Preview: Burnley vs. Sunderland

Sports Mole previews the meeting of Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor as both teams go desperately seeking their first victory of the Premier League season.

Burnley host Sunderland on Saturday with both teams still looking for the first Premier League win of the season.

The Clarets have only lost as many games as Liverpool and Manchester United, but their lack of firepower has left them in the relegation zone after four matches.

They have drawn 0-0 on their last two outings and Sean Dyche has seen the strike force that took the Championship by storm last term ripped apart by injury, with Danny Ings having joined Sam Vokes on the sidelines.

Scott Arfield is the only Burnley player to have found the net so far, but he missed an 85th-minute penalty against Crystal Palace last weekend as Dyche watched a first victory as a top-flight manager slip through his fingers.

Sunderland would have taken Burnley's place in the second tier last season had it not been for a strong finish in which they won four out of five games to complete an unlikely escape from the drop.

They are finding three-point hauls harder to come by this season, having drawn three times so far, although they were perhaps fortunate to escape with a point from their clash with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

With a visit to Turf Moor and games against Swansea City and Stoke City at the Stadium of Light coming up, Gus Poyet will be hoping that the Black Cats can put together another run which sees them climb the table.

The Uruguayan may name the same side that drew 2-2 with Spurs thanks to Harry Kane's late own goal, with deadline-day arrival from Inter Milan Ricky Alvarez poised to keep his place on the right wing.

Another new signing, Sebastian Coates, may have to wait for his Sunderland bow, with Poyet hinting this week that Manchester United alumni John O'Shea and Wes Brown will continue in defence for now.

Steven Fletcher was not included in the 18 last time out, but should be named on the bench against the club for whom he scored eight Premier League goals in 2009-10, in a move that will come at the envy of Dyche.

The Clarets boss may recall Matt Taylor on the left flank and shift George Boyd inside to compensate for the injury to Ings, ensuring that Marvin Sordell and Ashley Barnes give him striking options as substitutes.

Burnley's back five have been unchanged all season and may be again, with loanees Nathaniel Chalobah and Michael Keane coming into the matchday squad ahead of potentially making their debuts.

The hosts have won just one of their last 16 league meetings with Sunderland - a 3-1 victory in 2009.

Recent form

Burnley: DDLLL

Sunderland: DLWDD

Possible starting lineups

Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Arfield, Jones, Marney, Taylor; Boyd, Jutkiewicz

Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, Brown, O'Shea, Van Aanholt; Cattermole, Rodwell, Larsson; Johnson, Alvarez, Wickham

Sports Mole says: 0-1

Who will win Saturday's match between Burnley and Sunderland at Turf Moor?

Burnley
Sunderland
Draw
Burnley
21.1%
Sunderland
50.0%
Draw
28.9%
Burnley manager Sean Dyche celebrates with Danny Ings following the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor on April 21, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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