Opposition view: The inside track on Burnley with insight on James Tarkowski's future amid Newcastle United links

Newcastle United will be hoping to finally get their first win of the Premier League campaign against Burnley at St. James’s Park on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:45 pm

Burnley are looking for just their second league win themselves as they sit just three points above The Magpies in the relegation zone.

It’s shaping up to be a crucial match for both sides in their quest to avoid the drop.

Ahead of the game, we spoke with Burnley Express sports editor Chris Boden to get the inside track on The Clarets’ season so far.

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James Tarkowski of Burnley reacts during the Premier League match between Southampton and Burnley at St Mary's Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

What have you made of Burnley’s season so far?

It looked a tough start on paper, and so it proved, although performances were better than the points tally suggests – Burnley were recently sixth in terms of big chances created in the Premier League, but were struggling to take them, while, unusually for them, giving up soft goals.

They’re still striving for that balance – they have been taking chances recently, but still giving up goals, while at Wolves on Wednesday, they didn’t really look like conceding, but offered minimal attacking threat.

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Newcastle striker Callum Wilson celebrates with the ball after scoring his first and Newcastle's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on October 03, 2020 (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The club are in the relegation zone but unbeaten in five, has a corner been turned?

In a sense, they have only lost one of their last eight league games, but have only won one of those.

As Sean Dyche often refers to, it is about getting on the right side of the margins, and getting the details right in both boxes. Being harder to beat is far more encouraging, but they need to turn the draws into wins.

What has been the side's biggest problem this season?

That balance, as I mention. Burnley are renowned for having a strong jaw defensively, and looking to nick a goal. But when they have looked to be more open offensively, they have conceded goals as well.

What is the side's biggest strength?

Their resilience. The mentality has always been strong under Sean Dyche, and they always stay in games, as witnessed at Chelsea last month when the Blues had a string of chances, but couldn’t add to their 1-0 lead, and Burnley came back for a point, which could have been all three.

How did Burnley fare at Wolves on Wednesday night, keeping their first away clean sheet?

Wolves looked rather ponderous on the ball, and were only really a threat when Burnley lost the ball high up the pitch. Adama Traore hit the bar after a fortunate ricochet sent him clear, but other than that, Nick Pope wasn’t overly tested.

How do you expect Burnley to set-up against Newcastle this weekend?

Burnley, more often than not, line up 4–4-2, or a variation of, and will work from their defensive framework, while being brave in their pressing high up the pitch, which can be very effective.

And in Maxwel Cornet, they have found a player who has made an instant impact, with five goals in seven Premier League starts.

James Tarkowski has been linked with a potential move to Newcastle, what is your understanding of the situation?

As it has been for the best part of a year to 18-months, that he will sit out his contract and see what options he has in the summer.

Result prediction?

A score draw.

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