Brighton & Hove Albion travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley this weekend in the Premier League looking to follow up a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium last week.
The Seagulls head to the north-west knowing that a win and results going their way elsewhere would secure Premier League football next season, and we’ve picked out five things to bear in mind ahead of the contest.
TURF MOOR MEMORIES
This weekend’s meeting will be the first Premier League game between the two teams at Turf Moor, but Albion fans will have some fond recollections of two previous trips to the Lancashire venue.
The Seagulls ran out 3-1 winners over the Clarets in the old First Division back in 2002, with goals from Steve Melton, Paul Brooker and Bobby Zamora sealing a win for Martin Hinshelwood’s side.
More recently in 2012, Albion were victors by the same scoreline once again – with the stand-out moment of the match being Craig Mackail-Smith’s bicycle kick in front of the away end to add to his earlier strike in the first period.
Gordon Greer completed the scoring at the end of the game with a header from Andrea Orlandi’s corner.
The opposition have four former Seagulls in their ranks, with Stephen Ward, Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Chris Wood.
Barnes, Vokes and Ward all featured for the Seagulls at the Amex Stadium, whilst Wood was part of the side managed by Gus Poyet in the League One title win during the 2010/11 campaign.
Barnes made 170 appearances and scored 53 goals for the Seagulls, and Wood notched eight times in 29 league matches for Albion at the Withdean Stadium. Ward joined the club at the start of the 2013/14 season and went on to turn out 44 times for the Albion, whilst Vokes notched three times during his spell on the south-coast.
Burnley are on course for a seventh-placed finish in the Premier League, which would seal a Europa League qualification spot and secure their first European football since the 1960s.
If the Clarets can finish the campaign as they stand, then their qualification campaign will begin in late July. The club have not played in Europe since 1967 – six years earlier they reached the European Cup quarter-final and were beaten by German side Hamburg 5-4 on aggregate.
SAFETY IN SIGHT
A win for the Seagulls this weekend, along with a loss for Southampton at home to AFC Bournemouth, would mean Chris Hughton’s men will secure their Premier League status – it would open the gap between Albion and the relegation zone to 10 points with three games left to play.
Burnley’s last three home matches in the Premier League have all ended in a 2-1 scoreline. Goals from former Seagulls pair Barnes and Wood gave the Clarets the win over Everton at the start of March, before Wood was on target along with Kevin Long when Leicester City were defeated nearly a fortnight ago.
Last Thursday, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea were 2-1 winners at Turf Moor – Victor Moses’s strike and a Long own goal gave the visiting side the win – it was Burnley’s only defeat in their last eight matches.