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burnley

Clarets ready to defy the odds again

General preview 2019/20

Dyche and his players won't take notice of remaining Clarets critics

Here we go again.

Burnley are preparing for a fourth successive top flight campaign for the first time since 1971 under the astute management of Sean Dyche.

The Clarets chief has worked wonders in his time at the Turf, producing two promotions, a European campaign and establishing Burnley in the top tier.

Beating the drop gets harder each season, sides from the Championship are beginning to come up and spend big. Aston Villa have splashed more than £100m this summer, Wolves and Fulham also got the cheque book out 12 months ago.

The Cottagers are proof that chucking money at a squad does not always work - they're back in the second tier.

The Clarets are desperate to avoid that path and although some supporters wish that chairman Mike Garlick would loosen the purse strings a touch, Dyche has added wisely in bringing back Jay Rodriguez and signing Erik Pieters.

And Burnley have something that money can't buy - a work ethic, culture and environment geared to getting the best out of the team.

They will be written off by plenty but that's just fine by Dyche.

The Clarets have made a habit of defying odds and there's no reason why they can't do so again.

Bring it on.

Pre-season news

Impressive pre-season form whets appetite for new season

Burnley 1-0 Fulham

Wood (P).

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley

Wood, Vydra, Brady.

Crewe 1-0 Burnley

Fleetwood Town 0-2 Burnley

Koiki, Wood.

Wigan Athletic 2-2 Burnley

Rodriguez, McNeil.

Burnley 6-1 OGC Nice

Wood (3), Hendrick, Gudmundsson, Rodriguez.

Burnley 2-0 Parma

Rodriguez (2).

transfer window

Retaining all key players

The return of Jay Rod to East Lancashire was a popular move with the Clarets supporters and a price-tag of £10m is good business for a proven Premier League player.

Erik Pieters, who followed the well worn path of recent seasons from Stoke to Turf Moor looks a clever capture at just £1m.

The lack of additions in midfield, given concerns over Steven Defour's fitness, could come back to bite Burnley.

While the departure of captain Tom Heaton to Aston Villa was a tough one for supporters to take but in Nick Pope Burnley have a ready made replacement.

Rating: 6.5/10

Rating: 8/10

Jay Rodriguez

The return of the former Claret and a fan favourite could be an excellent bit of business. Knows how to find the net at this level and provides Burnley with a different option in attack.

Rating: 7/10

Erik Pieters

The left back has been assured in his pre-season outings and brings proven Premier League experience and competition for Charlie Taylor at left back.

Rating: 6/10

Bailey Peacock Farrell

The young goalkeeper has not arrived as a replacement for Tom Heaton but bolsters the ranks and can be a long term alternative to new number one Nick Pope. Working under Billy Mercer should see him develop further. One to keep an eye on.

Season predictions

Enough for mid-table?

Call it pre-season optimism but I feel Burnley will stay up with relative comfort.

The Clarets know the blueprint and have a squad well versed in what Dyche wants.

A good start is crucial as they played catch up for much of last season, not helped by Europa League qualifiers, and their August fixture list is a tricky one.

Trips to Arsenal and Wolves and a home game with Liverpool follow the opening day visit of Southampton but, as Burnley have shown in recent seasons, they are more than capable of picking up results against top six sides.

Dyche has plenty of options up front and, if they can re-establish that defensive solidity that carried them to seventh in 2017-18, then they look to have enough for mid table.