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Community Hoddle of Coffee for Friday, March 31: a brief Burnley preview

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Burnley’s coming, and I’m worried.

Swansea City v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Hoddlers!

Tottenham head to Turf Moor on Saturday to take on Burnley in what is probably one of Spurs’ toughest remaining away fixtures of the season. I’ve seen a lot of Spurs fans, both here and elsewhere, count this match as one of the ones we “should” win — which is why those of us on here have tried very hard to turn people’s opinion. Burnley is a solid team at Turf Moor. They are a dumpster fire when away from home.

As I mentioned in an earlier article, Burnley have lost only three matches at home all season: to Manchester City, to Arsenal, and to Swansea City in the opening match of the season. In their home matches, they have only allowed 12 goals all season -- that’s good for fifth in the league behind Chelsea, Spurs, United, and Everton.

Away from home? They have yet to win, only earning three points on three draws, scoring nine goals and letting in 30. It’s this disparity that has resulted in their probably-accurate 13th place midtable position — not really in danger of relegation, but not exactly going places either.

So why are they so good at home? Burnley switched early in the season to a 4-5-1 formation, and they play a deep, compact defensive line. The pitch at Turf Moor is relatively small compared to other grounds, which allows them to sit deeper and defend, and try and hit back on the counterattack whenever possible. The five man midfield also allows them to control the center of the pitch, and makes them difficult to break down.

In some ways Spurs are a team that could match up well against the Clarets, and the 3-5-2 formation used by Pochettino in recent matches could be one factor that could help them pick Burnley’s lock. But Burnley simply doesn’t allow very many scoring chances, and those they do allow aren’t very good ones. On the other end, Burnley’s counterattack means they don’t shoot the ball much, but when they do it tends to be on good chances.

So, yes, I’m a little frightened of this match tomorrow. If there’s a banana peel game in the schedule against lower table opposition where Spurs could drop points, it’s this one. Without their best goal scorer in Harry Kane and possibly without Vincent Janssen who is adept at breaking down bunkered defenses, it’ll be tricky to get a whole lot of quality looks at goal tomorrow. Spurs should be very very happy with a win, and Spurs fans content with a draw, but don’t expect it to be a high scoring affair.

This is a community Hoddle, so put your links in the comments, and let’s talk. Do you think Spurs can get a rare win over Burnley at Turf Moor tomorrow?