Thursday, May 23, 2024

Kompany says Burnley have nothing to lose in do-or-die Tottenham clash

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 May 2024

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Vincent Kompany says Burnley have no choice but to go “all out” in their final two games of the Premier League season, needing to win both to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

The Clarets approach Saturday’s trip to Tottenham in 19th, five points adrift of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest, who they face at the City Ground on the final day.

To tee up a winner-take-all clash with Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, Burnley must win at Spurs and hope Forest lose to Chelsea later on Saturday, given the Clarets possess a vastly inferior goal difference.

With Burnley facing up to the prospect of a fourth relegation from the Premier League, Kompany says they have nothing to lose.

“Let’s just go all out. Let’s have a good go and do ourselves proud,” he said.

“That’s the goal we have. I would love the fans to come out of this place with a special experience.

“In the end, I wouldn’t describe this as a high-pressure game. We don’t have anything to lose. If we go into the game protecting a two-point lead, then it’s a different mindset.”

Tottenham, meanwhile, appear destined to miss out on Champions League qualification after losing four straight Premier League games, leaving them needing a perfect set of results to overhaul fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Spurs’ defensive frailties were ruthlessly exploited in a 4-2 defeat to Liverpool last time out, leading to criticism of Ange Postecoglou from some sections of the fanbase.

However, the former Celtic boss says he needs time to complete Tottenham’s turnaround, telling Optus Sport: “It was never going to happen in two transfer windows.

“What you’ve got to remember is, when I came in last year, the team had finished eighth last season, but it wasn’t a team on the climb.

“It was eighth for a team going in the other direction. So you’ve got eighth, in decline, you lose your best player and we want you to totally change the way we play.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tottenham – Richarlison

Richarlison recorded a goal and an assist off the bench against Liverpool last week. He is the only player to achieve that feat as a substitute twice this season, also doing so in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Sheffield United back in September.

The Brazilian could be reintroduced into Postecoglou’s lineup on Saturday, and he will be desperate to make an impact amid rumours concerning his Tottenham future.

Burnley – Arijanet Muric

While Muric has been criticised for making some high-profile errors, he has the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (81.3 per cent).

Despite playing just eight games, he has also prevented the second most goals (seven) in the league, according to Opta’s expected goals on target (xGoT) model (18 xGoT faced, 11 goals conceded excluding own goals). He could be busy again on Saturday.

MATCH PREDICTION – TOTTENHAM WIN

Tottenham have won seven of their eight previous Premier League home games against Burnley (one draw), winning the last four without conceding. Only against Crystal Palace between 2015 and 2019 have they won five in a row at home while keeping a clean sheet each time in the competition.

Spurs have, however, gone 13 home league games without a clean sheet – their longest run since enduring a 15-match streak between December 2002 and September 2003.

Last week’s loss at Anfield represented the fourth time they have conceded four or more goals in a Premier League game this season, their most in a single campaign since 2013-14 (five).

As Tottenham look to avoid losing five straight Premier League games for the first time since 2004 (a run of six under Jacques Santini and Martin Jol), they may just be thankful for this fixture against the Clarets, who have been found wanting at the top level this season.

Burnley have lost all seven of their league games against teams starting the day in the top five this term by an aggregate score of 24-7 – including a 5-2 defeat in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor.

While Kompany’s team will give it a go, their campaign looks destined to end in relegation.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Tottenham – 64%

Burnley – 13.8%

Draw – 22.2%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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