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Preview: Burnley vs. Crystal Palace – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Burnley and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Fresh from their EFL Cup fourth-round exit in midweek, Burnley will endeavour to turn their fortunes around when they play host to Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Saturday.
The two teams meet for the first time in the top flight since playing out a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in February last year....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany would have hoped that their 2-1 win away against Luton Town at the beginning of October could act as a springboard for a positive run of form.

However, the Clarets have since endured a four-game losing run, with last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Bournemouth in the Premier League followed by a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Everton in the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday.
James Tarkowski haunted his former club a day after Halloween when he headed Everton in front inside the first 13 minutes, before second-half strikes from Amadou Onana and Ashley Young condemned the Clarets to a third successive fourth-round exit from the EFL Cup.
Some may regard Burnley’s cup exit as a blessing in disguise as they can now focus fully on their attempts to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone heading into the festive period; just four points have been accumulated by Kompany’s side in their first 10 games this season and they sit 19th in the table, two points adrift of safety.
Most clubs would welcome a return to home soil, but Burnley have endured a torrid start at Turf Moor this term, losing each of their opening five Premier League home games by an aggregate score of 16-4; another defeat on Saturday would see them become the first English top-flight team in history to lose each of their first six home matches in a campaign.
© Reuters
After claiming maximum points in an impressive 1-0 win at Manchester United at the end of September, Crystal Palace failed to come out on top in any of their three Premier League games in the month of October, picking up just one point from a possible nine in the process.
A goalless stalemate with Nottingham Forest was followed by back-to-back losses against high-flying Newcastle United and league leaders Tottenham Hotspur, suffering a 2-1 home defeat to the latter last week.

The Eagles managed to contain Spurs until the 53rd minute when Joel Ward turned James Maddison’s cross into his own net, before Son Heung-min added a second 13 minutes later; Jordan Ayew pulled one back for the hosts in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, but there was no time left to mount a comeback.
Roy Hodgson will be aware that his Palace side have faced two of the Premier League’s in-form teams in their last two matches, and few would have envisaged them to claim any points during this period, but nevertheless, the 76-year-old has seen his side slip to 13th in the table, albeit still seven points clear of the drop zone.
Palace head into Saturday’s contest having failed to win any of their last five meetings with Burnley, but they have picked up seven points from their last four top-flight visits to Turf Moor and have scored at least twice in three of those four trips to Lancashire.

Burnley Premier League form:

Burnley form (all competitions):

Crystal Palace Premier League form:

Crystal Palace form (all competitions):

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Team News
© Reuters
Burnley midfielder Josh Cullen will serve a one-match suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while Michael Obafemi (hamstring) and Hjalmar Ekdal (knee) are both sidelined with injuries.
Lyle Foster has missed the last two games due to illness and is a doubt for Saturday, while Jordan Beyer (knock) and Manuel Benson (ankle) will also be assessed ahead of kickoff.
The absence of Cullen could see Sander Berge link arms with Josh Brownhill and Johann Berg Gudmundsson in midfield, while Connor Roberts – who is available for selection after serving a one-match ban last weekend – Charlie Taylor, Zeki Amdouni and Anass Zaroury will all be pushing for recalls after not starting in midweek.
As for Crystal Palace, Hodgson has confirmed that star attackers Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise are set to return to first-team action before the international break following spells out with hamstring injuries, but Saturday’s game may come too soon for the pair, while Dean Henderson (thigh), James Tomkins (calf) and Nathan Ferguson (unspecified) remain in the treatment room.
Tyrick Mitchell picked up a knock in the defeat to Spurs last time out, but the left-back is fit to feature against Burnley and he is expected to line up in the back four alongside ever-present centre-back duo Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi, and either Ward or Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and forward Jordan Ayew, who both extended their Palace contracts earlier this week, are set to retain their places in the first XI, and the latter could be joined in attack by two of Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta or Matheus Franca.
Burnley possible starting lineup:Trafford; Roberts, Al-Dakhil, O’Shea, Taylor; Brownhill, Berge, Gudmundsson; Tresor, Amdouni, Koleosho
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Hughes, Doucoure, Lerma; Ayew, Edouard, Franca

We say: Burnley 1-2 Crystal Palace
Burnley can ill-afford to drop too many more points if they wish to climb out of the bottom three, and they will regard Saturday’s fixture as a good opportunity to claim a positive result.
However, the same can be said for the Eagles, who we believe will bounce back from successive losses to claim maximum points against a defensively vulnerable Clarets side at Turf Moor.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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Preview: AZ Alkmaar vs. Almere City – prediction, team news, lineups




Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Eredivisie clash between AZ Alkmaar and Almere City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
AZ Alkmaar will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last time out when they welcome Almere City to the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.
The away side, on the other hand, make the journey this weekend aiming to avoid a third defeat on the bounce and get their season back on track. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
AZ Alkmaar were on the receiving end of a narrow albeit shock 2-1 defeat against NEC Nijmegen in Wednesday’s encounter between the teams.

Pascal Jansen’s men found themselves two down at half time thanks to strikes from Bas Dost and Bruno Martins Indi after which Vangelis Pavlidis pulled one back.
Whie the Cheeseheads remain third in the Eredivisie table, they have now fallen a whopping 15 points behind PSV Eindhoven in the race for the title.
Coming up next is the task of facing off against an opposing outfit who have been beaten in the previous two editions of this fixture by a combined score of 4-0.
Off the back of what was only a first league at home in over six months, Saturday’s hosts will be confident of securing an immediate return to winning ways in front of their fans.
Eredivisie newcomers Almere City fell to a 3-0 thrashing against Heerenveen when the sides faced off at the Abe Lenstra Stadion on Friday evening.
First-half goals from Pelle van Amersfoort and Sven van Beek left Alex Pastoor’s men with a mountain to climb at the interval before Van Amersfoort made sure of the result 20 minutes from time.
With just 13 points amassed from 14 matches this term, De Zwarte Schapen sit 16th in the standings, although they are only in the drop zone on goal difference.

Having seen their five game unbeaten streak on the road come to an end last time out, Saturday’s visitors now set out to avoid consecutive away losses for the first time since August.

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:

AZ Alkmaar form (all competitions):

Almere City Eredivisie form:

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Team News
Mees de Wit is yet to make an appearance for AZ Alkmaar since late August and will not be playing any part in this weekend’s contest.
Vangelis Pavlidis has found the back of the net in each of his last four outings for the home side, making him one to keep an eye on here.
Twenty-three-year-old Hamdi Akujobi remains unavailable for selection having missed each of Almere’s last seven games through a damaged knee.
The home side will also be without the services of Faiz Mattoir but the Comoros international is not far off making a return to action.
AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:Ryan; Sugawara, Bazoer, Penetra, Wolfe; Clasie, Mijnans; Lahdo, De Wit, Van Brederode; Pavlidis
Almere City possible starting lineup:Bakker; Castell, Mbe, Van Bruggen, Jacobs, Floranus; Koopmeiners, Robinet, Resink; Hansen, Van La Parra

We say: AZ Alkmaar 4-1 Almere City
AZ Alkmaar hit a bump in the road last time out but we can see them serving up an immediate response with a comfortable win this time around, scoring plenty of goals en route.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Preview: Peterborough United vs. Oxford United – prediction, team news, lineups





Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Peterborough United and Oxford United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Peterborough United will be aiming to continue their strong run of form in League One when they welcome Oxford United to London Road on Saturday afternoon.
The home side are currently fifth in the table, boasting 35 points from their opening 19 matches, while Oxford are third, having picked up 36 points from their first 18 games of the season....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Match preview
© Reuters
Peterborough maintained their fine run of results with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal Under-21s in the second round of the English Football League Trophy on Tuesday, which followed a 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.

The last time Darren Ferguson’s side played a league match was the 2-2 draw against Stevenage on November 28, leaving them in fifth place with 10 wins, five draws, four defeats and 35 points after 19 matches.
Peterborough have actually been victorious in seven of their last 13 league matches, while they have lost just once – away to Wigan Athletic in November – since the start of September.
After being demoted from the Championship in 2021–22, the Posh went on to finish sixth in League One last season, losing a thrilling playoff semifinal match to Sheffield Wednesday, who went on to defeat Barnsley in the final at the end of May.
Peterborough and Oxford settled for a goalless draw when the two sides last locked horns at London Road in April, but the reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 win for the Posh.
Oxford were also in EFL Trophy action on Tuesday, recording a 1-0 victory over Forest Green, which secured their spot in the next round of the competition.
Des Buckingham’s side also won 2-0 against Grimsby in the FA Cup on December 2, though they are winless in their last two in League One, including a goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers last time out.
Oxford have won 11, drawn three and lost four of their 18 league matches this season to collect 36 points, which has left them in third place in the third tier of English football.

The U’s have been great on the road this season, winning six and losing three of nine away matches in the league; however, they were beaten by Cheltenham Town on their last trip.

Peterborough United League One form:

Peterborough United form (all competitions):

Oxford United League One form:

Oxford United form (all competitions):

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Team News
Peterborough boss Ferguson could name the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle against Doncaster in the FA Cup on December 2.
As expected, a number of squad players and youngsters were involved against Arsenal in the EFL Trophy earlier this week, but the big-hitters will be back for this contest.
Kwame Poku and Ephron Mason-Clark have both scored seven times in the league during the 2023-24 campaign, and the pair will again feature in attacking areas for the hosts this weekend.
The visitors will be without top scorer Greg Leigh, who is currently sidelined with a calf injury.
Mark Harris is expected to lead the line once more, while Ruben Rodrigues should start in the supporting role.Peterborough United possible starting lineup:Bilokapic; Kioso, Knight, Edwards, Burrows; Kyprianou, Collins; Poku, Randall, Mason-Clarke; Jones
Oxford United possible starting lineup:Beadle; Stevens, Moore, Thorniley, Brown; McGuane, Brannagan; Mills, Rodrigues, Murphy; Harris

We say: Peterborough United 1-1 Oxford United
Peterborough have not lost to Oxford in their last six competitive meetings, but the visitors are different this season. The home side have been great in front of their fans, while Oxford have been solid on the road as well. We predict a close match with the score level at the end.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Thomas Frank confirms “bad” Bryan Mbeumo injury




Brentford head coach Thomas Frank reveals the club’s top scorer Bryan Mbeumo will miss “weeks” with a “bad” ankle injury....Click Here To Continue Reading>>

Brentford Frank has confirmed Bryan Mbeumo is set for a spell on the sidelines with a “bad” ankle injury.
The Cameroon international picked up an injury in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Mbeumo, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, was forced off in the 40th minute after he rolled his ankle in an attempt to defend against Pascal Gross.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s away meeting with Sheffield United, Frank revealed that Mbeumo will be out for “weeks”.
“It is bad,” Frank told reporters at Thursday’s press conference. “He’ll have a scan later, but we don’t know the exact number of weeks he will be out.
© Reuters
“He will definitely not play on Saturday, and he will be out for weeks. We will know more in the next couple of days.”

“[Bryan] must be number two after Ivan Toney in terms of goals and assists, which is key. His work rate for the team is incredible; you don’t see many wingers who work so hard and mean so much.
“He’s become the key man – ‘give me the ball, I’ll take this’. Who will that man be now? We’ll find out in the next weeks.”
Mbeumo is Brentford’s top scorer this season with seven Premier League goals, helping fill the void left by Toney, who is serving an eight-month betting ban.
Unfortunately for the Bees, the forward has been added to a lengthy injury list, which includes Rico Henry, Kristoffer Ajer, Aaron Hickey, Josh Dasilva, Nathan Collins and Kevin Schade.
© Reuters
Despite having to contend with a number of injuries, Frank is trying to remain “positive” ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane.

“Football is such a marginal game,” the Brentford boss added. “Inside of the post, outside of the post, deflection – there are so many things that you can’t control.
“And another thing is injuries. We need to do everything we can to recover well, assess and get players back, but there’s also just bad luck in it. Bryan’s injury is a clear one – it’s bad luck. He got caught, got pushed and rolled his ankle. It’s very frustrating, but I’m a positive guy and we’ll find a solution.”
Brentford were provided with a much-needed boost in midweek after Mikkel Damsgaard returned from injury to play the final 20 minutes against the Seagulls.
Frank has also stated that a late decision will be made on Mathias Jensen’s availability for Saturday’s contest, with the midfielder closing in on a return from a three-game injury absence.
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