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Feb 22, 2020 at 3pm UK
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Preview: Burnley vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Burnley vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League fixture between Burnley and Bournemouth.
Sports Mole

Burnley play host to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon having put together a four-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League.

That run of results has moved the Clarets eight points ahead of their next opponents, who sit in 16th position in the standings.

Match preview

While Eddie Howe will certainly be satisfied with six points from the club's last three games, the Englishman will know that Bournemouth must build on that at the home of his former club.

The Cherries have been fortunate that the teams below them have dropped points either side of their last fixture, ensuring that they stayed above the dropzone by two points.

With tougher tests, on paper, to come later in the campaign, Howe knows that games such as the one on Saturday are Bournemouth's best opportunities to get more points on the board.

Although they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United in their last match, there were positives to take from the performance and Callum Wilson scoring his second Premier League goal in three outings.

The striker's drought in the final third has hindered Bournemouth's efforts this season, but the improving form of the Englishman could prove to be the difference between relegation and survival come the middle of May.

A surge of 10 points over the past month should mean that dropping down to the Championship is no longer a possibility for Burnley, although Sean Dyche will do everything possible to avoid any complacency creeping into the ranks.

Having avoided defeat against Leicester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton, there should be the desire to kick on with the possibility of eighth spot being enough to secure a place in Europe.

Although that had a detrimental effect on the Clarets last season, that will not stop Dyche and his players from wanting the opportunity to test themselves on the bigger stage later in 2020.

With some of the bigger teams out of the way for the campaign, achieving that target is a realistic goal, particularly if Matej Vydra is able to build on ending his wait for a goal last weekend.

While the Czech Republic international has barely featured since a big-money move from Derby County, he has the ability to make a difference in the final third over the coming months.

Burnley Premier League form: LLWWDW
Burnley form (all competitions): LWWLDW

Bournemouth Premier League form: LLLWWL
Bournemouth form (all competitions): LLWLWL

Team News

With Chris Wood likely to miss this match through injury, Vydra is in line to make his first league start of the season.

Burnley could be handed a boost by the return of Ashley Barnes, although the forward would likely have to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench.

As for Bournemouth, Howe has an extra option in midfield with Jefferson Lerma having served his one-match ban.

The Colombia international should come back into the team in place of Andrew Surman, which may prove to be the sole alteration.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Vydra

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Smith, Francis, Ake, Rico; Gosling, Lerma, Billing; H.Wilson, C.Wilson, Fraser

We say: Burnley 2-1 Bournemouth

While Burnley are the form team heading into this match, you cannot rule out Bournemouth, who have improved since the turn of the year. However, it is the Clarets who have the momentum, and that could prove decisive in a hard-fought affair at Turf Moor.

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