The first match of Monday evening is a clash between two teams who are fundamentally strong defensively. The similarities between Sean Dyche and Roy Hodgson’s styles of play have been brought up many times by Palace fans – as some continue to speculate over who the successor of the Premier League’s oldest manager will be.Embed from Getty Images
Burnley lead into the game as one of the worst form teams in the league so far, having yet to find a win and sitting on a lowly two points after seven games. The worry for Burnley, clearly, is goals. Having failed to score in five of their seven games, and not scoring in their last four, they face a Palace side who haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening game of the season against Southampton – has something got to give?
The Eagles, on the other hand, are enjoying something of an impressive season, currently sitting in eighth with four wins from eight games having only lost to Chelsea, Wolves and Everton so far – all of whom would be expected to finish above them. Last time out, Palace put four goals past Leeds United, the first time they’d scored four in a game since beating Leicester in 2018, and they’ll be hoping this sets the tone for Monday night.
This same fixture last season saw Palace walk away with the spoils, a 2-0 victory for the Eagles in which Wilfried Zaha and Jeff Schlupp scored. In fact, the South London side have a good record recently when travelling to Turf Moor, having not lost there since 2018. The last game between the two sides resulted in a 1-0 Burnley win at Selhurst Park, courtesy of a Ben Mee header, so that may give them a bit of confidence and an edge going into this game.Embed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace may be without Ebere Eze – the star of their win against Leeds – as he was forced to withdraw from the England u21 squad due to picking up a knock. They’ll also miss Luka Milivojevic who is serving the second game of a three game suspension. The Eagles are, however, boosted by the returns of Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Tyrick Mitchell – giving Hodgson a range of options in defense.
Burnley also have bolstered options as Phil Bardsley and Erik Pieters return from a positive Covid-19 test and a calf injury respectively. Johann Burg Gudmundsonn is expected to be fit despite a slight calf strain, but Robbie Brady will miss the game having picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, as will Dale Stephens.
Written by: Callum O’Connell Sub-Edited by: Henry Jennings