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Southampton’s triumph over Leeds last Saturday would have been a significant weight off the shoulders of Ralph Hasenhuttl, although he will know that the value of that first win could be undermined should they fail to back it up against Burnley.
It has not been an easy start to the season for the Saints, with six of their eight games so far coming against teams that finished in the top half in 2020-21, and a home tie against an out-of-form Burnley side represents their easiest test on paper yet.
Hasenhuttl has publicly warned of the challenge the Clarets will pose, but his side will be favourites to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time in five months.
The win over Leeds also made it two clean sheets in their last three league outings at home – having not managed to keep any in their previous 11, and their defensive record is now the best of any team in the bottom half.
A 2-0 defeat to the champions last time out was by no means disgraceful – and comfortably a better scoreline than they have suffered in that fixture during recent years – but it does leave them in the relegation zone with only three points to their name so far.
Draws against Leeds and Leicester City were respectable, but a stalemate at home to relegation favourites Norwich, who incidentally are the only team to have scored fewer than Burnley in the league this season, will be seen as two points dropped.
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Sean Dyche‘s side are now on the longest current winless run in the top four tiers of English football, stretching back 11 games, although there are signs that a maiden triumph could be around the corner.
All five of Burnley’s goals this season have given them the lead in the match, but they have thrown that lead away on each occasion, dropping 10 points from winning positions already this term – a joint-high in the league alongside Newcastle United