Our live stream ahead of Wednesdays Premier League match, Burnley vs Aston Villa is now up, kicking off at 18.00 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Sean Dyche’s men have propelled themselves up to 15th in recent weeks and will endeavour to secure their third win on the bounce in all competitions when they welcome European outsiders Aston Villa to Turf Moor.
Dyche’s men secured a historic win on the Merseyside turf through Ashley Barnes’s sweetly-struck penalty, as Liverpool just couldn’t find a way through a Burnley defence which demonstrated a very familiar resolve last Thursday.
Burnley followed up that victory at Anfield with a resounding 3-0 win over Fulham in the FA Cup, with Jay Rodriguez staking his claim for a starting place with two goals at Craven Cottage, and Kevin Long also struck a rare goal for an inspired Burnley.
The signs are wholly positive for Dyche and co, who had won four of their last five matches in all competitions at Turf Moor before United’s victory earlier in the month, although a measly five league goals scored at home is the joint lowest in the division alongside West Bromwich Albion.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith “reluctantly” accepted a touchline ban for his dismissal against Manchester City, but the West Midlands outfit did not need their manager barking orders from the dugout to secure a 2-0 win over lowly Newcastle United last week.
Ollie Watkins ended his nine-game goal drought while the impressive Bertrand Traore notched up his fourth of the Premier League season on a near-perfect night for Villa, who ended a three-game losing run across all competitions with that triumph.
Villa’s first victory of the calendar year comes after their squad had been decimated by a major coronavirus outbreak, but the players showed no ill effects from that cluster as they kept themselves in the mix for a European berth – with four points now separating Smith’s men from fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have played a game more.
The two clubs last met a month ago, with Burnley holding Villa to a goalless draw despite 27 shots from the villains…
On turning point of season…
“We’re coming back to a strength in our group and we’re beginning to look like we feel this group is and that’s a very committed, hard-working group of players with some quality,”
“As much as we’re aware Aston Villa have had a really strong start to the season and continue to deliver good performances, then I think we’re getting that strength in depth again.
“We’re in a good place ourselves.
“We’ve had two really important results for different reasons, and pleasing in that we had so many players who haven’t always been there fit and well and active, so it’s been a good week for us.”
On getting the competitive element back…
“We’ve earned the right to get back on a good run of results and the present position,” added Dyche, whose side was still in the bottom three in early December.
“There’s a lot of work to be done yet, but I think we’ve deserved to get where we’ve got to, especially after a very tough start.
“People sometimes forget we had two points in eight games. And then you look at the points’ return in the last number of games and actually we’re in a very strong run of form.
“We want that to continue but it is the one-game mentality that has served us well, so this next game is the most important one.”
On Ollie Watkins…
“All goalscorers and centre-forwards will tell you they’re not that worried [about not scoring], but really they just want to score goals and Ollie is the same.
“His mentality has changed since he became a centre-forward at Brentford last season and his mentality is now about scoring goals.
“I’ve said it before that his work ethic has endeared him to all staff members and players here. Nobody was putting any pressure on him apart from himself.”
On Villas playing style…
“There are different ways to win football games – it’s not always about being gung ho and cavalier.
“It would have been very easy with the form that Newcastle were in to go with a very attacking system, but I just felt we needed to be solid as well, pick up second balls and play from there.
“We’ve got different ways that we can win games now, which is probably the most pleasing thing.
“We’ve got a good organisation and structure so that when players come in, they know their roles and can do a really good job.”
“Burnley are a very resolute team, and they don’t concede many against anyone. They’ve had an unbelievable result against Liverpool, so it’s going to be a real tough game again.
“They’re pulling themselves away from the slow start they had. It’s going to another tough game for us.
“They defended resolutely [against Liverpool], and that’s what their success has been built on. They’ve always got that threat up front as well, with Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.”
Burnley Premier League form: WLWLLW
Burnley form (all competitions): WWLLWW
Aston Villa Premier League form: WWDLLW
Aston Villa form (all competitions): WDLLLW
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Barnes
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins
Under 2.5 Goals – 10/11 with FanTeam.
Virtually every time Sean Dyche’s side take to the field in the Premier League, we tip under 2.5 goals, and more often than not, it lands. Burnley have been involved in 14 games with under 2.5 goals from their 19 PL matches so far. Just one of their last nine has seen more than two goals scored.
Three of Villa’s last four have seen under 2.5 goals. That, and Burnley’s propensity to hold their opposition at bay should keep the score low once again.
Time to take a look at our Burnley vs Aston Villa live match stream as it happens…