In recent weeks, Burnley have had a change in fortune as the Clarets secured seven points out of the last available nine. When they welcome Leicester City at Turf Moore for a Tuesday night kick-off, Sean Dyche’s men would be hoping to retain that momentum.
Till January, Burnley were one of the relegation favourites. They were struggling to points on the board, and the defensive resilience we had commonly associated with Sean Dyche’s Burnley had dissipated. But, a fantastic run in February has put them in a much better position at the moment. As things stand, another great escape from relegation is seemingly on the cards.
Burnley have recovered their defensive solidity over the last seven matches, where they let in only three goals. James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have been central to the side’s improved defence, forging a formidable centre-back pairing in front of a brilliant Nick Pope on goal.
The Lancashire outfit has also been a greater threat on the other end of the pitch, thanks to the arrival of Wout Weghorst. The £14 million January signing has hit the ground running with one goal and two assists in six Premier League appearances.
Burnley won’t get much encouragement looking at their record against their Tuesday night opposition. They have won only once against the current FA Cup champions in their seven previous meetings. However, Leicester’s dismal recent form and the 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture will make Burnley fans optimistic.
Burnley are still in the drop zone, having accumulated only 21 points. But, they have played two games less than fellow relegation contenders Leeds, who sit 16th with 23 points. Burnley have three games in hand over Brentford, who occupy the 15th spot with 25 points to their name. Beating Leicester will help Burnley get ahead of Everton, Brentford and Leeds in the relegation fight.
Dyche could get back his first-choice fullbacks Matt Lowton and Cobnnor Roberts back for the tie. Maxwel Cornet is also expected to be fit enough to start ahead of Jay Rodriguez in the front-two.
Since their dramatic win over Liverpool in December, Leicester have been winless in the Premier League. A series of poor results have pushed the Foxes far away from the European spots, and they desperately need to put on an excellent run to reignite their hopes of European qualification. Leicester are currently 13th in the Premier League standings. A big win can help them leapfrog Aston Villa and Crystal Palace and climb to the 11th spot.
Brendan Rodgers’s side will try to inspire themselves from their recent 7-2 thrashing of Danish Superliga side Randers over two legs in the European Conference League Round-of-16 qualifications. James Maddison netted twice in the second leg, and Harvey Barnes scored the other as the match ended 3-1 in favour of the Foxes.
But, the Premier League is a different ball game. Leicester did not win any of their last four away matches. Rectifying that record will be no walk in the park at Turf Moore, where Burnley did not lose since October.
Leicester have missed the presence of their talismanic striker Jamie Vardy, who is near return from a lengthy injury layoff. However, the 35-year-old is not expected to start the match. In the best-case scenario, he makes the bench.
Ricardo Pereira would be another welcome return for Leicester, who will take the right-back position. Caglar Soyuncu will also be available for selection. Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, Johnny Evans, and Ryan Bertrand are still sidelined indefinitely.
Leicester will be delighted to have Jamie Vardy and Ricardo Pereira back to the fold. But, they will still have a hard time breaching the tough defence of Burnley. The Tuesday night hosts have shown they can dig their heels deep and make life difficult for opposition attackers. This match has a draw written all over it.
Draw @ 3.55