Burnley season preview: Clarets to edge closer to drop?
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Burnley season preview: Clarets to edge closer to drop?

The formula remains the same, but will it be enough to ensure survival once again?

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Kirshon Wilkins

Burnley are the type to never give up. They'll keep fighting with the odds stacked up against them. 

Their poor start and inconsistent finish in the 2018/19 season will leave fans wondering if they can stay up yet again, scrapping for every point possible to survive. 

Sean Dyche is the reason for their Premier League stay but how long can he tread across thin waters with his side?

Transfer Business

£10 million striker Jay Rodriguez is now in his second spell in claret and blue with plenty still to prove in the Premier League.

Rodriguez has never been a prolific out-and-out striker, but his 22-goal tally for West Brom in the 2018/19 season is his best goalscoring season to date.

There are doubts over whether he can still deliver in the top-flight after suffering several injuries over the past few seasons. However, if Dyche gets him up and running then Burnley have a decent addition to their firepower this season as they look to remain in the top flight.

They also added Leeds shot-stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell (£2.5m) who could prove good backup following Tom Heaton's departure to Aston Villa and Stoke City's Erik Pieters for defensive depth. 

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Where the season can be won and lost

First five: Southampton (H), Arsenal (A), Wolves (A), Liverpool (H) and Brighton (A)

Putting Arsenal and Liverpool aside, Burnley can pick up at least seven points from their opening five games. 

Burnley are strong at Turf Moor so expect them to pick up three points against a Southampton side who are not the best at the back. Their poor away record last season will need to be rectified if they are to pick up any points away to a Wolves side who have had an amazing transfer window and if they are to win at Brighton.

Last five: West Ham (A), Liverpool (A), Wolves (H), Norwich (A) and Brighton (H) 

The game at Anfield will be seen as a bonus game whilst the away trip to West Ham could be a chance to pick up more points on the road.

But the last two games of the season could be pivotal to Burnley's survival. Norwich and Brighton are bound to be in the relegation scrap with them in the 2019/20 season and nothing less than six points will be expected. 

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Ones to watch

Dwight McNeil broke into the first team last season and became a regular in the Burnley side. He made a huge impact in helping to secure Burnley's top-flight status and he became a favourite amongst the Turf Moor crowd.

Josh Benson has been with the first-team in pre-season and has impressed. He plays in midfield for the under-23s and might just get his breakthrough. He could feature off the bench and be the next McNeil.

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Potential wildcard: Jeff Hendrick

Hendrick's work went largely unnoticed last season. He broke-up counter-attacks, scoring a few important goals and most importantly worked ever so hard in the Burnley midfield to offer opportunities to the likes of McNeil to attack.

The Irish international will be key to Burnley's midfield and keeping him fit will be a major target for the claret and blue outfit.

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What to expect 

Burnley could underachieve this season. If they don't start well, then they could face a familiar pattern from last season when it took them a long while to get going.

Their away form was abysmal last season and that has to change if they are to enjoy a more comfortable position above the drop zone this time around.

Dyche is great at managing a squad which is low budget but plays well together as a team. However, last season it almost caught them out and they weren't far off from being in real trouble.

With the Premier League getting better every season and another quiet window, Dyche will struggle to keep Burnley away from the drop zone. Never write them off but this season will be very hard for them.

Predicted 2019/20 position: 16th

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