CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Super Sunday's showdown between Spurs and Burnley.
Tottenham vs Burnley | Sunday 28th February 2021, 14:00 | Sky Sports
Sean Dyche and his men make the trip to the capital to take on a struggling Spurs side who’ve lost five of their last six EPL matches.
It’s been a tough period for Jose Mourinho’s men. Since an excellent victory over rivals in December, they have taken just 12 points from 13 EPL games. Only Newcastle, Sheffield United and West Brom have taken fewer in that time and it’s simply not good enough for a side who were being talked about as title contenders just a few months back.
Burnley haven’t faired much better in terms of form, but they have different ambitions. The Clarets have won just three games since the turn of the year, claiming victory at Crystal Palace, at home to Aston Villa and a shock win away at Anfield.
They seem to pick up results when they’re not expected to, and with many presuming Spurs will get back on track in this one, could Burnley once again prove their doubters wrong?
- Commit on average fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Have committed 16, 13, 16, 14 and 15 fouls when playing lower half teams at home this
- Receive on average fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Have received 12, 15, 12, 13 and 9 fouls this season in home games against lower half
opposition this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 1/5 home games against sides in the lower half this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 4/5 occasions.
- Have lost five of their last six EPL matches.
- Since beating Arsenal in December, Spurs have taken just 12 points from 13 EPL
games. Only Newcastle, Sheffield United and West Brom have taken fewer in that time.
- Giovani Lo Celso is back in training following a thigh problem, but the welcome of Burnley comes too soon for the Argentine.
- Serge Aurier misses out once more and Jose Mourinho has to decide whether to start Matt Doherty or Japhet Tanganga at right-back.
- Dele Alli will be hoping his performance against Wolfsberger is enough to secure a starting berth, though Jose Mourinho may elect to start Erik Lamela in the number 10 role.
- Commit on average fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Have committed 9, 8, 9, 14, 19, 4 and 13 fouls when playing top half teams away this season.
- Receive on average fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Have received 11, 11, 12, 8, 17, 12 and 11 fouls this season in away games against
top-half opposition this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 2/7 away games against sides in the top half this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/7 occasions.
- No team has failed to score in more different EPL matches than Burnley this season
(13), yet only three teams have kept more clean sheets than the Clarets.
- Johann Gudmundsson is Sean Dyche's only confirmed injury absentee for the trip to Tottenham.
- The Burnley boss is sweating on the fitness of Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood, Robbie Brady, Erik Pieters and Dale Stephens.
- The former are usual starters when fit, but it may be that Dyche names the same XI that started the 0-0 draw with West Brom.
Referee: Kevin Friend
- Averages just 2.13 yellow cards per game this season.
- Has awarded 50+ booking points in just two of his last 20 games officiated.
My first pick is for Burnley to see over 12.5 free kicks in the game – on bet365, offsides contribute towards the total count. I see this one being quite scrappy and a bit of a midfield battle as Spurs look to break down a resolute Burnley side.
Games featuring the Clarets tend to be relatively low scoring and with Spurs not firing on all cylinders, I see it being a stop-start kind of match. Only three other sides have more clean sheets than Burnley which is a testament to how organised they are.
Spurs have lost five of their last six and have struggled somewhat in overcoming sides in the lower half of the table. They’ve won three of their five home games against sides currently in the bottom half but of those games, only once has it been by more than the single goal (2-0 Vs. West Brom in early February.)
In those games, they gave away at least 13 free-kicks in every single one and that’s without counting offsides. I fancy the Clarets to keep the game tight and win as many set-piece situations as they can in the hope of inflicting more misery onto a stuttering Spurs side.
My second pick is a little bit more of a longshot but I’m happy to be on at the price. In the five games Spurs have played at home to sides in the bottom half, they have given their opposition 15 free-kicks or more in four of them, including Fulham who sees on average the third least fouls per game away from home.
Burnley sees the sixth-highest fouls per game away from home and so I think the visitors could easily see 15 or more. We then just need the game to see under 5 match cards.
Referee, Kevin Friend, is awarding 2.13 yellows per game on average this season and has been quite lenient. As mentioned in the stats above, Friend has awarded 50+ booking points in just two of his last 20 games officiated. In Spurs’ five home games against the lower half sides, only one has seen 50 booking points and that came at home to a Newcastle United side who are top of the disciplinary table.
Meanwhile, of Burnleys seven games away to top-half sides this season, not a single one has seen 50+ booking points. With a ref who has an exceptionally low average and how I think this game will pan out, 10/3 is a price I’m more than happy to be on for this selection.