Brighton vs Burnley preview: Seagulls aim to end winless run
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Last Updated: 09/02/19 7:57am
Brighton will be looking for a first Premier League win of 2019 when they host Burnley on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
The Seagulls have lost three of their five league matches this year and are five points above the relegation zone.
However, manager Chris Hughton hopes a midweek FA Cup win over West Brom will lift the squad.
"In terms of the mood of the group ahead of Saturday, it goes without saying it's always better to be approaching matches on the back of a victory like we are after midweek," he said.
While Brighton have not won in the Premier League since the turn of the year, Burnley's form has improved in 2019.
They have recovered from a slow start to the season with an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, although they are still only two points above the relegation zone.
Manager Sean Dyche said: "The last run of six league games has shown a more consistent level of our identity, with performances and points.
"Individually and collectively there's been some really good performances."
Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens will be assessed due to a hip problem.
Colombia winger Jose Izquierdo, who has not featured since December 4, has returned to training following a knee problem but is unlikely to be involved.
Steven Defour is likely to miss out once again but Burnley's injury situation is improving.
The Belgium midfielder has made just nine appearances this season because of a succession of problems and a calf complaint leaves him a major doubt for the trip to the Amex Stadium.
However, full-back Matt Lowton will have a late fitness test after recovering from a cracked toe bone while fellow defender Kevin Long has returned to training this week though Aaron Lennon (knee) and Jon Walters (Achilles) remain long-term absentees.
- There has been just one goal scored in the three previous Premier League clashes between Brighton and Burnley, with the Seagulls failing to score on each occasion (D2 L1).
- Burnley are looking to do the league double over Brighton for the third time in their history after the 2011-12 and 1972-73 seasons.
- Burnley are unbeaten in their last six league matches against Brighton, although the first five games in this run ended level (W1).
- Burnley have kept a clean sheet in 48 per cent of their league encounters with Brighton (14/29); their best such ratio against a side in their history (min. 20 games).
- Brighton have won only one of their last 10 Premier League games (D3 L6), beating Everton at the end of December.
- Only one of Brighton's seven home defeats in the Premier League has come against a side from outside of the 'big six' (0-2 v Leicester in March 2018).
- Burnley are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games (W3 D3), with only Manchester United on a longer current run without defeat (8).
- Burnley's Chris Wood has scored five goals in his last eight league starts against Brighton, although he's failed to net in five of the last six.
- After netting seven goals in his first seven home Premier League games this season, Brighton's Glenn Murray has failed to score in his last five at the Amex Stadium.
- With Joe Hart starting in goal this season, Burnley have won just three of their 19 Premier League games (16 per cent), conceding an average of 2.2 goals per game. With Tom Heaton starting, the Clarets have won three of their six Premier League games (50 per cent), shipping just 0.8 goals per game.
This is a big game for Brighton, who rested a lot of players in the FA Cup against West Brom in midweek - 11 changes and then Glenn Murray comes on and scores, so they have another game now. And you think, 'why did you not just play your best team from the start then, as you would not have to have played two-and-a-half games to get through?'
Burnley, meanwhile, look back to the old Burnley, hard to beat and play against…
MERSE PREDICTS: 0-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)