MX23RW : Wednesday, August 10 08:29:35| >> :120:42403:42403:
[monks data]
May 7, 2022 at 3pm UK at Turf Moor
1 - 3
Aston Villa
Cornet (90+1')
Brownhill (69')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Ings (7'), Buendia (31'), Watkins (52')
Digne (21'), Watkins (45+1')

Preview: Burnley vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Burnley and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A resurgent Burnley side will be looking to give their survival hopes another timely boost on Saturday when they welcome Aston Villa to Turf Moor.

The Clarets have enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in recent weeks to climb out of the bottom three, but they remain only two points clear of danger with four games remaining.

Match preview

Burnley caretaker manager Mike Jackson and academy director Paul Jenkins pictured on April 17, 2022© Reuters

The controversial decision to sack Sean Dyche after nearly a decade in charge and some incredible achievements in that time was understandably greeted with outrage from the outside and consternation among Burnley fans last month, but it is becoming more and more difficult to argue against it now.

Dyche's replacement Mike Jackson - still only in caretaker charge of the club - has overseen a remarkable and immediate upturn in form, taking 10 points from a possible 12 at the helm so far, including victories in each of his last three games.

Those wins over Southampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford respectively - the latter a dramatic late turnaround to effectively condemn their opponents to relegation - mean that Jackson has now picked up as many points in his first four games as Dyche managed in his final 10.

Not since April 2018 have the Clarets won four Premier League games on the bounce, while Jackson is looking to become only the fourth manager in Burnley history to open his reign with a five-match unbeaten streak.

Momentum can be crucial in such relegation battles, but 18th-placed Everton also picked up a much-needed and morale-boosting win last time out and have a game in hand, while 17th-placed Leeds United's only defeat in their last six came against Manchester City.

Burnley's Nick Pope and Nathan Collins celebrate after the match on April 21, 2022© Reuters

Jackson and his players will know that their job is far from complete, then, and with both teams below them showing that they are capable of picking up points in the home straight recently, their two-point buffer still looks perilous.

Nonetheless, they are in a much better position now than they would have expected to be in after losing to Norwich City less than a month ago, and matches against Aston Villa could go a long way to determining their Premier League status next season.

A COVID-enforced rearrangement of the reverse fixture in December means that this is the first meeting between the two sides this season - the latest into a top-flight campaign that two teams are meeting for the first time since Luton Town and Nottingham Forest faced off in 1987-88.

The pair will renew acquaintances just 12 days after this meeting, with Burnley also facing Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United in their other two remaining games this season.

The Clarets may view the Villa double-header as their easiest games left on paper, particularly as Saturday's visitors have only won one of their last 26 league visits to Burnley, losing 19 of those.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard looks on on April 9, 2022© Reuters

The most recent of those was a 3-2 win for Burnley last season, giving the Clarets the chance to win back-to-back games against Villa for the first time since January 1973 this weekend.

Only the bottom three have lost more Premier League games than Steven Gerrard's side this season - their tally of 17 being three more than opponents Burnley - but their record of 12 wins is also the highest outside the top eight.

Win number 12 came last time out against Norwich City too, ending a five-match winless streak courtesy of goals from Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings and relegating the Canaries in the process.

More importantly as far as Villa are concerned, the win effectively secured their own place in the Premier League next season, seeing them to the 40-point mark and lifting them eight points clear of the bottom three.

Victory on Saturday could be enough to lift them into the top half too, so the prospect of a best league finish since 2010-11 is very much still on the cards if they are able to end the season strongly.

The Villans have at least one game in hand over most of the other teams in the league too, although two of their final five outings do come against title-chasing duo Liverpool and Manchester City.

Burnley Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

 Burnley's Maxwel Cornet reacts after missing a chance to score, December 4, 2021© Reuters

Burnley's recent form has been all the more remarkable given that it has come in the absence of some key players, most of whom will still be missing this weekend.

Ben Mee is in a race to return before the end of the season, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood and Jay Rodriguez will all miss out once again on Saturday.

Erik Pieters could be back available, though, and Maxwel Cornet, who will undergo a late test to determine whether he can be part of the squad having now returned to training following a knee problem.

Regardless, with such a small squad at his disposal, Jackson's options to rotate are severely limited by such an injury list, although he may see very little need to tinker with a winning formula right now anyway.

Aston Villa's own injury list grew last time out as Leon Bailey was forced off before half time, and he is expected to be absent for this match too.

Bailey's replacement against Norwich - Danny Ings - came off the bench to score, though, and he is likely to start this time around against his former club.

Ings has scored in each of his last three league outings against Burnley, and could join Craig Bellamy (against Newcastle United) as the only players to net in four consecutive Premier League games against a former club.

Watkins was also back on the scoresheet last time out, and another this weekend would see him become the first Aston Villa player to reach double figures for goals in consecutive top-flight campaigns since Christian Benteke from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

Elsewhere, the visitors will still be without Kortney Hause, while Gerrard revealed in his pre-match press conference that Jacob Ramsey is a major doubt, but Ezri Konsa and Douglas Luiz will be keen to earn their places back after surprisingly being left out last week.

Youngster Tim Iroegbunam made his debut in that match and could be involved again, although he may have to settle for a place on the bench this time around.

Morgan Sanson is back in training, meanwhile, but Saturday's match will likely come too soon for him to start.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Roberts, Collins, Tarkowski, Taylor; McNeil, Brownhill, Cork, Lennon; Weghorst, Vydra

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; McGinn, Luiz, Buendia; Coutinho; Ings, Watkins

SM words green background

We say: Burnley 1-0 Aston Villa

All eyes should be on the opening 15 minutes in this match; Villa have conceded a league-high 22% of their goals in that period, while only Man City have scored a higher share of their goals in that spell than Burnley.

If Villa do survive that period then their chances of success should greatly improve - you have to go back to December 5 for the last time they won a game in which they conceded - but Burnley will be fighting for their lives and it is difficult to look past their recent form.

The new manager bounce may not last until the end of the season, but a home tie against a Villa side that is now effectively safe from relegation is about as kind a fixture as Burnley could hope for at this stage of the season.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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