After the victory at Villa Park against Newcastle United, a game that had more similarities to a training game than a Premier League match, Dean Smith will be looking to take all three points from their claret and blue rivals in Lancashire.
Following a successful takeover by an American businessman (Alan Price) earlier in the season, Burnley are determine to stay outside of the bottom three this year and subsequently see Sean Dyche rewarded with a healthy transfer budget for the summer transfer window in 2021.
However, it took Burnley eight attempts to win their first game of the season. But after a surprise win away to Liverpoo, Burnley fans will be much more confident of survival, sitting in 15th, 7 points above the drop.
What the stats show
Despite his incredibly successful time at Burnley, manager Sean Dyche is not known for playing the attacking brand of football most fans find attractive. This season has been no different:
No team has had fewer goals per 90 minutes than Burnley this season with the Clarets averaging just 0.5 goals per game.
Looking at the number of shots they take per game, as well as the number of shots they create each game, it’s clear why Burnley aren’t scoring many goals:
Where Burnley are performing well is in preventing goals in their own net. They have conceded just 21 times this season, which is the 6th best in the Premier League, better than Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, but not as good as Aston Villa.
Last time out
Burnley managed to take home all three points from Anfield on Thursday evening in what will most likely be their result of the season. Despite only having 29% of the ball and 20% of the shots in the game, Burnley were able to sneak a 1–0 victory thanks to Ashley Barnes’ 100th senior club career goal.
The most fascinating stat of the night was that Burnley’s victory ended Liverpool’s 68 game unbeaten home run.
Ones to watch
Burnley’s number 1, Nick Pope, is fighting for a chance to become England’s number 1 in the upcoming Euros, and this season has done his chances no harm at all.
Pope has the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League and has made 64 saves this season, the 4th highest in the league:
Another player crucial to Burnley’s impressive defensive record is another England international, James Tarkowski.
Tarkowski has been at the heart of the Burnley defence ever since signing for the Clarets back in 2016.
Comparing every player in the league in terms of clearances and tackle percentage against dribblers shows just how difficult players are finding it to get past Tarkowski at the centre of the Burnley defence:
Burnley will be without left-back Charlie Taylor, having been injured in the previous league fixture against Liverpool. It is likely Dyche will call upon Erik Pieters instead.
Jay Rodriguez will be hoping to start the game over Chris Wood; however, Wood has scored three goals in his last four starts against Villa.
Villa will see the return of John McGinn following his one match suspension but this may create a difficult choice for Dean Smith, as Marvelous Nakamba played so well against Newcastle United.
Now, it’s your turn: tell us who should start for Aston Villa at Burnley!