Crystal Palace-Burnley Preview

·3 min read

James Tarkowski has claimed he is unlikely to sign a new deal with Burnley, but Clarets boss Sean Dyche has no problems with the defender.

Tarkowski was the subject of reported interest from Leicester City and West Ham in the last transfer window, but Burnley kept the defender at Turf Moor.

Last week, Tarkowski stated he cannot foresee himself agreeing an extension to his Burnley contract, which runs until the end of 2021-22.

Dyche, however, has no issues with the centre-back's show of honesty.

"Players have a different openness to them now with all the different media streams and different questions. He got asked questions and answered them what seems honestly," Dyche, whose side have taken just two points this season, said ahead of Monday's meeting with Crystal Palace. "All players have a value of worth and if he feels his has not been at the right level, that is sometimes the way it is. These situations sometimes occur, I've got no problem with Tarky whatsoever, he is a very, very good professional for us, he's a top player in my opinion.

"It doesn't affect anything other than him working hard to give performances for himself, the team and the club and I don't think that will change one bit."

Should he feature on Monday, Tarkowski will be going up against one of the league's in-form forwards in Wilfried Zaha, who has already scored five times this season.

"He is in very good form; he is playing very, very well and I'm pretty sure Burnley will be aware of that and working hard to stop him," Roy Hodgson said of his talisman. "He has always been dangerous. I think the major difference this year is the fact that he has scored five goals and has two assists."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Burnley – James Tarkowski

Given the backing of his manager, Tarkowski will surely be keen to repay Dyche's faith by turning in a solid display. It will be tough, up against Palace's pacy attack, but if the defender's eyes are on a move then there is only one way to impress potential suitors.

Crystal Palace – Michy Batshuayi

On-loan striker Batshuayi was in goalscoring form for Belgium over the November fixtures, and commented on wanting to take his international form back to the Premier League. He is yet to open his league account in his second temporary spell at Selhurst Park.

KEY OPTA FACTS

• Burnley won their last Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace (1-0 in June), ending a run of four straight league defeats against the Eagles.

• The Clarets are winless in their seven Premier League games so far this season (D2 L5), losing all three at Turf Moor. They have not failed to win any of their opening eight games to a league campaign since 2014-15.

• Palace have scored eight first-half goals in the Premier League this season, the second highest figure with only three teams netting more (Liverpool, Southampton and Spurs, 10). In the whole of last season, the Eagles scored just 10 times before half-time in the Premier League.

• Despite their low position in the table, Burnley have the second lowest expected goals against figure in the Premier League this season (7.5), behind only Chelsea (7.4). This means the Clarets have conceded around five goals more than would be expected based on the quality of chances they've faced (12 goals conceded).

• No player has made more drives into the box (taking the ball into the opponent's area following a successful take-on) than Palace's Zaha this season (four). He has also created the joint-most chances following a successful take-on in the competition this season (three).