The surprise package of last season. The Lancashire club are bringing European football back to Turf Moor for the first time in fifty years and let no one fool you, this is a quite astounding achievement. The modern game is leaving small town clubs in the dust as foreign owners and 60 000 seater stadiums make it tougher for the little guy to compete. Yet, here they are. Sean Dyche has rightly had a bar named after him for his efforts.
Happy European Tour Day Clarets!!!!!
Get yourself in for a prematch pint????
We have the game LIVE at 7.45pm
— The Royal Dyche (@theroyaldyche) August 2, 2018
One of the few sides in the top tier that still have a strong British contingent with a dash of European quality in Belgian Steven Defour and Icelandic Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton captains the side with fellow England Internationals Nick Pope and Joe Hart providing plenty of competition. A strong defense led by James Tarkowski and Ben Mee have been the pillar that Dyche has built his side on with Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood controlling the midfield with short passing and boundless energy. Up front, Sam Vokes, Chris Wood and Ashely Barnes all contribute with goals and provide an outlet with their strong hold up play. Aaron Lennon and Robbie Brady provide width and a steady stream of crosses for the strikers to feed on.
Sean Dyche was nominated for Manager of the Year last season and many feel he was hard done by losing out to Pep Guardiola. His no nonsense, honest approach to the game sees a traditional 4-4-2 formation with the aim of supplying quality balls into the big men up front. Burnley thrive off of set pieces and a disciplined unit in defense, especially at Turf Moor where they conceded a miserly 17 goals. Dyche prefers honest professionals to the glitz of foreign superstars and his teams are one of the most drilled in the league. He will have a tough campaign ahead with the European qualifiers having already begun and will need to juggle his squad effectively to ensure a strong Premier League performance.
What to Expect
With no major transfers in or out, we can expect a very familiar approach from Burnley this season. Tough, physical and smart with the ball in possession. Don’t expect many goals but expect plenty of clean sheets as they will be tough to break down. I hope their European exploits don’t have a detrimental effect on their league performances but some fatigue from the Thursday night fixtures will surely take its toll. Nonetheless, Sean Dyche’s side have cemented themselves as a mid-table side and I would be shocked to see a finish lower than tenth.