Burnley v Bournemouth: Clarets can pick off the Cherries again
Burnley host Bournemouth on Saturday as they look to beat them for a fourth time in-a-row in the Premier League. Steve Rawlings previews the match here...
Burnley v Bournemouth Saturday February 22, 15:00
In-form Burnley a fair price at odds-against
After a reasonable start to the season, which saw them lose only two of their first eight games (Liverpool at home and Arsenal away), Sean Dyche's Burnley lost ten of 14 premier League matches between October and January.
They managed to win their other four games, against West Ham and Newcastle at home and Watford and Bournemouth away, so it wasn't a catastrophic run, but they were still matched at around 3.00 to be relegated. They've turned it all around since Chelsea beat them 3-0 at Stamford Bridge though...
The Clarets were beaten by Norwich at home in the fourth round of the F.A Cup (1-2) at the end of January but it's more than a month since they tasted defeat in the Premier League and having won three of their last four, talk of relegation has all but ceased and they're up to 11th in the table.
Stopping the rot like that would have been satisfactory enough for Burnley fans but what's really impressive is who they've beaten over the last month or so. Home wins against third-placed Leicester and a rejuvenated Southampton were excellent results, as was the 2-0 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United and given how much improvement Arsenal have found under their new manager, Mikel Arteta, a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor at the start of the month was a fair result too.
Burnley will be without their injured top scorer, Chris Wood, and fellow striker, Ashley Barnes is also a doubt but they're in a rich vein of form and I fancy them to continue the run here.
Relegation looming for out-of-form Cherries
Having been matched at a low of 1.51 in the Premier League Relegation market, Bournemouth have enjoyed a mini revival of their own of late. After a torrid run, which saw them win just once in 12 Premier League matches (1-0 away at Chelsea), the Cherries hit their lowest point when they lost 1-0 to the seemingly-doomed Norwich a month ago but they bounced back after that, winning back-to-back home games against Brighton and Aston Villa.
Eddie Howe's charges took the lead away at Sheffield United in their last game, a fortnight ago, but the Blades drew level before half time and they ran out the deserved 2-1 winners. As a result, the Cherries have now lost seven of their last eight Premier League away matches.
Currently languishing in 16th place, Bournemouth are just two points above the relegation places. Norwich look doomed and Aston Villa are odds-on for the drop but the Cherries are by no means out of the woods and West ham are the only other club trading shorter than them to be relegated.
Howe will look to imminent home games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle for some further respite but with trips to Liverpool and both Manchester clubs on the horizon too, they really could do with getting something from Saturday's visit to Turf Moor. History suggests that won't be easy...
History points firmly towards the Clarets
Burnley have a great record against the Cherries. They lost 2-1 away to them in the penultimate match of the 2016/17 season, just after they'd secured Premier League survival, and they lost by the same score line exactly one year later in the final game at Turf Moor in the 2017/18 season, but we can't read too much in to that result either. Burnley knew they were going to finish their fourth Premier League campaign in an incredible seventh place prior to and regardless of that game's result and it's been business as usual in the three games between the two teams since.
Burnley did the double over Bournemouth last season - 4-0 at Turf Moor and 3-1 away - and they returned the Vitality just before Christmas to again leave with all three points (0-1) thanks to a Jay Rodriguez goal in the 89th minute.
The aforementioned two dead rubber defeats are the only losses incurred by Burnley in their last 14 encounters with Bournemouth, stretching all the way back to the last century, and odds-against in the win market looks more than fair.
Burnley fancied but the value's in the sides
Yes and No can't be split in the Both Teams to Score market but I'd favour Yes. I fancy Burnley to win but Bournemouth have found the net in each of their last four matches and there's been at least three goals in more than half of the Premier League games at Turf Moor this season so far.
It's exactly the same percentage for Bournemouth away games this season, with both sides finding the net 54% of the time, so given those stats, and the slight improvement in form by the Cherries of late, it's hard to see why Yes isn't the firm favourite. And the odds-against for Over in the Over/Under 2.5 Goals looks wrong too.
There's been three or more goals scored in five of Bournemouth's last six away games and the last three meetings between these two sides at Turf Moor have seen at least three goals scored.
I was tempted to keep things simple and just back Burnley at odds-against in the win market but there are some juicy prices in some of the side markets. I like Burnley and Over 2.5 Goals but that's no bigger than 3/1, whereas Burnley and Both Teams to Score can be backed at an industry-best 4/1 with the sportsbook. That looks more than fair and I've also had three bets in the Half Time/Full Time market.
I was quite surprised to see that Burnley have only actually been leading twice at half time in 13 home games this season so backing the favourite in this market, Burnley-Burnley, might not be the wisest move. Draw-Burnley at in excess of 9/2 makes plenty of appeal though and given their recent upturn in fortunes, and that they've found the net in the first 45 in each of their last three Premier League matches, I'm also playing Bournemouth-Draw and Bournemouth-Burnley for small stakes.