Will the Seagulls continue to swim above water this season?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
Coming up next in the preview series… Burnley.
MANAGER: Sean Dyche
CAPTAIN: Tom Heaton
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 1500-1 (via Oddschecker)
Having finished in the lofty heights of seventh place and qualifying for European football two seasons ago, Burnley’s dream season was almost followed up by a nightmare one as the Lancashire side flirted with relegation for the majority of the season before securing their status with three consecutive wins at the back-end of their campaign.
European football is now long gone and the expectations for Sean Dyche’s side have become very realistic once again.
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 19th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 1st (Championship)
2016-17 – 16th (Premier League)
2017-18 – 7th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 15th (Premier League)
Premier League – 15th
FA Cup – Fourth Round
Carabao Cup – Third Round
UEFA Europa League – Play-off Round
Top Scorer – League: Ashley Barnes (11), All: Chris Wood (13)
Erik Peters (Stoke City, Undisclosed)
Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion, Undisclosed)
Anders Lindegaard (Helsingborg, Free Transfer)
Stephen Ward (Stoke City, Free Transfer)
Peter Crouch – Retired
Jonathan Walters – Retired
GK – Heaton, Hart, Pope, Legzdins
DF – Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Gibson, Pieters, Bardsley, Long, Dunne
MD – Cork, Guðmundsson, Brady, Hendrick, Defour, Westwood, Lennon, McNeil
FW – Wood, Barnes, Rodriguez, Wells, Vydra, Agyei
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – DWIGHT MCNEIL
McNeil struggled for minutes at the start of last season, making only one start and one appearance off the bench in the first-half of the campaign.
But once he was named in the starting line-up by Dyche for the first time, the highly-rated left-footed winger became an important part of Burnley’s survival, with McNeil being named in the starting line-up in 18 of the final 19 league games.
McNeil now looks to push on from his breakthrough season and become an integral of The Clarets‘ future.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 98
Won – 38
Drawn – 24
Lost – 36
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
Not in recent memory. Despite being seen as an ‘awkward’ team by many, Burnley’s modern-day record against Chelsea isn’t good at all.
In the ten times they have faced each other in the Premier League, Burnley has only come away with one victory against Chelsea, and even then that was the freakish 3-2 opening day win of the 2017-18 season when Chelsea clawed back a miracle draw despite having two men sent-off.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
After flirting far too closely with relegation last season, I expect Burnley to have a much calmer campaign this year.
With having a solid spine of Joe Hart, James Tarkowski, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes, Burnley should be able to cope as per usual with the stresses of the Premier League without any European distractions.
Along with Dwight Mcneil expecting to kick on and become a more potent threat and the guaranteed goals of the freshly returning Jay Rodriguez, Burnley will be chilling in mid-table come May as they will once again look to push on breaking into the European positions for the 2020-21 season.
Predicted position: 13th
Come back for part 6 tomorrow when we take a very close look at a certain that we tend to talk about quite often… Chelsea.