Few football fans would liken Burnley FC to a banana skin, but that’s exactly what the club could prove to be on April 1 when they welcome Tottenham. Indeed, on a day when everyone and their dog will be doing their best not to look like a fool, Spurs will be hoping a few untimely slips don’t scupper their chances of moving clear of Manchester City.
By all measures of form and success this season, Mauricio Pochettino’s men should claim a comfortable win at Turf Moor on Saturday. Harry Kane has been firing on all cylinders with 19 Premier League goals, Hugo Lloris has kept 10 clean sheets from 25 appearances this season and the team as a whole are second in the league. In contrast, Burnley is sitting in unlucky 13th place after 29 games with a goal difference that’s three times worse than Spurs’.
From this season’s stats alone, it’s easy to see why Sun Bets has the London club as the 13/20 favourites heading into the game. In fact, things don’t get any better for Burnley when you look back through history. Of the 109 times the two teams have met, Tottenham has the edge with 43 wins to Burnley’s 40. Again, if we looked at the numbers, Bet365’s odds makers appear to have every right to make Tottenham the 3/5 betting favourites.
However, as any self-respecting football fan knows, numbers only go so far and there are a few knocks (quite literally) that could swing this match in favour of the home side. Firstly, Sean Dyche has worked wonders with what many would consider a mediocre team this season. Aside from getting his players to gel as a unit and move eight points clear of the relegation zone, Dyche has brought out the best in Michael Keane.
The 24-year-old has come on leaps and bounds since his days as a Manchester United academy prospect and he’s now a key figure in the Burnley first team. As a testament to his recent form, Keane recently ran out for England and it’s this achievement that could give him a confidence boost ahead of Saturday’s game. To coincide with the defender’s current rise to prominence, Spurs will be without hotshot Harry Kane this weekend. An ankle injury against Millwall could keep him out until the end of April which will hurt his team’s scoring abilities.
On top of this, midfielder Erik Lamela will be out with a hip injury as will striker Vincent Janssen. This spate of injuries will leave the striking duties to Son Heung-Min. Unfortunately, having played 90 minutes of international football already this week, there’s a chance he’ll be slightly fatigued and not at his best. When we piece all this together it seems we’ve got two issues at play here. Firstly, we’ve got a Burnley defence that’s likely to be buoyed by Keane’s form. Secondly, we’ve got an under strength Spurs that look to be lacking some firepower.
The combination of these two factors could result in a shock result on April 1. Now, Burnley hasn’t exactly been banging in goals this season. In fact, the side’s 31 goals for is the fourth worst in the Premier League, which would suggest they probably won’t be too much of a threat for a Tottenham side that’s only conceded 21. If we accept this, a draw would be a fair shout. With William Hill offering 3/1 on that result, a cheeky punt could be worth your time this weekend. For something a little more lucrative, 1-1 with William Hill is a tempting 13/2.
On the face of it, Tottenham should walk through Burnley and take all three points. However, with injuries threatening to provoke an upset, this could be the one time Burnley become a proverbial banana skin.