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    ʕ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Dick Head's Avatar
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    Brighton & Hove Albion vs Burnley *** Official Match Thread ***


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    Brighton v Burnley


    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
    Date: Saturday 16th December 2017
    Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
    Referee: Chris Kavanagh
    Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Mick McDonough
    Fourth official: Andre Marriner



    TEAM NEWS


    Brighton pair Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross are likely to be recalled, having both been substitutes for the midweek defeat by Tottenham.

    The Seagulls have no fresh injury worries, with Steve Sidwell the only known absentee.

    Ben Mee and Matt Lowton return for Burnley following knee injuries, but ex-Brighton left-back Stephen Ward is a doubt with a similar issue.

    Robbie Brady, Jonathan Walters, Dean Marney and Tom Heaton all remain out.


    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Steve Wilson: "There is so much that is remarkable about Burnley's season it's hard to know where to start.

    "Perhaps the most impressive thing about them is that they are playing with such small margins week after week; only two of the 17 league games they have played this season have been decided by more than a single goal.

    "Eight of their nine wins, and three of their four defeats, have been by the smallest possible margin. If there is a mental strain to that, it's not showing.

    "Brighton have hit the kind of lean patch which Chris Hughton would always have known was possible. Just two points from their last six games, and one goal in five (a penalty), have left them only three points above the relegation zone."


    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton: "In the same way we speak about Manchester City, for different reasons they (Burnley) have been exceptional.

    "Sean (Dyche) has developed so well over the last few seasons. It was credit to Burnley that when they went down they allowed him the opportunity to rebuild again and have since gone from strength to strength.

    "In an era when we want to see as many British managers in the game it's great to see one doing as well as Sean is."

    Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "There's a healthy respect for the opposition but that goes out of the window when the whistle goes and there's clear-mindedness for how we perform to get what we want.

    "Those things are in place but I don't think we've got to the level where we're swaggering into places. That's for people who've been in the division's top end for a lot longer than us."

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • This is the first top-flight meeting between the two sides, with all previous 26 meetings taking place in the second and third tiers.
    • Brighton are unbeaten in six league matches against Burnley, although the last three have been drawn.
    • Burnley's last victory over the Seagulls was 1-0 in April 2012.


    Brighton

    • Chris Hughton's side have taken just two points from the last six games.
    • Brighton are in danger of losing four successive league games for the first time since December 2011.
    • The Seagulls conceded just 13 goals in their opening 14 games of the season but have subsequently let in nine goals in their last three matches.
    • Brighton's last victory was 1-0 at Swansea on 4 November.
    • They have only had 142 attempts on goal this season, the lowest figure in the Premier League.
    • Lewis Dunk has scored three Premier League own goals this season, one shy of Martin Skrtel's record of four in a campaign, set in 2013-14.
    • Hughton is unbeaten in all four league games as a manager against Sean Dyche, winning three of them.


    Burnley

    • Burnley have won six of their last eight league matches, as many as they had won in their previous 26 fixtures.
    • Sean Dyche's side have conceded 12 league goals, a record only bettered by the two Manchester clubs.
    • All but one of the 86 previous teams to have earned at least 31 points from their first 17 games of a Premier League season have ended that season in the top 10; 81 went on to finish in the top six.
    • Burnley have made just 13 changes to their starting XI in 17 games this season, which is eight fewer than any other side.
    • Nick Pope has kept seven clean sheets in 13 league appearances since replacing the injured Tom Heaton.
    • Chris Wood has scored five goals in his last five league starts against ex-club Brighton - including twice for Leeds in March.
    Mackay: I'm going to book you for that.
    Cooper: You what?
    Mackay: What's your name, Cooper?
    Cooper: Cooper.

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