As England fans up and down the country look forward to watching Gareth Southgate's inspiring Three Lions once again in the coming days, supporters of Burnley have been left feeling anxious and worried after another underwhelming beginning to the season.
Nothing out of the ordinary
Seven games of the 2021/22 Premier League season have now been played and The Clarets currently occupy the final relegation spot in 18th place. The club directly below Burnley are Newcastle United who, following a much anticipated takeover this week, will be hopeful of climbing clear of danger. Therefore, it appears likely the task to achieve survival for a 6th successive season is now going to be more difficult.
Such an environment to be in though is something which the current squad won't be shocked by. Supporters only need to look back to the previous campaign. It took until match number eight to register a first victory, 1-0 against Crystal Palace. Burnley eventually finished a somewhat comfortable 11 points clear of danger, despite ending in 17th position.
In Sean Dyche's first season as a Premier League manager, Burnley needed 11 games to register a win. Whilst it must be noted The Clarets did drop back down to the Championship come May, this example can also be used as a measuring tool. Yes, the current season is not going how many would have liked, but Burnley are yet to enter true danger territory. There is still time to recover but this of course must occur sooner rather than later.
The stability created on the back of Dyche signing a new 4-year contract last month is likely to give everybody associated with the club a sense of calm.
Speaking to Burnley's official website after the latest fixture against Norwich City, the manager feels the team are not far away from getting back on track: "Sometimes you need a scruffy one to get you off the mark.
One of those things that can drop in the box and you score from – and that changes the mentality. There was a lot of good stuff and effective play but scoring a goal is a challenge at the moment.
We’re so close but we’ve got to continue to at least perform how we are performing – but add in to that.
I believe it will come because we have the players, I believe, of that quality".
October's Fixture list
Manchester City (A) Saturday 16th October -
If there was ever a fixture Clarets fans approach with the least amount of optimism, it is likely to be this one. In Simple terms, Burnley's last four visits to the Etihad Stadium through the Premier League and FA Cup combined have been familiar for all the wrong reasons. Upon each occasion, Manchester City ran out 5-0 winners. The last Burnley league goal scored at the Etihad came back in January 2017 from current skipper Ben Mee.
With 2 goals and 2 assists to his name in 10 appearances so far, The Sky Blues record transfer Jack Grealish has already shown what he is capable off at a higher level and is likely to cause Burnley problems during the contest. Ultimately, fixtures such as this won't define Burnley's season. Clarets fans might have to face another long afternoon though come kick-off, before seeing the team get back on track.
Score prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
Southampton (A) Saturday 23rd October -
Southampton are one of four sides who are yet to register a victory this campaign. A key piece now missing from The Saints side is somebody all to familiar to Burnley fans, striker Danny Ings. Following 12 Premier League goals and 4 assists last season in just 29 games, it was no surprise to see him move on, with Aston Villa paying a significant fee for his services. Two of those strikes last season however were against his former club, as Southampton completed the double over The Clarets.
Burnley's recent record at St.Mary's is more than credible, winning two of the previous four visits. The most recent 3 points earned on the south coast back in 2020 saw a wonder goal by Matej Vydra, which was credited with the Premier League's goal of the month. This fixture appears to be the ideal one to finally get a win on the board and begin an assault up the table.
Score prediction: Southampton 1-2 Burnley
Brentford (H) Saturday 30th October -
A piece of history will be made during this fixture as Burnley and Brentford will face each other for the very first time in the top division of English Football.
Brentford will take encouragement from their start to the season. 12 points from the opening 7 games is an outstanding effort from a newly promoted side, something which will most definitely have pleased manager Thomas Frank. What makes The Bees start all the more impressive is the fact they have already beaten Arsenal and drawn against Liverpool in their brand new stadium, whilst also gaining a last minute victory at West Ham United, a side currently contesting European football.
The Clarets latest encounters with the West-London side came during the memorable promotion championship campaign back in 2015-16, with a 1-0 victory at Turf Moor and a 3-1 success at The Bees former ground Griffin Park respectively.
Whilst Burnley will be desperate to end their long run without a Premier League win at Turf Moor, given Brentford's own start, the home faithful might need to settle for just a point once again. Something which could ultimately prove crucial come the end of the season.
Score prediction: Burnley 1-1 Brentford