If Stoke City vs. Burnley were a WWE wrestling match, I’m fairly confident it would be generously described by legendary commentator Jim Ross as ‘bowling-shoe ugly’. That’s not a compliment, folks.
I went on a scouting mission last night to the Britannia Stadium to see this battle of the brutes and I’ve handed my notepad to my press officer Jamie Richards to type up. Why have a dog and bark yourself? Here are my findings…
Manager – Mark Hughes
9th place in Premier League.
30 goals scored.
33 goals conceded.
Recent form – DLWWL
Manager – Sean Dyche
18th place in Premier League.
32 goals scored.
36 goals conceded.
Recent form – LLDDD
Subs: Grant, Lang, Sobhi, Ruidiaz, Adam, Shawcross, Crouch
Burnley: Heaton, Tinnerholm, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Guðmundsson, Cork, Defour, Brady, Wood, Barnes
Subs: Pope, Tuanzebe, Hendrick, Vokes, McClean, Taylor, Arfield
- Burnley pressing evident, Stoke forced into quick passes. Quality players such as Shaqiri thrive in situations where he uses quality to escape Burnley press.
- Initial 15 minutes – few chances but poor finishing, high or wide.
- Not enough hold up play from Wood and Barnes.
- Half hour – good saves by Tom Heaton but everything close to him.
- Poor finishing by Saido Berahino, missing several chances.
- Finally, quality tells on 39 minutes, cross by Shaqiri to back post and Choupo-Moting heads Stoke in front. Tinnerholm got drawn to ball and left his man free.
- Half time stats – Stoke with 14 shots, Burnley with 1. No ambition to go forward for Burnley.
- Hendrick on for Chris Wood, Burnley withdraw striker for midfielder. Game over.
- Second goal for Stoke, Berahino’s shot easily saved but parried into Choupo-Moting’s path for second.
- Burnley only effort on target prior to 75 minutes free kick by Defour.
- Hat-trick for Choupo-Moting as Adam’s free-kick is flicked on by Kurt Zouma.
- Three shots in total for Burnley across 90 minutes. One on target. Pitiful.
Burnley couldn’t do us a favour, they couldn’t do themselves one either. Stoke are now up to eighth above Bournemouth and level with Manchester City on 46 points.
As a result, my league ambitions are to retain our tenth place and secure top half prize money.