Burnley vs Southampton Preview: Clarets look for winning start to Premier League season at Turf Moor
Sean Dyche will be hoping his side can get off to winning start against Southampton (Photo: Getty Images: Michael Regan)

After a poor start to the season last term, which saw Burnley inside the division's bottom three heading into the second half of the campaign, the Clarets will be aiming for a positive start against Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Sean Dyche guided his side to a fourth consecutive season in the Premier League, with Burnley securing a 15th place finish last term, following a strong second half of the campaign which helped the Clarets pull clear of relegation trouble.

However, Burnley have seen their club captain and influential goalkeeper Tom Heaton leave Turf Moor for newly promoted Aston Villa this summer.

Dyche though has managed to add to his squad bringing Jay Rodriguez back to the club from West Brom, as well as the additions of Eric Pieters, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and deadline day signing Danny Drinkwater.

Southampton, like Burnley, endured a disappointing start to last season, with the Saints winning just one of their opening 14 league fixtures, a run which saw the club part company with their manager Mark Hughes in December.

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Ralph Hasenhuttl was brought in to replace Hughes, and the former RB Leipzig manager managed to turn around the club's fortunes, guiding his side to a 16th place finish just a point and place bellow Burnley.

This fixture is a repeat of the opening weekend last season, which saw Burnley travel to Southampton for a match which ended goalless and it should be another close encounter between the two sides at Turf Moor this weekend.

Team News

Burnley could give debuts to Rodriguez and Pieters, but look set to be without Drinkwater for the clash against Southampton, with the Chelsea loanee having to prove his fitness to Dyche before being selected to his starting line-up.

The Clarets will also be without Robbie Brady, who picked up a rib injury in Burnley's final pre-season friendly against Parma last weekend.

Midfielder Steven Defour will also not be in contention as the Belgium international continues his recovery from an injury-hit campaign last term.

Nick Pope is likely to start the season as Burnley's number one keeper in the absence of Heaton, with Joe Hart starting on the bench and having to  wait for his opportunity.

Southampton could give debuts to summer signings Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo, while former Burnley striker Danny Ings could also start after he joined the Saints on a permanent deal from Liverpool following a successful loan spell with the club last term.

What the managers had to say

Dyche believes there is plenty of competition for places within his squad heading into the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Dyche said: “I think we have made some good signings, albeit not thrashing around the money again. The squad has a rounded feel to it and we hope that bodes well with that competitive element in the group."

Hasenhuttl is aiming for his side to make gradual improvements on what they achieved in the second half of last season starting on Saturday at Turf Moor.

Hasenhuttl said: "I try to make smaller targets, everyday targets to make things better, and if you do that then, at the end, you get what you deserve to get. I hope it will be more than last season, and if we take points consistently I'm sure it will be."