The Tinkerman’s tactical turnaround may not be complete yet, but at least the Cottagers have been collecting some points recently.
They’d just five when Slavisa Jokanovic was slung out the door of Craven Cottage in November, but two wins and three draws in nine mean they’re just about still in touch with other relegation scrappers in 19th spot.
They trail Saturday’s opponents by four points, though Burnley have had a revival of their own recently – and without sacking their manager! How crazy is that?
Three wins in their last four league games, over Brighton, West Ham and Huddersfield, will have stirred some of the confidence that carried Sean Dyche’s side to a seventh last season and Europa League qualification.
They knocked out their almost namesakes Barnsley in the cup last week too, another goal from Chris Wood taking it 1-0 in the 92nd minute.
Signed for a whopping fee in the summer of 2017, injuries and a loss of form have blighted his Turf Moor stint, but that was his third goal in three games, and if he can keep that up, he’ll keep the Clarets up on his own.
This is the kind of game Burnley will be expecting to win to scramble away from the bottom. Fulham beat Huddersfield as well, but everyone’s beating them now. We’d expect Burnley to edge this at home.
Back Burnley to win at 7/5.
It’s do or die for Huddersfield in this relegation six-pointer against Cardiff.
They’ll still be propping up the Premier League no matter what, but win and they could potentially narrow the gap to one point (depending on Fulham’s result at Burnley). Lose, and its long odds on that they’re back to Yorkshire derbies with Rotherham next season.
It’s no wins in seven PL games for David Wagner’s side and while losing to Bristol City 1-0 in the FA Cup could prove a masterstroke in the long term, we sincerely doubt it. They’re just a poor side who are devoid of confidence.
One man not lacking in ‘confidence is Cardiff boss Neil Warnock. The whipping boys in the early stages of the top tier, the Bluebirds have gotten their act together and hauled themselves out of the bottom three.
Their most recent form will need to be addressed – losing 1-5 to Man U & 0-3 to Spurs in the Prem and suffering an Fa Cup exit to Gillingham.
However, they put three consecutive home wins together against Brighton, Wolves & Southampton before that. A win over Huddersfield should guarantee that there are only two other relegation places they have to avoid and that should be more than enough motivation on Saturday.
Ah yes, the Dreary London Suburb/Satellite-Town derby. Always a cracking fixture.
Watford haven’t kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since beating Huddersfield at home all the way back in October, and they’ve only managed to do it once on the road in the league this season – away to Wolves a week before that Terriers game.
So it’s fair to say there’s a decent chance they’re going to ship at least one goal at Selhurst Park this weekend. Palace, though, have only been able to score three times in their last five home PL matches, with two of those goals coming in a 2-0 defeat of Burnley.
But given Watford’s shakiness outside Vicarage Road, we think Roy Hodgson’s side will ripple the onion bag. We don’t fancy their chances of keeping the Hornets scoreless, though: Watford have been finding the net relatively easily in 2018-19, while Palace haven’t always looked convincing at the back.
For that reason, we’re taking Both Teams To Score at 4/5.
One wonders how Claude Puel has any hair left as he manages a Leicester outfit more erratic than Donald Trump’s Twitter timeline.
The Foxes last five games would give Jekyll and Hyde one hell of a run for its money as Leicester have mixed thrilling victories over Chelsea, Man City and Everton with shocking defeats to Cardiff and Newport County.
Thankfully, a home game against Southampton might just be the perfect tonic to cure them of their unpredictable nature (for the time being of least).
Ralph Hasenhüttl has enjoyed more of a holiday fling than a honeymoon period since he took over the floundering Saints and is now on a four-game run without a victory.
The omens aren’t good for the German and his charges ahead of this trip to the King Power Stadium either.
That’s because Southampton have only won once in the Premier League at Leicester in 12 attempts and haven’t even managed to score a goal in their last five visits.
Those stats don’t make good reading if you’re a Saints fan and that’s why we’re tipping Leicester to bounce-back at 10/11.