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Vincent Kompany accepts survival is all that matters for Burnley in their first season back in the Premier League, with the Clarets still chasing their first points of the season ahead of Monday's trip to Nottingham Forest.
Burnley were thrashed 5-2 by Tottenham prior to the international break, and they are one of two teams – alongside Luton Town – yet to earn a point, also losing to Manchester City (3-0) and Aston Villa (3-1).
Only one team has ever lost their first four games of a Premier League season while conceding three or more goals in each match, with West Ham finishing bottom after doing so in 2010-11.
Though Kompany is planning for long-term success in the top flight, he knows there is only one aim for Burnley this term.
"In the end, the gap between the Premier League and any other league is such a big gap," Kompany said. "The goal for us is not always being the team that struggles in the Premier League. We accept it's a struggle now, but the goal is to build a team that belongs in the Premier League and can look upwards and push for more.
"First things first. It hasn't escaped me that to fulfill the plan we have to stay up, I get that."
Forest are looking to avoid another season of struggle, having moved to six points from their first four matches with a shock win at Chelsea prior to the break.
They added another seven new faces to their squad on transfer deadline day, leaving boss Steve Cooper excited by the options at his disposal.
"It's a competitive group now, there's strength in depth and real competition for places which is what we want, from the goalkeepers to the players at the top of the pitch," Cooper said. "That's the sort of culture you want, where players have to work hard to be in the next team."
Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White
Since Forest returned to the Premier League last August, Gibbs-White has created 74 chances in the competition – a staggering 46 more than any other player for the club. The now-departed Brennan Johnson is second with 29. Only Taiwo Awoniyi (13 goals, two assists) has bettered Gibbs-White's total of 14 goal involvements (five goals, nine assists) among Forest players in that time. Expect him to play a crucial role on Monday.
Burnley – Lyle Foster
Foster has scored in his last two Premier League games for Burnley, having netted just once in his first 12 league games for the Clarets. He could become just the third South African player to net in three successive Premier League matches, after Benni McCarthy (five runs between 2006 and 2009) and Steven Pienaar (in 2010).
This will be the first top-flight meeting between Forest and Burnley since February 1971, when an Ian Storey-Moore goal gave Forest a 1-0 win. Burnley triumphed by the same scoreline when they last met in a league game in 2016, while they also edged last month's EFL Cup tie by a single goal.
Forest have won their last four Premier League home games, beating Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton, Arsenal and Sheffield United. They last won more consecutively as a top-flight club between April and August 1991 (a run of seven).
Forest have also lost just one of their last 10 league matches played on a Monday (five wins, four draws), winning five of their last six such games at the City Ground (one draw), so Burnley may be in for a bout of the Monday Blues.
Nottingham Forest 40.7%
Updated September 17, 2023