Burnley star singles out Newcastle United duo ahead of crucial final day fixture
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Burnley star Ashley Barnes is relishing the opportunity of facing former teammates Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood when his side host Newcastle United on Sunday.
The Clarets head into the game looking to secure their Premier League status after a long battle against relegation during a challenging season.
A draw will be enough to extend their top flight stay into a seventh season if relegation rivals Leeds United fail to secure a win in their final day visit to Brentford.
There are a number of intriguing angles across the Turf Moor meeting with Magpies manager Eddie Howe, defender Trippier and striker Wood all set to face their former employers.
After turning a loan move into a permanent switch, Trippier made over 180 appearances for the Clarets before going on to spend highly successful spells with Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid.
The England defender returned to the Premier League as part of Newcastle’s impressive recruitment during the January transfer window - but a foot injury has limited his involved to just six appearances.
Barnes praised his former team-mate for the impact he made during his time at Burnley and the ‘amazing’ career he has experienced since he left the club in 2015.
He said: “I’m still in touch with them (Wood and Trippier) and it’ll be nice to see their faces again. Tripps text me for some tickets; I don’t know why he can’t buy them himself! I’m going to stitch him up. We were always ducking and diving.
“What a career this guy (Trippier) has had. To leave the country and win a league is difficult. It’s been amazing for him.
“They did an amazing job when they were here and they had a positive impact season after season.”
Magpies striker Wood have more recent experience of life at Burnley after spending the first half of the current season with the Clarets.
Sunday will provide the New Zealand international with his first appearance at Turf Moor since moving to Tyneside in a £25million move in January if he can prove his fitness to Magpies boss Howe ahead of the game.
Barnes is looking forward to going up against his former Brighton and Burnley team-mate - but admitted he could be in for a feisty welcome as he takes on his former employers.
He said: “We played together at Brighton, but he was only young then. He has to be my number one partnership for sure, especially with what we achieved together.
“We worked so well, we always knew where the other person would be at all times, and where we were running. We’ll make sure the lads kick him a little bit more!”