Preview: Clarets v Southampton

Clarets striker Sam Vokes scored the winner against Southampton in the corresponding Premier League fixture at St Mary's.
Clarets striker Sam Vokes scored the winner against Southampton in the corresponding Premier League fixture at St Mary's.

Burnley are preparing to host a struggling Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The Saints have one league win under their belts since November, although they have won three of their last five in all competitions.
As for the Clarets, wins have too been tough to come by with Sean Dyche’s men failing to secure three points since a 1-0 win over Stoke in December.
Nonetheless, it’s been an incredible season for the hosts who remain in seventh place, 10 points clear of Southampton who sit 18th after 27 games.
Burnley’s worst run of the season has coincided with the absence of several key players.
James Tarkowski, Steven Defour, Stephen Ward, Matt Lowton, Chris Wood and Robbie Brady have all been injured throughout a run which has seen the Clarets pick up just five points from a possible 30.

Team news
Dyche could have the luxury of bringing club-record signing Chris Wood back into the fold for Saturday’s game.
Wood, who joined from Leeds United in summer, has been missing ever since he hobbled off against Tottenham in December but could be in line to make his first-team return this weekend.
Southampton have no fresh injuries or suspensions ahead of the match-up.

Previous meetings
A win for Burnley would see the hosts complete their first league double over Southampton since the 1946/47 Division Two season.
Both games were won 1-0 by the Clarets, against a Southampton team containing England’s future World Cup winning manager Alf Ramsey.
In more recent times, Saturday’s visitors have just had the edge in the head-to- head matches.
Four of the last seven have been won by Southampton, including a 4-3 FA Cup third round thriller at St Mary’s back in 2014.
This fixture also tends to produce goals with 29 scored in the last nine meetings, and no goalless draws since 2007.

Burnley have the league’s joint second worst attack, scoring just 21 goals so far this season – only Swansea have scored less.
Defensively, however, Dyche’s side have conceded just 24 times this season ranking them joint fourth with Spurs, behind Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Southampton have won just twice away from home all season with those six points coming against Crystal Palace and West Brom – they have also lost five and drawn five.

Players to play for both
Clarets and England midfielder Jack Cork will renew old rivalries with some of his ex-Southampton teammates as he prepares to face them for just the second time in a Burnley shirt.
Cork featured in the reverse fixture at St Mary’s in November, a game in which Burnley won 1-0.
Charlie Austin will miss out on his return to Turf Moor as the Saints striker is absent through a torn hamstring.
The forward, who scored 24 goals in his final season for Burnley, was injured against Huddersfield in December and is unavailable to make a return against his former club.

League permutations
A win for Burnley would move them to 39 points for the season, just one point below last season’s record tally of 40.
Three points would see them move to within six points of Arsenal who are in League Cup final action on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a win for the visitors could see them move out of the relegation zone.
Mauricio Pellegrino has been under intense pressure during his short tenure at St Mary’s and maximum points at Turf Moor would move his side to 29 points, seven behind the Clarets.