Burnley's players to watch in 2020/21
Photo: Getty Images: Dave Howarth

Burnley get their Premier League season underway finally when they take on Leicester City away from home on Sunday.

The Clarets were scheduled to play Manchester United at Turf Moor on the opening weekend, but that game was postponed due to their opponent’s involvement in Europe.

Sean Dyche’s side have yet to add to their squad during the transfer window. That means they will be more reliant than ever on their most influential performers.

The Clarets managed to finish in the top half of the table for the second time in three seasons last term, but with other teams in and around the mid-table area strengthening their squads it could be a real challenge for them to make it back to back top half finishes.

Burnley’s first and main priority as always will be to ensure that they survive.

With Dyche in charge the Clarets always look like a side that will be able to get through any challenging periods of the season and make sure they stay up.

There are some players who will be crucial if Burnley are going to enjoy another season of mid-table security. Here are three such players and why they could be ones to watch for the Clarets this term.

Dwight McNeil

The obvious candidate for Burnley’s player to watch this season is the ever-impressive McNeil.

The winger will enter the campaign with a point to prove having been inexplicably left out of England’s U21s squad for their latest set of international fixtures.

McNeil is the Clarets go to player for creativity and to get the ball up the pitch with his dribbling ability.

The 20-year-old registered six assists in 38 Premier League matches last term, which is a tally he will be looking to beat this campaign and he certainly has the quality to do just that.

The forward, though, will also be looking to add more goals to his game having found the net twice in the league last season. McNeil gets into some excellent positions in the final third and if he can improve his quality in front of goal he could be a player to add a lot more goals to Dyche’s side.

The 20-year-old has already begun to attract the attentions of other Premier League sides, and another promising campaign would only enhance his ever-growing reputation.

Josh Brownhill

A player who will likely go under the radar for many outside of Turf Moor, but Brownhill could be set to have a major impact for Burnley in what will be the midfielder’s first ever full season for both the club and in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old arrived at Burnley in January from Bristol City but had to bide his time to win a place in the side.

Brownhill, though, got his opportunity after the restart to the Premier League replacing Jeff Hendrick down the right-hand side of the Claret’s midfield.

The versatile midfielder displayed a number of impressive performances during his ten Premier League appearances for Burnley after the restart.

Brownhill showed he has quality in possession and the ability to potentially make things happen from either the right or from centre.

After losing a player of the importance of Hendrick to the side, Burnley will need Brownhill to continue to show the same form he did in the latter stages of last term. If he can do that he will start to have looked like something of a bargain acquisition for Dyche’s side.

Chris Wood

One of the main reasons why Burnley have managed to finish in the top half in two of the last three years has been their ability to edge tight matches. Wood is a player who plays a crucial role in that ability for Dyche’s side.

The New Zealand international managed to register an impressive tally of 14 goals in 32 Premier League appearances last season. That saw him reach double figures for league goals for the third successive campaign since he arrived from Leeds United in 2017.

Wood does sometimes go under the radar in terms of praise from both supporters of the Clarets and those outside of Turf Moor.

However, his finishing ability and his instincts to be in the right place at the right time can not really be questioned.

The striker will certainly be looking to reach at least double figures for goals once again, but will also feel he could maybe go on to better his tally of 14 goals from last season.

Were he to do that then that would give Burnley a real chance of having another solid campaign.