Burnley vs Crystal Palace | Monday 23rd November 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Happy place, happy place, Turf Moor. Crystal Palace travel to Lancashire on Monday night in an attempt to pile more misery on Sean Dyche’s men who are winless this season and without a Premier League victory at home since June.
The bookies can’t split the two teams in the 1×2 market here with both available at 7/4 and the draw at around 2/1. It would take a brave backer to get behind the hosts though as injury problems at the top of the field have meant Burnley have only scored in two of their opening seven matches, losing all three of their home matches to nil.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, have started with 12 goals and four wins, which for a team that were the second worst scorers in the division last year is decent going. They ranked awfully on all major metrics last season but still stayed up by some margin.
Reaching December without a win in the league is usually seen as an untenable situation, and with a trip to Manchester City to close the November game weeks after this one, the pressure is on the hosts here and not Palace. With new owners potentially on the horizon, the pressure may well be ramping up for Dyche.
This season, Dyche has had to deal with injuries, and he has seven first-team players major doubts here, with four of them at the back. The Burnley boss will be hoping Charlie Taylor and Phil Bardsley pass late fitness tests after suffering minor injuries.
Ben Mee did return before the international break and it’s no coincidence that they kept a clean sheet at Brighton despite conceding 19 shots on Nick Pope’s net. His relationship alongside James Tarkowski has been the catalyst to their success since their promotion a couple of years ago, and Dyche will be hoping they keep out the increasingly lively Wilfried Zaha, who seems to be playing the best football of his career.
Zaha has seven goal involvements in his eight starts (5 goals, 2 assists), which is as many as he managed in 38 outings last year (4 goals, 3 assists). He and his teammates have been quick out the blocks this season in games, scoring eight first-half goals, which is only two fewer than they had in the whole of the last campaign.
The shift of Zaha’s position to the top of the pitch for The Eagles is clearly being transpired in better performances and a small improvement ton their woeful attacking metrics recorded in the 2019/20 season.
The betting angles
Unsurprisingly we can’t be expecting goals here, and the bookies agree. Palace haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening day but Burnley are yet to score a home goal, so it’s hard to pick which way this will swing.
Crystal Palace average the lowest possession in the division with 39.8% of the ball, whilst Burnley sit 15th in the possession table. Palace’s opponents in each of their eight games have attempted 425 passes or more and that where Boylesports have set their line at 7/10.
I’ll have a point on that as I expect Burnley to take the game to the visitors and the bet has landed in 8/8 for Palace’s opponents. Burnley came close to passing this mark against Chelsea at Tuff Moor recently so let’s hope they can hit it this time.
Kevin Friend is the man in the middle at Turf Moor and he has been a busy official so far this season. In every game he has refereed this season, either in the Premier League or the Championship, Friend has either pointed to the penalty spot or given a red card. On his only visit to Turf Moor last season, where he oversaw Burnley v West Ham, he gave the hosts two yellow cards.
I will opt for a player card in the Palace ranks and the player in question is James McArthur. He’s 4/1 at Betfair for his name to be taken. The Scotsman has already been cautioned by Kevin Friend against Everton earlier this season and has two cards in his six appearances so far.
Over his Premier League career, of 286 games, McArthur has committed 377 fouls. He may have to break up attacks here with Dwight McNeil and Josh Brownhill bursting from midfield, so the 4/1 looks a decent point of attack.
Burnley vs Crystal Palace – Burnley Over 424.5 Passes (7/10 Boylesports)
Burnley vs Crystal Palace – James McArthur to be carded (4/1 Betfair)