TEAM NEWSBurnley manager Sean Dyche says striker Chris Wood has a “very strong chance” of making his return from a hamstring injury on Saturday.Jon Walters, Dean Marney and Tom Heaton remain out, but Steven Defour is expected to overcome the tight groin that forced him off against Newcastle.Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina is still sidelined due to the ankle injury that kept him out against Brighton.
Aside from that, manager Mauricio Pellegrino has no injury worries.MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTESJohn Motson: “Judging on the season so far there might not be many goals at St Mary’s on Saturday, but an intriguing encounter is in store between these evenly matched sides.”Burnley are enjoying a club record start to a Premier League campaign, and their best in the top flight since the 1973-74 season.”However, joy for Clarets’ fans has been tempered somewhat by the ongoing speculation linking manager Sean Dyche with the Everton job.”Southampton have been solid but unspectacular under Mauricio Pellegrino. Their struggles in front of goal show no signs of abating, but Burnley old boy Charlie Austin has a great scoring record against his former club.”WHAT THE MANAGERS SAYSouthampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino: “This game is really important for us because we need to keep going and get points. “We have in the last three games and it’s another opportunity to keep going and convert this performance into points.”Burnley manager Sean Dyche: “A manager told me, and he probably got it about right, we had changed in a positive way but not stopped doing the good stuff, the nitty gritty, the organisational work – we’d added another level with the ball and trying to affect the game with the ball.”We’re not saying we’re trying to play like Barcelona or Real. But we’re trying to add to another string to our bow. Can we find different ways of operating to affect the game?”LAWRO’S PREDICTIONSaints have struggled for goals, scoring nine in their opening 10 games, but they have enough players to score goals.Burnley are always in the right positions, they don’t get caught on breakaways, are good at defending set-pieces, good at pinching second balls, all those kind of things.That is why Dyche, who has been linked to Everton, has done so well there. Does he stay or does he go? It’s an interesting one.Prediction: 2-1Lawro’s full predictions v WWE wrestlers Cesaro & SheamusThink you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor gameMATCH FACTSHead-to-headSouthampton are unbeaten in all eight top-flight home matches against Burnley, winning five and drawing three. Saints have never gone unbeaten in their first nine top-flight home fixtures against another side.Both of Burnley’s league away wins against Southampton were by a 1-0 scoreline in the second tier, in April 1947 and April 2008.SouthamptonThe Saints have won just four of their last 18 Premier League matches.They have failed to score in nine of their last 16 top-flight games.Charlie Austin scored 41 goals in 82 league appearances for Burnley. He has been involved in five goals in five league games against the Clarets since leaving (four goals, one assist) and scored a brace in this fixture last season.BurnleyThe Clarets have already won more games and earned more points away from home this season than they did in the whole of 2016-17.Burnley’s fixtures have produced 18 goals, the fewest in the Premier League this season and one behind Southampton. They have used just 17 players this season – fewer than any other top-flight club.Jeff Hendrick has scored two goals in his last four league games, as many as he managed in his previous 35 games. Jack Cork has covered 121.1km in the league so far this season, more than any other Premier League player. AM’s verdictMost probable score: 1-0Probability of draw: 23%Probability of home win: 61%Probability of away win: 16%SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.
Source: BBC Lancashire