Burnley vs Southampton preview: Peter Crouch could make debut
Last Updated: 02/02/19 8:04am
Peter Crouch could make his Burnley debut against his former club Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Clarets manager Sean Dyche is convinced Crouch can still prosper in the Premier League, where the towering former Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Tottenham target man has a record of 108 goals in 462 games.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Dyche told the club's website: "There's no issue about his fitness and I think he has an intention and a desire to still make a mark in football.
"We know what a good character he is and he still has that edge. We know he's an effective footballer and he has a hunger to come here and make a mark."
The move ends Crouch's seven-and-a-half-year spell at Stoke, where he made more than 250 appearances and scored on 62 occasions.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has said Southampton must avoid defeat against Burnley to ensure Premier League survival remains in their own hands.
Southampton, Burnley and Crystal Palace, who host Fulham at Selhurst Park, are all tied on 23 points in the fight to avoid the drop.
Southampton are much improved under Hasenhuttl, but the Austrian has stressed to his players the significance of stopping their relegation rivals from securing all three points on Saturday.
"It's more important that we go unbeaten against these types of opponents," he said.
"It is a team that also is fighting for everything and it is not easy to take points in such games. We know Burnley played a good game against Man United and nearly won.
"So, it will be the same for us against Burnley as it was against Crystal Palace, an opponent in our relegation battle who is fighting for every point."
Dyche confirmed Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will be available this weekend.
Brady has shaken off a groin injury he suffered in last Saturday's FA Cup thrashing at the hands of Manchester City while Gudmundsson made a late cameo at Manchester United in midweek after three weeks out with a thigh complaint.
Steven Defour and Matt Lowton are unlikely to feature but Crouch will be hoping to make his Clarets debut against one of his former clubs.
Southampton expect to have midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fit following a head injury.
Hojbjerg suffered a cut to his head in Wednesday's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, but otherwise Hasenhuttl reported no fresh injury concerns.
Forward Charlie Austin has been carrying an ankle problem, so will be assessed, while defender Ryan Bertrand (back), midfielder Mario Lemina (abdominal) and forward Michael Obafemi (thigh) all continue their recovery.
- Burnley are unbeaten in five home league matches against Southampton (W3 D2 L0) since losing 2-3 in October 2007 in a Championship clash.
- Southampton have won just one of their nine top-flight visits to Turf Moor (D2 L6), a 1-0 win in March 1971 with Mick Channon scoring the winner.
- In this season's reverse Premier League fixture between Burnley and Southampton, there were 34 shots in a 0-0 draw - only one game this season has seen more shots without a goal scored (Crystal Palace 0-0 Cardiff on Boxing Day, 40 shots).
- Only Manchester United (7) are on a current longer unbeaten run in the Premier League than Burnley (5, W3 D2).
- Burnley are winless in their last 13 Premier League games played in February (D6 L7) since winning their first ever such game in the month in 2010 (2-1 vs West Ham).
- Southampton have earned seven points from their last three Premier League away games (W2 D1 L0), as many as they had in their previous 10 on the road (W2 D1 L7).
- Burnley have conceded eight Premier League goals in the 90th minute of games this season, more than any other side. Only two teams have ever conceded more in a single season - Hull City x2 (9 in 2009-10, 10 in 2016-17) and Cardiff City (10 in 2013-14).
- Southampton forward Charlie Austin has scored four goals in his last four league starts against former side Burnley - during his league career, Austin has only scored more goals at Loftus Road (32 in 45 games) than Turf Moor (23 in 43).
- Since the start of last season, both Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood have scored 14 Premier League goals for Burnley, with Wood managing that tally in 18 fewer shots (74) than Barnes (92).
- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Burnley have won 59% of their home Premier League games when Tom Heaton has started in goal (13/22), compared to just 30% without him (8/27).
- James Ward-Prowse has scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances for Southampton, having netted in just two of his last 46 in the competition.
Charlie Nicholas prediction
It is a little bit like the old Burnley in terms of the fight is there, they changed the goalkeeper, which seems to have calmed them down a bit. I know the two late goals at Old Trafford were a bit of a body blow, but that is the reality of where Burnley are. But they have kicked on a bit and are more confident now.
On the other hand, I have been quite impressed with Hasenhuttl's redevelopment of Southampton, in particular Redmond - he has found a little niche for Redmond. He is not a No 9, but he plays up front with his pace and movement and he creates real issues. I think Southampton are a better team when they play away from home and will cause another upset.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2