Stoke City vs Burnley pre-match analysis: Clarets 'Dyching' with death down at the bottom?

Stoke City vs Burnley pre-match analysis: Clarets 'Dyching' with death down at the bottom?

Sean Dyche's tactics will aim to frustrate Stoke City this Saturday, but going forward will they secure a position in next years Premier League?

Lewis Downes

Burnley are a team tipped for relegation, but they are also equally equipped to fight against it - as they'll look to prove when they visit Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

In recent years, the Lancashire-based side have solidified themselves as the best outfit in the county. Blackburn, Blackpool, Accrington, Fylde, Morecambe and Preston all offer a mediocre level of play in comparison.

The Clarets are a resilient force when faced with a threat and often emerge from the muddy pitch smelling of roses.

Despite the odds being stacked against them Sean Dyche’s men have managed to topple Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and frustrate Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United this season, also beating Ronald Koeman’s Everton.

Positive results allow the older generation of Burnley fans to reminisce about the 1960’s, in which the club competed in the European Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the equivalent of today’s Europa League.

It would be a ludicrous statement to suggest that the club will be replicating such achievements in the nearby future, but then stranger things have happened.

Since the start of the Premier League in 1992 there have been 68 promotions, and 30 of those 68 Championship upgrades have resulted in first year relegation.

Were Burnley right to spend big this summer?

Burnley were last promoted to the nation’s top division two years ago and are one of the 30 teams to be branded with the degrading statistic of going straight down after promotion.

In the 2014-2015 season, Dyche's Burnley offered the same style of play they display presently, a side willing to work hard, defend together and devastate on the counter-attack.

This lack of adaptation might puzzle certain members of the footballing community, but unlike three years ago available revenue has sky rocketed due to television deals.

Very few now bat an eyelid at the prospect of spending £35 million  on a player. In fact, it is even the norm in English football.

The Clarets spent more than £24 million on players leading up to the start of this campaign, whereas their spend in their previous spell in the Premier League totalled just £5.5 million.

It is said and proven however, that money does not always guarantee success, nor as the saying goes, does it buy you happiness. But will it be enough to keep Burnley in the league? That will be a question only answered later in the campaign.

Burnley won’t go down without a fight

Burnley are set to face Stoke this Saturday at the Bet365 Stadium and it will be a tough test again for Dyche's side.

Mark Hughes' men have endured a recent surge up the league table after a shocking start which left the Potters with just one point after five games.

Stoke, who now sit 11th on 16 points, are the favourites to pick up all three in the Potteries.

Unlike many an opponent Burnley have succeeded against this season, Stoke offer a more direct style of play.

Burnley fans have already witnessed what a devastating effect can be ensued by a target man, when Salomon Rondon ran riot for West Brom in their 4-0 thumping of Dyche’s men less than a fortnight ago.

Wilfred Bony is a muscular forward with pace and an eye for goal, with his confidence growing by the hour. This game is set up to be one tasty showdown for the neutral.