For the first time since October 2012, Burnley will take to the Turf Moor pitch without Sean Dyche in charge, as they play host to Southampton for their Premier League clash on Thursday night.
The Clarets are sitting 18th in the table, three points adrift from safety, while the Saints are in 12th place and just one point behind the top 10.
Burnley’s first game for nine and a half years without Sean Dyche in the dugout saw them claim a point away at West Ham United last weekend, though they missed the chance to secure all three.
Wout Weghorst ended an eight-game goal drought by heading home the opener just after the hour mark, before Maxwel Cornet missed from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time. The Ivorian’s miss proved costly as the Hammers equalised in the 74th minute through Tomas Soucek, with both sides eventually forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.
No Premier League team has drawn more games than Burnley (13) this campaign, and while wins are now more important than solitary points in their bid for survival, caretaker boss Mike Jackson was pleased with the result and his side’s performance against a European-chasing opponent.
The Clarets will now be preparing for a return to Turf Moor where they were successful last time out, securing a crucial 3-2 victory against relegation rivals Everton, which is just their fourth win in 31 league matches this season.
Burnley have only lost one of their last six home encounters against Thursday’s opponents Southampton, though that defeat was in last season’s fixture when former Clarets striker Danny Ings scored the only goal to secure a 1-0 away win.
With five of their final seven league fixtures against teams currently sitting in the bottom half of the table, Jackson and co will still have faith that they can turn their fortunes around and escape the relegation zone, and victory against an inconsistent Saints outfit cannot be ruled out in midweek.
After a miserable run of five defeats and a draw, Southampton claimed all three points when they beat Champions League-chasing Arsenal 1-0 at St Mary’s last weekend.
Jan Bednarek scored the only goal of the game just before half time, and while the Poland international’s goal prove to be decisive, an inspired performance from goalkeeper Fraser Forster – who made six saves to keep the Gunners out – was key in helping the Saints march to victory.
Southampton were thrashed 6-0 on home soil against Chelsea a week earlier, but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men quickly put aside their heavy defeat with a win over Arsenal, and they now remain on course for their first top-half finish in the Premier League since 2016-17.
The Saints head to Turf Moor on Thursday looking to claim back-to-back away victories against Burnley for just the second time, having previously beaten the Clarets on the road in 2006 and 2007 when both sides were in the Championship.
Southampton, however, have lost two of their last three Premier League matches against teams in the bottom three, including the 2-1 home defeat against Watford last month, so they will be wary of the threat Burnley could pose on Thursday.
Burnley Premier League form:
Southampton Premier League form:
We say: Burnley 1-1 Southampton
The Clarets and the Saints played out a 2-2 draw at St Mary’s earlier this season, and another closely-fought contest could be on the cards on Thursday.
The pressure is all on relegation-threatened Burnley to claim maximum points on home soil, but we expect Hasenhuttl’s side to frustrate the hosts and secure a point.