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Premier League predictions: Burnley to earn precious point at Villa
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Daniel Childs
Mike Jackson's Burnley will be hopeful of getting a result at Aston Villa
Mike Jackson's Burnley will be hopeful of getting a result at Aston Villa

The Premier League season is nearing completion but the last relegation place has yet to be filled and there is an opportunity for Burnley to climb out of the drop zone when they head to Aston Villa. 

The Clarets need a point to climb above Leeds, due to a far superior goal difference, but there will be far less at stake at Stamford Bridge where third-placed Chelsea – already safely qualified for the Champions League – take on mid-table Leicester. 

Aston Villa vs Burnley (8pm)

Burnley returned to the relegation zone after Pascal Struijk's goal salvaged a dramatic 1-1 draw for Leeds at home to Brighton on Sunday, but the Clarets can jump back out of the bottom three by holding Villa to a draw. 

The West Midlanders were 3-1 winners at Turf Moor earlier this month but they have taken just four points from their last five home fixtures, including Sunday's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace when they failed to build on Ollie Watkins' 69th-minute opener. 

Steven Gerrard was frustrated by his team's wastefulness in front of goal and their inability to manage the game from a position of strength. 

However, poor defending has been a recurring theme at Villa Park with the hosts conceding 28 Premier League goals on their own patch – the fourth highest tally in the division. 

It is an issue that Villa may have to wait until the summer to resolve and their defensive resources are stretched for the visit of their Lancashire opponents with centre-back Ezri Konsa ruled out with a knee injury. 

Ben Mee is hoping to be back for Burnley's trip to Aston Villa
Ben Mee is hoping to be back for Burnley's trip to Aston Villa

The visitors also have issues at the back with centre-backs Ben Mee and James Tarkowski struggling to regain full fitness after they missed Sunday's 1-0 loss at Tottenham. 

However, Matthew Lowton, Nathan Collins and Kevin Long did a decent job as part of a back three against Spurs and Mike Jackson's outfit should remain tough to play against, even if their caretaker boss reverts to a 4-4-2 formation. 

Burnley are a point behind Leeds but their goal difference is 20 goals better off as a result of a usually well-organised defence that is difficult to break down. 

Their recent loss to Villa is the only time in the last six games that they have conceded more than one goal, and if they can keep things tight in this encounter, they might just pick up a precious point. 

Chelsea vs Leicester (8pm)

Leicester have allowed their standards to slip this season but they have romped to comfortable wins at home to Norwich and away to Watford in recent weeks and will be confident of earning at least a point from a much tougher assignment at Chelsea. 

Taking on the top teams is always a challenge but the Foxes could not have picked a much better time to face Thomas Tuchel's side.

The Blues were left physically and emotionally drained by their penalty shootout loss to Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Saturday, although their minimum target of Champions League qualification was achieved after Arsenal's 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Monday. 

Thomas Tuchel may rest his Chelsea stars after their FA Cup final heartache
Thomas Tuchel may rest his Chelsea stars after their FA Cup final heartache

Tuchel must prepare his team for two more home games but it seems more likely that he will rest key players for the Leicester clash than leave them out of their finale against Watford on Sunday, with a number of players expected to bid farewell to the Stamford Bridge faithful ahead of a busy summer of transfer activity.

The match against Leicester also affords the German coach a chance to look at a few fringe players and youngsters with one eye on next season.

It is unlikely to be a full-strength Chelsea side and Brendan Rodgers' visitors are playing well enough to take advantage.


Aston VillaBurnleyChelseaLeicester CityPremier League
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