After slipping from a 7th placed finish in the 2017/2018 campaign to 15th last term can Burnley rise back up the table in the new campaign? Get our Burnley betting tips and the latestBurnley betting specials here.
Burnley’s 2017/2018 season was a remarkable one in which they finished 7th in the table, securing a long-awaited return to European football for the following campaign. However, the continental adventure ended before the group stages as the Clarets failed to qualify for the group stages and that set the tone for a difficult season in Lancashire as the team dropped 12 places from the season before to finish in 15th place.
For boss Sean Dyche, the task in hand this year is raising the team back up towards the top half of the table. Although the likes of Leicester, Everton and Wolves have the financial muscle to ensure they are likely to beat the Clarets to a top seven spot (which is usually enough to secure a spot in Europe), Burnley will want to improve on their disappointing campaign last time out and cultivate a strong atmosphere in front of their own fans at Turf Moor.
Burnley’s 2018/2019 season was a disappointing one. Although the Clarets were never likely to finish in the top seven for a second consecutive season, many suspected that their downfall this time around would be their foray into European football as we have seen teams struggle to cope with the demands of the Europa League schedule in tandem with their Premier League commitments. In reality, Dyche’s side were knocked out by Olympiakos in the final qualifying round and never made it as far as the group stages.
Perhaps this disappointment goes some way to explaining why Burnley were so poor at the start of the Premier League season. Having picked up just two wins in their first 15 league games of the campaign, the Clarets seemed set for a real relegation scrap, but some improved form after Christmas, particularly at Turf Moor where they overcame the likes of Tottenham, West Ham and Wolves, proved enough to guide the side to a 15th placed finish and secure another season in the top tier.
Sean Dyche has legendary status at Turf Moor. Having led the club into the Premier League in the first place against all odds, the board’s decision to invest the cash injection gained from that promotion into the infrastructure of the club, in particular the training ground, failed to rile the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ as he is affectionately known by the Burnley faithful. Instead, he took relegation on the chin and rallied to take the team back up the season after.
Since then, Burnley have managed to establish themselves at the top level and much of that success is down to Dyche’s pragmatic and at times attritional style. Signing trustworthy and experienced players has proven to be an effective approach for him and he will continue to stick to the principles he has set out for himself in the coming campaign.
The New Arrivals
After a rather disappointing campaign last time out, Sean Dyche will be looking to freshen up the squad this summer and he has already brought in two experienced heads for undisclosed fees. 30 year old left-back Erik Pieters arrives from Stoke City having made 190 league appearances for the Potters and returning to the club is striker Jay Rodriguez, seven years after first leaving Turf Moor where he scored 31 goals in 105 league appearances after rising through the ranks at his home-town club.
Jay Rodriguez has returned to his hometown club (PA Images)
Burnley don’t have the vast resources of other clubs in the Premier League and so Dyche will continue to look for low-risk, value signings and there is likely to be a few more new faces before the window slams shut. Spainsh midfielder Victor Camarasa has been linked in the last few days alongside Leeds’ Mateusz Klich and Rapid Vienna full-back Boli Mbombo who has also been linked with Scottish Premiership winners Celtic. The Clarets have managed to shift some of the deadwood from their squad too which should free up room for another addition or two.
The Key Man
Few goalkeepers have proven to be as pivotal to their team as Tom Heaton. Although Nick Pope and Joe Hart are far from the worst back-up keepers in the league, the upturn in the Clarets form when Heaton returned from injury last season to feature in the final eighteen games of the season was palpable and helped to carry the side away from the relegation battle that they had been embroiled in beforehand.
27 of Burnley’s 39 points over the course of last season came with Heaton between the sticks and he was quickly reintroduced to the England squad in March thanks to his form in these fixtures. As the club captain, he has influence beyond the pitch too but on it, he appears to bring a calming presence to a defence that is susceptible to some poor spells of form. Will his availability from the start of the season help Burnley to kick on for a higher finish this term?
Can Dyche plot a more effective Plan B?
One of the issues that Burnley face is their over-reliance on a distinctive playing style that is no longer shared by many teams in the top division. The Clarets are difficult to play against due to their physicality and with a shape that generally includes two target-men style strikers, defenders can often struggle to cope with set-pieces and balls into the box and against some of the sides in the league that are perceived to be a ‘soft touch’, this route to success can often be valid.
However, it’s when things aren’t going their way that Burnley need to produce a more threatening secondary tactic. The introduction of Dwight McNeil from the Youth Team has been effective, with his pace and direct running giving defenders something more to think about. Can Dyche add some more ball-playing midfielders and wide players to his squad to give his side the option at least of playing with a more conventional and modern style?
How will the Clarets cope with that tough December?
There’s a really tough run of fixtures awaiting Burnley when the reach December. On Tuesday the 3rd, they will take on Manchester City at Turf Moor, before heading to the capital to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time against the Lilywhites just a few days later. A home fixture against Newcastle will have to be targeted as a potential three points because after that they face more difficult fixtures away at Bournemouth and Everton and then at home to Manchester United on the 28th.
Given that December is where the Clarets started to turn their form around last season, they cannot afford to get off to another poor start this term as this run of fixtures could be make or break for them when it comes to the end of the campaign. In front of their home fans, they will have to hope the Turf Moor crowd produce a big atmosphere and away from home they will have to keep things tight defensively and take any chances that come their way from set pieces.
Where will Burnley finish this season?
We’re backing a repeat 15th placed finish for the Clarets this time around. Burnley have enough quality in their squad to stay above the likes of Newcastle United and Sheffield United for our money, but the momentum that took them to that top seven finish appears to have dissipated a little. What’s more, the star man in that successful campaign, Steven Defour, managed just six appearances last term and may never be at the same level again following some lengthy injury problems.
In Chris Wood and fans favourite Ashley Barnes, Burnley should have enough firepower to earn enough points to secure that safety but pushing on beyond a rather stacked midtable, possessing many teams that on paper at least appear to have more quality than them, could prove a very difficult task. Instead, simply surviving may be the best the Lancastrian side can hope for this term.
Burnley are one of the few teams in this table where we can’t find too much value! As the season draws near, more special bets, #WhatOdds and #YourOdds requests will become available and we’ll keep checking these to bring you our favourites for the upcoming campaign. For now, the only tip we can give you is Burnley to stay up at reasonable enough odds of 4/11, although you may want to combine with a couple of our other team bets for any value.
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Burnley FC Tips & Betting Specials 2019/2020
After slipping from a 7th placed finish in the 2017/2018 campaign to 15th last term can Burnley rise back up the table in the new campaign?