Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Burnley and Crystal Palace
Yesterday, we had the rarity of each of the Premier League big-hitters taking to the pitch on a Saturday afternoon due to their upcoming Champions League and Europa League openers, and it gives an opportunity to some of the clubs expected to feature at the bottom of the standings to take centre stage. It also puts Frank de Boer
further in the spotlight at a time when the Dutchman is allegedly fighting to keep his job at Selhurst Park.
We will talk more about De Boer a bit later but this is also a key match for Sean Dyche
and his Burnley side. The Clarets were superb in front of their home fans last year and dismal on the road but so far, it has been the complete opposite. While points have been taken off both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur on the travels, they lost out to West Bromwich Albion at Turf Moor. Dyche will target games such as this one to rack up the points in a bid for survival, especially with Palace playing so poorly. Only a win will do for the North-West outfit.
Anyway, without further ado, let's crack on with the team news, starting with the home side.
BURNLEY XI: Heaton, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Cork, Defour, Gudmundsson, Brady, Vokes, Wood
BURNLEY SUBSTITUTES: Pope, Bardsley, Long, Westwood, Arfield, Barnes, Walters
CRYSTAL PALACE XI: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Fosu-Mensah, Schlupp, Puncheon, Cabaye, McArthur, Lee, Townsend, Benteke
CRYSTAL PALACE SUBSTITUTES: Speroni, Van Aanholt, Riedewald, Kelly, Milivojevic, Lumeka, Kaikai
Dyche has made just one change to his starting lineup, but it's a notable one. Chris Wood
is included in attack for his first start for the Clarets, with Scott Arfield dropping to the bench. It means that Burnley go with two in attack as Wood partners Sam Vokes
De Boer has opted to make multiple changes to his team after witnessing their 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea City before the international break. Before we get to that, the most notable absentee is Mamadou Sakho
, who has presumably not been deemed match-fit. There is also no place for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who remains on the sidelines through injury. The same applies to James Tomkins, with Joel Ward, Lee Chung-Yong
among those coming into the team. After Palace missed out on Oumar Niasse, the inexperienced Levi Lumeka and Sullay Kakikai are among the replacements.
HEAD TO HEAD! Today's match represents the 44th time in which these two teams have faced each other in a competitive contest, with Burnley claiming 17 wins in comparison to just the nine for Palace. Burnley ran out the victors in both of the league encounters last season, although Palace do hold a win at Turf Moor as recently as January 2015, when the London outfit overcame a two-goal deficit to run out 3-2 winners.
With less than 25 minutes to go until kickoff at Turf Moor, a quick reminder that we will also be bringing you full coverage of the match involving Swansea City and Newcastle United, with kickoff at 4pm, BST. Like this fixture, it may not appear to be the biggest match at this stage of the season but come May, it may prove pivotal.
Let's get back to the subject of De Boer. The Dutchan was only appointed as Palace boss about six weeks before the start of the season but already, the club's hierarchy appear to want to make a change. It feels harsh on the former Ajax and Inter Milan coach, who must surely have made the decision-makers aware of his plans. For whatever reason, his style of play has not worked thus far and he now must make the call regarding whether he is stubborn with his philosophy or switch to tactics which suit the players at his disposal.
While we have already alluded to Burnley's home record last season, we should probably point out how impressive Palace were on their travels. The Eagles claimed 21 points away from Selhurst Park, which proved to be the eighth best in the top flight. Palace have only played Liverpool away so far, with a 1-0 defeat being registered, so it would be unfair to make too much judgement on how they may or may not fare this afternoon.
The decisive factor in this game could be how Palace's defence contend with what has now become an extremely physical Burnley frontline. Vokes was previously trusted with providing the rough and tumble in and around the box, but with Wood now able to assist him, it is fairly predictable that Burnley are going to be either playing a long ball game or sending numerous crosses into the box. Fosu-Mensah and Dann could have a long afternoon on their hands.
Burnley may have missed out on picking up any points when they hosted West Brom on the second weekend of the season, but we are backing them to ease to victory this afternoon. We would not be able to justify a Palace win - even if Christian Benteke
could potentially trouble a defence which now lacks Michael Keane - so we are going to predict a 3-1 triumph for the Clarets.
The two teams have made their way out at what is an extremely breezy and drizzly Turf Moor. Who will that suit? It's time to find out.
Burnley get us underway.
Both sides are still trying to set their stall out at Turf Moor, but high balls are currently the order of the day. Palace are probably shading things, but no chances for either team.
GOAL! Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace (Wood)
Wow. When you need a win - even a point - you just don't do this. Lee Chung-young has just attempted a back-pass from the halfway line but it only went straight to Wood, who ran onto the ball and curled the ball past Hennessey, who was 25 yards of his goal. A gift.
CHANCE! Palace come close to an immediate equaliser! The ball falls to Dann inside the penalty area but after a neat turn, his half-volley is cleared off the line by Ward!
CHANCE! Palace go close again! What a start to this game. Townsend whips in a delightful cross for Benteke, who powers a header from 12 yards marginally wide of the post.
CHANCE! Now Burnley nearly net a second! Ward is released towards the byline and his cross finds Vokes, who glances a header a few yards wide of the far post. I am yet to pause for a breath. The action is relentless.
Things have started to calm down a touch. They needed to, really! Burnley are having the better of the play and look like scoring each time they attack, but Palace are well in this contest.
Palace have since had a couple of corners but the only reward was a speculative volley from Cabaye. Palace need to keep this intensity up, but they give off the suggestion that they have got a mistake in them at the back. Wood and Vokes are already winning the physical battle against Fosu-Mensah.
Palace have had about six corners in the opening 18 minutes of this contest. They only really have Dann and Benteke who can pose a threat, but they are at least putting their hosts onto the back foot.
CHANCE! Make that another corner and a different name posing a threat. McArthur makes a terrific run to meet the ball around 12 yards out but his header goes just wide of the far post. It was a chance.
Burnley haven't necessarily been on the back foot for sustained periods in this game, but they are certainly hitting back right now. There's a feeling that they can deflate Palace with a second goal, but if the Eagles find an equaliser, you would make them favourites to win the game.
When assessing this Palace performance, you also have to remember that James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho
, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Wilfried Zaha are all missing. In most people's opinions, it would be unfair to judge De Boer until they all return to the team. They are giving a good account of themselves so far.
Palace managed to win a free kick around 25 yards from goal - it may have been slightly closer - but Cabaye's effort failed to beat the wall. It was a hugely disappointing effort.
Heaton is down having to receive some treatment after landing awkwardly on his arm. It looks like Nick Pope may have to be introduced.
SUBSTITUTION! It appears like Heaton dislocated his shoulder before popping it back in. He is able to walk off the pitch but Pope is on in his place.
That stoppage has broken up the rhythm of the play, which will benefit Burnley more so than Palace. This is a big few minutes for Palace, who remain behind but have comfortably been the better side.
It has been a good quarter-of-an-hour since we last had a shot on goal. We were spoilt in the opening stages but as the first half has progressed, the chances have dried out.
There will be three minutes of added-on time. I expected more, but there you go.
CHANCE! Townsend gets a shot away on the edge of the box but not only was his effort on his weaker right foot, it was deflected and that allowed Pope to make a comfortable save.
HALF TIME: Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
The half-time whistle goes at Turf Moor and Burnley lead thanks to that early goal from Wood, which was gifted to him by Lee. Palace have had their moments, however, and have been the better side. Interesting second half coming up...
Palace get us back underway.
The start of this second half has been similar to the first - both teams are threatening but with no real efforts on goal. This is ok for Palace as it stands but at some stage, they are going to have to push further forward.
There has been an argument that De Boer aren't playing for their manager, but based on this performance, they are all pulling in the right direction. Aside from that mistake from Lee, this has been a very assured performance, produced when chasing a game.
It remains all Palace but the end product just isn't there at the moment. Townsend has just gone on a mazy run but after teeing up Lee for the cross, it was comfortably defended.
The main forward on the bench for Palace is Sullay Kaikai. Despite netting no goals in the Premier League and just three in 18 Championship appearances, I would expect him to be introduced at some stage.
SUBSTITUTION! Burnley make a second switch - this one optional - with Ashley Barnes being introduced for Vokes.
SUBSTITUTION! De Boer has also acted, with Levi Lumeka replacing Lee on the left flank.
We are still waiting for a clear-cut chance in this half. It has all turned rather mundane. A second for Burnley - at this stage - would win it for them.
CHANCES! Much better from Palace. Firstly, Lumeka sees a header deflected over the crossbar after meeting a cross from Townsend before from the resulting corner, Schlupp directed a shot high over the crossbar from around 15 yards out.
CHANCE! This game is starting to open up. At the other end, Barnes attempts to curl the ball inside the far corner but Hennessey makes a rather comfortable save.
BOOKING! Benteke rightly goes into the book for barging over Tarkowski when jumping for a high ball.
CHANCE! What a chance for Benteke. The Belgian somehow finds his way through to goal but despite having just Pope to beat from 10 yards, the goalkeeper pulled off a terrific save to get the ball away from danger.
SUBSTITUTION! Jairo Riedewald is being introduced for McCarthur. Not sure where the former Ajax man is going to line up here.
SUBSTITUTION! Burnley are going to make their final alteration, with Ashley Westwood taking the place of Defour.
CHANCE! Dann has had another shot cleared off the line! Again, he makes a fine connection with a half-volley but a defender slides in to stop the ball heading into the net.
TSHOT! Townsend and Cabaye are the latest to try their luck, with Townsend shooting wide and Cabaye seeing a long-range effort punched away.
CHANCE! How has Dann missed this! Cabaye finds the defender at the back post but his teammate directs the ball wide from three yards.
There will be three minutes of added-on time.
FULL TIME: Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
The full-time whistle has gone at Turf Moor and Burnley have somehow held on for the three points thanks to that early goal from Wood. Palace deserved at least a point but that may matter little to the decision makers at the club, with De Boer potentially being sacked on the back of this defeat.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye for now.