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First Team

Premier League Preview: Burnley

A first meeting in five years awaits at Turf Moor

20 June 2021

The team that finished one place above the relegation zone last term, Burnley waited a month for their first point of the campaign in 2020 and won't want to repeat that this time around.

2020/21 REPORT

League Position: 17th

Top League Goalscorer: Chris Wood (12)

Stadium: Turf Moor, Harry Potts Way, Burnley, BB10 4BX

Capacity: 21,900

After finishing tenth the season before, last term wasn't the sort of progress fans would have wanted. It took Burnley eight games to pick up their first three points of the season, Crystal Palace the victims in November, having lost five of the opening seven fixtures. By December, they had picked up form and were enjoying their brightest spell of the campaign. The end of the season, though, was almost as bad as the start.

Chris Wood's consistency helped them get out of trouble on more than a few occassions but they struggled for other goal sources in the rest of the team. They won just four of their final 14 games, losing seven of the last nine. In the end, survival was confirmed by 11 points but they won't want to repeat the same record in 21/22.

They played six cup matches across the season, three in each of the domestic competitions. They beat MK Dons in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup and then got past Fulham in the Fourth. They lost out to AFC Bournemouth in the Fifth Round, resting several players in favour of focusing on league form. The Carabao Cup saw a similar story, wins over Sheffield United and Millwall followed by defeat to the eventual champions Manchester City.

THE MANAGER

Sean Dyche was a no-nonsense centre-back in his playing days, starting out in the youth system at Nottingham Forest. His professional debut came when he moved to Chesterfield in 1990. He made over 200 appearances for The Spireites, scoring for them in the 1997 FA Cup Semi-Final during a 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough. He also played for Luton Town, Watford, Bristol City, Millwall and Northampton Town. During his career, he was promoted with each of the last three clubs on that list.

Burnley Manager.jpg

He retired as a player in 2007, taking up coaching with the youth teams at his former club Watford. He had a brief stint as Manager at Vicarage Road, following the Malky Mackay's move to Cardiff City in 2011. The Hornets finished 11th in his only season in charge, their best in four seasons, but still replaced him at the end of the season.

A month coaching in the England Under-21 setup was quickly followed by his appointment at Burnley in 2012. Dyche won them top-flight promotion in his first season but they were relegated back there a year later. He guided the side back to the Premier League in 2016, where they have been ever since. He led them to the Europa League for the first time in 50 years after securing a seventh-place finish in 2017.

LAST MEETING

Griffin Park hosted our last meeting with Burnley, a 3-1 defeat in the Sky Bet Championship on 15 January 2016. Scott Arfield scored a 25-yard curling effort before Joey Barton added a second with a free-kick inside half an hour. The third came before half-time, George Boyd making the game secure. Alan Judge managed a goal back for The Bees but it wasn't enough to spark a comeback. The Clarets would go on to win the division that season.

Bees: Button; Colin, Dean, O'Connell, Bidwell; Woods, Diagouraga; Canos (Saunders h/t), Judge, Swift (Yennaris 67); Djuricin (Vibe h/t)

Burnley: Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Jones, Barton, Arfield; Vokes, Gray (Hennings 65)


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