Friday, 12 May 2017

AFCB have to match Burnley's intensity

Burnley have not survived in the Premier League by just putting up a defensive block or stopping other teams from playing. They are a solid working group of players that have a strong team spirit and high energy that does not make them an easy team to play. I remember Sean Dyche saying that at the end of last season that AFC Bournemouth had shown teams how to survive in the Premier League, and Burnley have added their own element of quality to the high intensity they play with.

Will AFCB come out with the high intensity to take the game away from Burnley?
While the vast majority of Burnley's points have come at home they have enjoyed the underdog tag and have amounted 11 win just like the Cherries. Tom Heaten has been so good in goal that he has had England call ups, and Michael Keane won high praise for his recent appearance in an England shirt against Lithuania. Their midfield is also packed with energy. George Boyd, Scott Arfield, Jeff Hendrick and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have all played a big part in their season and  having played so many games together as a tight-nit group they have great understanding. Even the suspension of Joey Barton has not slowed their progress and Harry Arter and Lewis Cook will have to be at their best for this game.


Burnley have been brave by playing two up front for most of the season. They have an identity and courage about the way they attack with pace and strength. They don't mind playing a long ball but can also mix play up. What they like above all is to make games a real contest and that is why I find it strange they have not won more points away from home.

Sean Dyche still has to work out the club's best way of getting points on the road but if he can find the answer as he did against Crystal Palace, then Burnley might have an even stronger second season in this league. In some ways this game will be a test for Dyche to see if he can replicate their last away result.

Probable AFCB team: 4-4-1-1 Boruc (GK), A Smith (RB), Francis (CD), S Cook (CD), Daniels (LB), Ibe (RW), Arter (CM), Gosling (CM), Pugh (LW), Mousset (FW), King (FW)

Subs: Allsop (GK), Mings (CD), B Smith (LD), Fraser (RM/LM), Stanislas (LM/RM),
Gradel (LM/FW)

It is very sad news to hear that Paul Willis is no longer with us. I'll miss not seeing him at home and away games. He'll be truly missed. Please all applaud loudly on 44 minutes in tribute to Paul - a great AFCB fan.

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