Total(Div 2)  20   9   5   6   40 - 20  23   
Grand Total   90  33  22  35  166 -142  89 

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs     -    LWWLDW

Spurs      0-1   Stoke
Hull       1-2   Spurs
Spurs      2-1   Everton
Chelsea    3-0   Spurs
Spurs      0-0   C. Palace
Swansea    1-2   Spurs

Burnley   -    WWDDLW

Burnley    1-0   Hull
Stoke      1-2   Burnley
Burnley    1-1   A. Villa
Burnley    1-1   Newcastle
QPR        2-0   Burnley
Burnley    1-0   S'hampton

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 7. Spurs    16  7  3  6  20-22  -2   24 
17. Burnley  16  3  6  7  11-24 -13   15

Carry on where you left off, Spurs!

The last time we played Burnley was on the last day of the 2009-10 season. It was the game which followed our heroic 1-0 win at The Etihad Stadium, where we qualified for the Champions League for the very first time. (Well, at least the play-off stage)

Burnley had already been relegated in their one and only previous season in the Premier League, having waited for 33 years for top flight football. Spurs started the game well, and had an outside chance of beating Arsenal to third place, if Fulham managed to win at The Emirates.

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric gave us a 2-0 lead before Elliott got the home side back in the game before the break. Ben Alnwick was having one of his rare outings in Spurs senior colours, and had played in another memorable Spurs game at Turf Moor the previous year. I'll write more about that occasion, when I preview next month's Third Round FA Cup tie to be played at Turf Moor on Monday 5th January, 2015.

At half-time on May 9th 2010, Arsenal were already 3-0 up. Spurs had no more to gain, and nothing to lose, and I suspect the team switched off, thus allowing Burnley to come back in style and finish their season wwith a 4-2 win. They finished third bottom of the table, and by beating Spurs, registered their eighth league win of the season. Other significant victims had been Man Utd and Everton early in the season, whilst they also beat Hull at home and away. Hull were relegated with Burnley and Portsmouth.

Which of these two teams has the better form over the last six games? Well, it's not Spurs, because with three wins and two draws, Sean Dyche's side has a marginally better record. They waited till November for their first league win (over Hull again), and have hardly looked back since gaining surprise wins over Stoke (away) and Southampton (home) last week. Burnley have a challenging programme over the Christmas period, with Liverpool and Man City among their opponents.

Burnley finished 9 points behind Leicester in last season's Championship promotion race, and all three promioted sides have found Premier League life hard. In the case of Burnley and Leicester limited investment has been possible. It's not rocket science to anticipate that Burnley will be keen to get men behind the ball, and hope for a break or two. I don't think that Spurs are going to be allowed to play the free flowing attacking game we saw on Wednesday night, much as we'd love to see another goal feast.

Indeed, when we played Burnley at home in September 2009, we ran out 5-0 winners. Robbie Keane scored 4 goals, and Jermaine Jenas also scored. That was the fourth time in 9 games (all competitions) that Harry Redknapp's team had scored 5 goals. We had four strikers chipping in, with Defoe, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko also on the books at that time. No wonder we had such a good season!

22 year old Danny Ings is in his fourth season at Burnley, and is their top scorer with 4 Premier League goals. Ings scored 21 Championship goals last season. Sam Vokes has been sorely missed by Burnley. He scored 20 goals last season, but has been out since March with a cruciate knee injury, and is still two weeks away from recovery.

Amongst the Burnley squad is George Boyd, who started his career at Stevenage; spent several seasons at Peterborough, and has now graduated to Premier League football with Burnley via Hull.

Former Spur Dean Marney is also a midfield regular for Burnley this season. Marney graduated from the Spurs Academy and made his Premier League debut under Glenn Hoddle's management in August 2003 at Birmingam. Marney only ever made three starts and five substitute appearances for Spurs in the Premier League. His most memorable Spurs game was against Everton on New Year's Day 2005, when he scored two goals in a 5-2 win over Everton.

Spurs have a massive squad and no significant injury problems going into the busy Christmas schedule. The six days between this match and the Boxing Day trip to Leicester is a luxury at this time. Recovery from Wednesday's exertions permitting, I expect to see Spurs team looking like this:- Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason, Bentaleb; Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli; Kane.

I think that scoring will be more of a challenge tomorrow, and I'll go for a 2-0 win to Spurs. An early goal could bring a landslide though. See you there!

Tomorrow's match referee is Mike Jones, who we have already seen twice this season. He officiated the home win against Southampton and the defeat against Stoke.

On December 18th, 10 years ago, Spurs beat Southampton 5-1. Jermain Defoe scored his first Spurs hat-trick. Harry Redknapp was in charge of Saints.

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