Burnley are continuing to punch above their weight in the Premier League as they prepare for Wednesday’s trip to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
The Clarets are right on the tails of Liverpool, Tottenham, and third-placed Arsenal, trailing them by one, two, and three points respectively after a recent string of three wins in a row, which ended when they were beaten 1-0 by the Gunners last weekend.
The Cherries, meanwhile, were able to climb out of the relegation zone to their current position of 13th thanks to back-to-back wins over Newcastle (1-0) and Huddersfield (4-0) before last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Swansea.
The home teams won in both meetings between these two sides last season, with Burnley winning 3-2 at Turf Moor before Bournemouth won the corresponding fixture 2-1.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will be facing his former employers on his 40th birthday, and says he ísn’t surprised by their league position while also praising his own team’s form.
"I'm not surprised, and you can never be surprised by what Burnley do," Howe said. "They've continually overachieved and this season when I've watched them I've been impressed with the style of how they going about playing.
"You know what they're going to do but it's difficult to beat that. The confidence they got from the likes of the good Chelsea and Tottenham results early on gave them a great start and they now rightly sit in the top half of the table.
"We're in good shape, the players are in a good frame of mind, playing with confidence and we love playing here at home and under the lights."
In team news, Bournemouth will make a late call on the fitness of veteran striker Jermain Defoe, but Junior Stanislas has been ruled out. Captain Simon Francis returns from suspension but it’s still too early for Tyrone Mings.
For Burnley, Dean Marney is a major doubt, while Jonathan Walters and Tom Heaton remain on the sidelines.