Burnley v Newcastle Monday 26 November, 20:00 Live on Sky Sports
Conceding goals a big problems for the Clarets
Last season's excellent seventh place finish must be starting to feel like a distant memory for Burnley fans as they watch their side struggle at the wrong end of the table.
Sean Dyche's men failed to win - inside 90 minutes - any of their opening 11 Europa and Premier League matches this term, and are now on a run of five games without a winfollowing back-to-back league wins at the end of September.
The highlight of the Clarets' campaign so far was a fantastic 4-0 win over Bournemouth, evidence that on their day Dyche's men should have far too much quality to be involved in a season-long scrap to avoid relegation. But keeping goals out has been very problematicthis term and that is undoubtedly proving to be Burnley's downfall.
Dyche's men conceded four at Fulham earlier in the season, three at home to Watford, and more recently 13 goals in three consecutive games against Man City, Chelsea and West Ham. Rather uncharacteristically, Burnley currently have the second worst defensive record in the Premier League; only Fulham (33) have conceded more than the Clarets' 25 league goals this season.
Key defender James Tarkowski had hernia surgery during the international break and could miss the game, which would be a huge blow, but in better news Johann Berg Gudmundsson has recovered from a calf injury.
Lack of goals the concern for Magpies
If conceding goals has been the problem for Burnley then scoring goals has definitely played a part in Newcastle's poor start to the season.
Rafa Benitez's men have scored just nine times in 12 Premier League games this term - only Huddersfield (six) and Crystal Palace (eight) have scored fewer - and on only two occasions have they scored more than once in a match.
The Magpies will at least run out at Turf Moore in decent form however having won back-to-back league games before the international break, defeating top-half sides Bournemouth and Watford at St James' Park. Away from home Newcastle are yet to taste victory, drawing three and losing two of their five road trips.
It shouldn't escape our notice that all three of the Magpies' away draws were by a scoreline of 0-0, and all three were against struggling sides - Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Southampton.
Left-back Paul Dummett received a calf injury while on duty with Wales and will miss the game, while a trio of players - Jamaal Lascelles (shoulder), Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto (both calf) - face late fitness tests.
Turf Moor stalemate the best Match Odds option
Languishing just one point above the drop zone both Burnley and Newcastle go into Monday night's live Sky game with identical records, winning two, drawing three, and losing seven of their 12 league games this term.
With nothing to split the two sides in terms of league performance you'd be forgiven for expecting to see Burnley trading as favourites to win given they have home advantage, but it's actually Newcastle that the market slightly prefers at 2.82. The Clarets can be backed at 2.98 with the Draw trading at 3.25.
In cases where it's difficult to split two sides on paper and you really don't think there's much between them in terms of ability then logic dictates that we should back the outsider of all three Match Odds options. In this case that option is the Draw at3.25. We're happy to put that up as a bet.
Newcastle have drawn 60% of their league away games this term, and in the last four meetings between these two clubs three of them finished all-square with just a single goal separating the two sides in the other meeting.
Few goals expected
It's fair to say that a goalfest isn't expected at Turf Moor on Monday night with Under 2.5 Goals the heavy favourite at 1.65 in that particular market.
True, we've mentioned that Burnley are conceding a lot of goals this season, but that's partly negated by the fact that Newcastle don't score many and the Clarets do come into this game on the back of keeping an excellent clean sheet at Leicester just before the international break.
If we ignore two games that went completely against the grain this season - Burnley's 4-0 win over Bournemouth and Newcastle's 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford - then the Clarets have scored just two home Premier League goals in their four other matches, while the Magpies have scored just once on their travels (four games also).
Under 2.5 Goals is the right price then, but it's not a price I like backing because there's always a chance that a game might... well, go against the grain. Over 2.5 Goals is trading at 2.50.
Obvious scorelines have to be backed
Providing we do get a game that goes close to how we expect then Burnley v Newcastle won't be a thriller and there's a lot of merit in backing, or at least trading down, the goalless draw.
Away from home Newcastle have conceded only to the two Manchester clubs this term and it's fair to say that Dyche's men aren't in that class, while despite having a terrible defensive record this season we know from the previous two campaigns how organised the Clarets can be, especially on home soil. And they did draw 0-0 last time, and Newcastle have had three goalless draws from just five away games this term.
In the Correct Score market the 0-0 is available to back at 9.00 and I think we'd be daft not to take it. With Benitez's men arriving in slightly better form then if there is to be a winner then it could well be the Magpies who nick it. The 0-1 scoreline can be backed at 8.80.