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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley F.C.: match preview, projected lineups, predictions, and how to watch

Can't decide whether Burnley plays more like Madrid or Dortmund. Either way, solid warmup for our Champions League draw.

Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur fell to Chelsea F.C. 2-1 in frustrating fashion. With a heavily rotated Chelsea lineup, Spurs held possession, and were probably the better side on the day, but the seemingly obligatory wonder free kick, combined with the Blues creating more killer chances, saw the hated rivals from West London nab three points away.

Spurs dropped six places in the table with the loss to tenth spot, but sit three places higher, via goal differential, than Sunday’s opponent; Burnley F.C. Burnley bestowed the Premier League with a fantastic opening day surprise. The Lancashire outfit, who were ironclad last year at Turf Moor, but dreadful away, defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 3-2. The honeymoon ended abruptly though as Burnley fell to WBA 1-0 in their second match of the season.

Burnley’s strength continues to lie in their organization and backline. Even with the loss of Michael Keane to Everton — their young center-back star from last season — the Clarets have experience and grit in defense. Ben Mee, Keane’s center-back partner last season, is sturdy and a fan favorite, while stalwarts Stephen Ward and Matthew Lawton breed consistency in the backline. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is the club’s captain and dependable in net as well.

For the role that he plays, new signing Jack Cork might be the club’s most important player this term. He is adept at breaking up play in front of the back four, while also facilitating the counter attack. He was a fine player at Swansea and should bring needed quality to Burnley’s midfield. Stephen Defour, the Belgium international and last year’s record transfer, can create and score a few from midfield, while Johann Gudmundsson has also been more than decent in attack. With Andre Gray leaving for Watford, the burden of goals falls to the brawny shoulders of big Sam Vokes. An absolute throwback, the guy isn’t going to burn anyone with his pace, but get him in the eighteen yard box with proper service, and the dude can do some damage.

Even though Burnley dropped points at home and defeated Chelsea away, they are still a significantly greater threat at Turf Moor. In set pieces, Sam Vokes can capitalize, but outside of that its hard to see where Burnley will trouble Spurs offensively. Add that their backline isn’t quite as good as it was last year and its a perfect opportunity for Spurs to shatter the Wembley narrative.

How to Watch

Date/time: Sunday, 4:00 p.m. (UK), 11:00 a.m. ET (USA)

Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, U.K.

Official: Lee Mason

TV: NBC Sports Gold (USA), BBC Radio (UK), Sportsnet One, Sportsnet Now, Sportsnet World Now (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at

Streaming: NBC Sports Gold (USA)

Radio: Audio streamed at, also often at BBC Radio London,BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport

Projected Lineup

Erik Lamela, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, and Danny Rose are out this week. Rose is probably a month away, Lamela is undetermined still, while GKN has the potential to return after the international break. Davinson Sanchez is awaiting a work permit and would make the match-day eighteen squad if that permit is approved by Sunday.

Especially with the Sanchez signing, when health isn't a concern of course, it looks like Poch is set on the 3-4-3 as the primary lineup for Tottenham Hotspur this season. Sunday will be interesting though as we play at the wide open Wembley Stadium against an opponent that is dead-set on bunkering down. Will Poch tinker the lineup to get Son Heung-Min on the pitch? I think so.

With Sonny in the attacking band we have another stud to breakdown a conservative Burnley defense. Also, in the 4-2-3-1, Kieran Trippier is less of a liability. Chelsea highlighted Tripps absolute inability to create anything on his own and the team suffered because of it. If Kyle Walker was on the right flank, Spurs would have won that match.

In a 4-2-3-1 though, Trippier is much better suited to be effective and play within his strengths. If Serge Aurier signs (a damn wonderful piece on the prospect of this by Ben Daniels and Michael Caley) or a last minute Ricardo Perreira shaped player comes into Hotspur Way by end of the transfer window, then we might be able to rotate our right-backs by formation. Until then, best to start with a 4-2-3-1.

Hugo will start in net, with Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier manning the outside back positions. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will start in the center of defense, while Eric Dier and Mousa Dembélé will represent the double pivot. Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Son Heung-Min will comprise the attacking band, with Harry Kane playing the lone striker role.

Prediction League

While Earl of Shoop’s predicted Ross Barkley transfer hasn’t come to fruition yet, his 2-1 Chelsea result did. Combined with Bryan A’s incorrect correct pick and the great blizzard that precedes each of them wherever they go is justified. Everyone else was depressingly off the mark.

Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18

Name Score
Name Score
Dustin Menno 2
Matthew Pachniuk 2
Earl of Shoop 2
GN Punk 1
Alex Greenberg 1
Pardeep Cattry 1
Skipjack 1
Joe Patrick 1
Salmon Chase 1
Bryan A. 1
Nathan Giannini 0
Ed F. 0

Dustin Menno: We are living in a world where Burnley can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but Tottenham can’t at Wembley Stadium. I don’t like this world. Also, Burnley is trash. 3-0 Spurs.

Matthew Pachniuk: Burnley is *kind of* like Real Madrid. This should be a fine tune-up for our Champions League draw. Be gone Wembley demons, be gone! Spurs 3-0.

Jake Meador: Our attack struggles again because of a lack of width and numbers in the attacking third. But we're still able to do enough to beat Burnley. 1-0 Spurs.

Skipjack: Founded in the late 1800s, Burnley is due to be replaced like any outdated system. They are on the path of irrelevance and due to be relegated. There is no way they can stand up to a modern team like Tottenham which is adapting to markets around the world. 2-0 Spurs.

Ed F: Burnley's masterplan for league success of signing the whole Leeds team that failed to make last year's playoffs unravels as Harry breaks his November curse. 2-0 Spurs.

Joe Patrick: We're at Wembley, so we win very uncomfortably 1-0.

GN Punk: Something something break the narrative about Wembley. Spurs 3-1.

Pardeep Cattry: Tottenham > Burnley. Tottenham 2-0.

Earl of Shoop: Spurs bounce back from a demoralizing loss to the Blues with a somewhat more encouraging display in a 2-0 win. Unfortunately that does not in any way deter us from an impending Ross Barkley-shaped bad decision.

Salmon Chase: My first exposure to Burnley was in the early 2000s docu-farse Real Football Factories, the Danny Dier. Which is always the sign of a club with prestige. I mean at this point what more could I say? That setup was also the punchline. Really anytime you are grouped in with Danny Deir it says it all. 2-0 Spurs.

Alex Greenberg: 2-0 Spurs. But if we don't win this one, the Wembley narrative is going to, somehow, get even more annoying.

Nathan Giannini: Burnley are notoriously terrible away from home (hilarious win over Chelsea this season notwithstanding), so unless we have two players sent off, we should get back on track with a comfortable win. 2-0 Spurs.

Bryan A.: I was trying to lose and I can’t even do that right. I hate this game. 5-0 Spurs.