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BURNLEY v WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Barclays Premier League
Sunday 8th February 2015, 12:00pm
Turf Moor

With the dust having settled on another disappointing transfer window at The Hawthorns, attention switches back to on-field matters and an absolutely crucial game at Turf Moor against fellow strugglers Burnley.

With Tony Pulis experiencing defeat for the first time as Baggies' boss in last weekend's match against Spurs, the pressure will be on Albion to bounce back with a good performance and result against a Burnley side who sit just two points and three places behind them in the Premier League table.

After winning promotion last season Burnley were most pundits prediction for relegation but the Lancashire side have put up more than a fight than most expected, aided in no small part by the goals of in-demand striker Danny Ings. Although the Clarets have come under fire from their own support over their inactivity during the January transfer window, their most important business may be the fact that seven goal top-scorer Ings remained at Turf Moor, this despite the interest of a number of clubs both in the Premier League and overseas.

Meanwhile, Albion's own transfer window ended yet again with a feeling of insufficiency in terms of players signed. With the Baggies crying out for pacy attacking players it was desperately disappointing to see just the one in Callum McManaman arrive. As for the club's other signing, if Darren Fletcher can return to anything like his pre-illness form then he will be an excellent signing in the middle of the park and one would assume the captaincy of the club is surely his for the taking.

With Fletcher and McManaman looking likely to start in midfield at Turf Moor alongside Chris Brunt and Claudio Yacob, all eyes will be on Tony Pulis' defensive selection. Last weekend's defeat against Spurs saw Joleon Lescott once again deployed at left-back, a move that was met with derision by the Baggies' faithful. Lescott, who has easily been Albion's best player this season, looks totally uncomfortable in the full-back role and the travelling support will be hoping to see him return to his rightful place in the centre of defence. Up-front, Saido Berahino looks likely to keep his place despite another ill-advised and unauthorised interview with the press in which he once again made clear he wants out of the club. Unfortunately, with only the injury-prone Victor Anichebe and the out of form, and some would say out of his depth, Brown Ideye, Albion have no choice but to persist with Berahino despite his petulance.

The first game between the sides at The Hawthorns back in September ended in an easy 4-0 win for the Baggies but without question the trip to Turf Moor will be anything but easy although it's a game Albion can and do need to win. With the club's run-in at the end of the season looking particularly daunting it's vital that they start picking up wins quickly and the game at Burnley offers a good and realistic chance of victory. Of course, the hosts will probably be feeling very much the same way but if Lescott and co. can snuff out the threat of Ings, Tony Pulis' men will have a good chance of returning down the M6 with all three points.

ATWD Prediction: Burnley 1-2 Albion

MATCH NOTES

The game will be the 127th competitive meeting between Albion and Burnley. The Baggies currently have 54 wins to their name compared to The Clarets' 45.

Albion's last game on this date came just last year, the Baggies suffering a 3-1 Premier League defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The club's last win on February 8 came in 1992 when goals from Bob Taylor (2) and Gary Robson, saw Albion record a 3-0 win over Birmingham City in a Third Division clash at St Andrews.

Burnley's last game on this date also came as recently as last season, the Clarets beating Millwall 3-1 at Turf Moor in a Championship fixture.

The Clarets are hosting Albion in top-flight football for the first time since December 1970.

Albion have won just two of their last 17 league games at Burnley.

The Baggies are the division's second lowest scorers in away games with 11 goals, but do have the third best defensive record.

Albion's last six games: Tottenham Hotspur (H) 0-3; Birmingham City (A, FAC) 2-1; Everton (A) 0-0; Hull City (H) 1-0; Gateshead (H, FAC) 7-0; West Ham United (A) 1-1.

Burnley's last six games: Sunderland (A) 0-2; Crystal Palace (H) 2-3; Tottenham Hotspur (A, FAC) 2-4; Queens Park Rangers (H) 2-1; Tottenham Hotspur (A, FAC) 1-1; Newcastle United (A) 3-3.

TEAM NEWS

Albion

New signing Darren Fletcher looks set to make his debut for the Baggies in the lunchtime clash at Turf Moor. The former Manchester United man could replace fellow Scot James Morrison who is struggling with a knee problem.

Boaz Myhill could return to the squad after missing last week's defeat against Spurs due to a hand injury but Swedish defender Jonas Olsson won't be considered despite returning to training.

Burnley

Clarets' boss Sean Dyche has no new injury worries and may name the same side for the 10th successive Premier League match.

Matt Taylor remains missing following Achilles surgery whilst Kevin Long (knee) is out long-term.

MATCH ODDS

Result

Albion Win: 9/5, Burnley Win: 13/8, Draw: 21/10.

First Goalscorer

Albion: Berahino 11/2, Anichebe 6/1, Sessegnon 8/1, McManaman 9/1, Brunt 12/1, Gardner 12/1, Dorrans 14/1, Morrison 14/1, Dawson 20/1, McAuley 25/1, Lescott 25/1, Baird 28/1, Yacob 28/1, Fletcher 33/1.

Burnley: Ings 5/1, Barnes 11/2, Vokes 6/1, Jutkiewicz 13/2, Sordell 15/2, Boyd 9/1, Kightly 11/1, Wallace 14/1, Arfield 14/1, Jones 20/1, Marney 20/1, Keane 25/1, Reid 28/1, Trippier 33/1.

No Goalscorer: 7/1.

www.williamhill.com

REFEREE

Mike Dean (Wirral)

Dean has officiated two Albion games so far this season, both at The Hawthorns - the 1-0 win over Aston Villa in December and the 2-2 draw against Manchester United in October.

He refereed four Albion games last season - the 1-0 win at home to West Ham in April, the 1-1 draw at home to Fulham in February, the 3-3 draw at West Ham in December and the 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea City in September.

The Wirral official has taken charge of two Burnley games this season - the 3-3 draw at Newcastle United on New Year's Day and the 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace in September.

Dean has issued 96 yellow cards and five red in the 22 games he has officiated so far this season.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are available on the gate at Turf Moor priced at 35 adults, 17 Under-17s and 24 seniors (over 65s).

WEATHER FORECAST

Thick cloud, 2C.

FIXTURE HISTORY

The two clubs first ever meeting came in a friendly fixture at Stoney Lane in November 1885, the visitors running out 3-0 winners.

Albion's first league meetings with Burnley took place in 1888 during the Football League's inaugural season. The first game between the sides, in September at Stoney Lane, ended in a 4-3 home win for the Baggies, Walter Perry, Billy Bassett, Billy Hendry and Charlie Shaw the goalscorers. Six weeks later Burnley won the return fixture at Turf Moor 2-0.

The Baggies' biggest win against Burnley came in November 1967 when they recorded a 8-1 victory at The Hawthorns, Bobby Hope (2), Clive Clark (2), Tony Brown, Eddie Colquhoun, John Kaye and Jeff Astle were the Albion goalscorers.

The Lancashire side's best win of 6-1 came at Turf Moor in September 1951 with Billy Morris scoring four of the Burnley goals.

Albion's last victory at Turf Moor came in February 2002 when two goals from Jason Roberts saw Gary Megson's promotion-chasing side claim all three points with a 2-0 win.

Burnley's last league win against the Baggies came in August 2007, a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor. The Clarets' last win at The Hawthorns came almost 45 years ago in December 1969 when a Steve Kindon goal was enough to give the visitors a 1-0 win.

A full fixture history between the two teams can be found here

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

(Click on game to view)

Saturday 24 January 2009 - Albion 2-2 Burnley - FA Cup 4th Round - The Hawthorns
Saturday 2 February 2008 - Albion 2-1 Burnley - League Championship - The Hawthorns
Saturday 16 August 2003 - Albion 4-1 Burnley - League Division One - The Hawthorns
Saturday 6 March 1993 - Albion 2-0 Burnley - League Division Two - The Hawthorns

LAST MEETING AT TURF MOOR

Burnley 3-1 Albion
FA Cup 4th round replay
Tuesday 3 February 2009, 7:45pm

Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Duff, Caldwell, Kalvenes, McDonald (Gudjonsson 80), Elliott, McCann, Blake, Paterson (Rodriguez 90), Thompson (MacDonald 90+2). Subs not used: Penny, Carlisle, Akinbiyi, Mahon.

Goalscorers: Elliott 45+1, Thompson 52, 88

Booked: Caldwell 25 (dissent)

Albion: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk, Pele, Cech, Kim, Dorrans, Simpson (Brunt 36), Filipe Teixeira (Hoefkens 58), Fortune, Bednar. Subs not used: Kiely, Robinson, Koren, Martis, Morrison.

Goalscorer: Zuiverloon 60

Attendance: 6,635

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Steven Thompson struck twice as Burnley dumped Premier League West Brom out of the FA Cup to set up a fifth round tie against Arsenal or Cardiff. Wade Elliott volleyed in the first for the Clarets before Thompson lashed in the second after a failed clearance. Gianni Zuiverloon fired in from the edge of the box on the hour to give the Baggies hope. Robbie Blake skilfully set up Thompson for a simple tap in for his second and Burnley's third to see them through.

The victory is Burnley's fourth against top flight opposition this season and goes some small way towards exorcising the ghost of their last-gasp defeat to Tottenham in the Carling Cup semi-final. West Brom boss Tony Mowbray made six changes to the side that faced Hull in the Premier League last Saturday, indicating where the FA Cup features in his list of priorities. It was one of those changes, Roman Bednar, who almost gave the visitors the lead four minutes before the interval when Marc-Antoine Fortune beat the offside trap and laid the ball back to the Czech, but his strike was diverted for a corner by keeper Brian Jensen. Three minutes later, Burnley took the lead when a long punt upfield from Jensen was headed upwards by an Albion defender and Elliott was on hand to strike a superb volley into the left-hand corner from 20 yards.

Burnley grabbed a second seven minutes after the break when Martin Paterson's far-post header from a Christian Kalvenes cross was blocked, but Thompson was on hand to lash the loose ball in from six yards. Yet the visitors responded impressively and with half an hour to go Zuiverloon was given enough space on the right side of the Burnley penalty area to drill a fine low shot past Jensen into the bottom corner. Any hopes the Baggies had of forcing extra-time were ended two minutes from time when Blake brilliantly set up Thompson in the six-yard box to tap in his second and seal a deserved victory.

BBC Sport

CURRENT CONNECTIONS

Albion's Chris Baird spent a short spell as a Burnley player towards the end of the 2013/14 season.

Burnley defender Steven Reid spent four years at The Hawthorns before moving to Turf Moor last summer following his release by Albion.

PAST CONNECTIONS

Amongst the players to have turned out at various levels for both clubs are: Colin Anderson, Henry Boyd, David Campbell, Len Cantello, Bill Chambers, Richard Chaplow, Paul Crichton, Delroy Facey, Ronnie Fenton, Gary Germaine, Tony Grant, Brian Jensen, Tommy Jones, Joey Law, Andy Marriott, Mickey Mellon, Len Moorwood, Tony Morley, James O'Connor, Mike Phelan, Stuart Robertson, Artim Sakiri, Barry Siddall, Frank Sinclair, Wilf Smith, John Talbut, Stanislav Varga, Gavin Ward, Winston White and Jason Withe.

Bob Brocklebank played over 100 games for Burnley in the 1930s, later becoming an Albion scout; Alan Stevenson was Commercial Manager at The Hawthorns having earlier been a Burnley player.

ALL-TIME LEAGUE & CUP RECORD VS BURNLEY

 VENUE P W D  L F A
 Home 64 35 13 16 135 71
 Away 62 19 14 29 78 111
 Total 126 54 27 45 213 182

LAST TEN MATCHES AGAINST BURNLEY

 DATE  COMPETITION H/A F-A  GOALSCORERS     GATE
 Sun 28 Sep 2014  Premier League H 4-0  Dawson, Berahino 2, Dorrans    24,286
 Tue 03 Feb 2009  FA Cup A 1-3  Zuiverloon - Elliott, Thompson 2      6,635
 Sat 24 Jan 2009  FA Cup H 2-2  Koren, Kim - Alexander (pen), Paterson    18,294
 Sat 02 Feb 2008  Championship H 2-1  Cesar, Bednar - O'Connor    22,206
 Sat 11 Aug 2007  Championship A 1-2  Phillips - Duff, Gray (pen)    15,337
 Mon 23 Apr 2007  Championship A 2-3  Koumas, Ellington - Gray 2, McCann    12,500
 Sat 18 Nov 2006  Championship H 3-0  Koumas, Ellington, Carter    18,707
 Sat 17 Jan 2004  League Division 1 A 1-1  Horsfield - Blake    13,106
 Sat 16 Aug 2003  League Division 1 H 4-1  Sakiri, Hulse, Hughes 2 - Blake    22,489
 Sun 03 Feb 2002  League Division 1 A 2-0  Roberts 2    15,846


 

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