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EPL review week 17: Burnley for the Champions League anyone?

TAGs: Burnley, Chelsea, English Premier League

The first part of a midweek two-parter sees Burnley move into a Champions League place after beating Stoke, Crystal Palace walks out of the bottom three for the first time this season with a late, late win against Watford, and Huddersfield loses again, this time to the Champions Chelsea.

Burnley 1 v 0 Stoke 

EPL review week 17: Burnley for the Champions League anyone?If the Premier League were to end today, Burnley would be in the Champions League. Think about that for a second. It’s as absurd at those palm trees you see inside shopping centres.

And it’s not as if they’re hitting a white hot vein of form, slamming goals in, left, right and centre. But here’s the thing with Burnley. They don’t concede goals. With 12 in the Goals Against column, only the two Manchester teams have better rocks at the back.

When Stoke turned up at Turfmoor on a cold and crisp Tuesday night, it was never going to be one for the purists.

“The thing I dislike about soccer,” the American sitting opposite me in Starbucks tells me during our morning tete-a-tete about life, “is the lack of goals. I mean, come on, what’s the point of watching 90-minutes and only seeing one goal scored.” 

But that’s par for the course for Burnley.

Before Stoke’s visit, there had only been nine goals scored at Turfmoor all season. Sean Dyche’s side has kept five clean sheets and only conceded three goals. But they have just netted six at the other end, and only Swansea can boast a lousier home goal count.

Stoke needs points.

Coming into this one, Sparky was the 15/8 second-favourite to enter the managerial merry-go-round after the Potters had recorded just 16 points from 16 games, the worst turnout in their history. They have only won two away games in the past 16, and with 35 goals conceded at the back, they are the worst defence in the Premier League.

Make that 36 goals.

As I type this, Ashley Barnes has scored an 89th-minute winner in another 1-0 win, Burnley’s fifth 1-0 win of the season. They are the new Arsenal.

Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Watford 

The bottom three has a new shape to it after Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Watford at Selhurst Park to move out of the relegation trapdoor for the first time this season.

Palace has been playing like they’ve had the words ‘tired’ stitched into their veins all season, but there has been a new up and at ‘em since Wilfried Zaha returned from injury and it was the former Man Utd dropout who was the difference between the two sides during a crap game of football.

Watford began the brightest; Daryl Janmaat heading home a superb cross from Richarlison in the third minute. It was nearly the winning goal until three minutes from time, Tom Cleverley hit the showers fora second bookable offence night, giving the Eagles a fresh impetus.

Watford wilted after Cleverley heading into solitary confinement. Zaha saw his shot saved by Gomes, but Sako was on hand to score at the second attempt to equalise in the 89th minute, and the Palace fans became the 12th man when the fourth official signified six minutes of extra time.

They needed two.

Once again it was Zaha who was the troublemaker crossing for James McArthur to score the winner and climb all over West Brom on their way to the fourth rung of the ladder.

Huddersfield 1 v 3 Chelsea 

Nobody expects Huddersfield to beat Chelsea home or away, but it’s the cumulative effects of the Terriers demise that will be worrying David Wagner’s lordsEPL review week 17: Burnley for the Champions League anyone? and masters after another defeat.

The newly-promoted side has now lost five of their previous six games after a start to the season that had Huddersfield fans wondering if the Bovril makers were dropping hallucinogens in their half time sup.

Chelsea, on the other hand, moves level on points with Man Utd, although you can expect the Reds to drift further away with a home tie against Bournemouth on the roster for tomorrow evening.

Goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro, saw Chelsea win at a canter. Huddersfield sub Rajiv van la Parra scored a late consolation goal.

Results in Full

Burnley 1 v 0 Stoke
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Watford
Huddersfield 1 v 3 Chelsea

To Be Played (Wed, 13 Dec)

Newcastle v Everton
Swansea v Man City
Spurs v Brighton
Man Utd v Bournemouth
Liverpool v West Brom
West Ham v Arsenal

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 46
2. Man Utd – 35
3. Chelsea – 35
4. Burnley – 31
5. Liverpool – 30
6. Arsenal – 29
7. Spurs – 28
8. Leicester – 23
9. Watford – 22
10. Everton – 19
11. Southampton – 18
12. Huddersfield – 18
13. Brighton – 17
14. Bournemouth – 16
15. Stoke – 16
16. Newcastle – 15
17. Crystal Palace – 14
18. West Brom – 13
19. West Ham – 13
20. Swansea – 12

Premier League Winning Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)

Man City 1/25
Man Utd 16/1
Chelsea 50/1

Premier League Relegation Odds

Swansea 2/5
West Brom 11/8
Huddersfield 5/4
Crystal Palace 7.4
Brighton 11/4
West Ham 11.4
Newcastle 3/1
Bournemouth 7/2
Stoke 4/1

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