Opinion: Is Bardsley ahead of Lowton in the pecking order for the right-back position?
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Phil Bardsley has been starting for Sean Dyche recently and Matt Lowton doesn't seem to be favoured anymore. 

Bardsley is one of the oldest full-backs in the Premier League but his impressive defensive displays have made him supplant Lowton as the Clarets first-choice right-back.

  • Why Bardsley has raised in the pecking order

Burnley fans can see exactly what the ageing right-back can do. At the age of 34, he still neutralises wingers by making them play on their weaker foot and track them when they feel the need to cut inside on their stronger foot.

He is also very useful in attack too with dangerous crossing and even an ability to hit a decent long-range effort if need be.

There is a flaw in his game where he picks up too many yellow cards but he does the dirty work for the team in his wide defensive position. However, he is starting to add more assists to his game which is one of the many reasons Dyche doesn't see fit to drop him in order to bring in Lowton.

His tackle percentage is improving with age as Bardsley isn't the quickest. He will be more careful when tackling and he is now starting to improve his amount of yellow cards picked up.

Bardsley has improved Burnley's defence becoming instrumental in their backline supporting James Tarkowski and Ben Mee to solidify the Claret's ability to keep clean sheets.

  • Lowton's decline

I don’t think Lowton is on the decline much but he has started to show more weaknesses than strengths in recent months for the Clarets.

Lowton hasn’t been as good as he usually is for Burnley and his poor performances and injury were the reasons why Bardsley overtook him in the right-back position.

He was at fault for a lot of goals after the Sheffield United game and fans were getting restless as clean sheet were on the decline. Poor marking at the back post and inaccurate crosses was enough to see a change made.

Bardsley was in great form for Burnley but he picked up an injury and had to be dropped for the Manchester United game which allowed Lowton to prove himself and make doubters wrong.

Lowton proved them wrong and gave an excellent performance to inspire a famous victory at Old Trafford for Burnley as they won 2-0.

Consistency will be key for Lowton as he looks to cement his place back into the right-back position ahead of Bardsley.

Final Verdict?

Lowton should stay at Turf Moor and fight for his place. Bardsley is not getting any younger and Lowton is sure to return once Bardsley starts to make mistakes.

Lowton is still firmly in Dyche’s plans and Burnley don’t have great quality in cover for the right-back position. 

The 30-year-old remains crucial to Burnley’s plans for a top-half finish. Burnley will make sure that they hold on to both players to maintain a good run until the end of the season.

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