Burnley v Hull City Preview: An important three points up for grabs with a handful of new faces in town

Both teams have picked up surprise results in the opening three games of the season.

Burnley v Hull City Preview: An important three points up for grabs with a handful of new faces in town
Eight new signings could make their debuts at Turf Moor (photo : Vavel)

With both sides heavily tipped for an instant return to the Championship, many would have pinpointed this clash as an early relegation six-pointer. Yet with surprise victories already under their belts, Burnley and Hull have proved that they have the potential to prove their doubters wrong come May.

A number of new signings are ready for selection 

Burnley suffered an opening day defeat to Swansea but responded with an impressive 2-0 victory over Liverpool. Yet Chelsea cruised past them before the international break as Sean Dyche's men failed to capitalise on their smash and grab victory the week before. Hull have performed even better in the opening weeks despite limited resources. They stunned champions Leicester City in the first Premier League game of 2016/17, before seeing off Swansea in their next encounter. The Tigers were then just minutes away from holding Manchester United to a draw before Marcus Rashford prodded home a late winner. The impressive run of form against all the odds earned interim manager Mike Phelan the Manager of the Month Award for August. 

Both managers were busy in the transfer market during the closing days of the window, with Burnley snapping up reported Hull target Jeff Hendrick and Patrick Bamford. Dyche has admitted "they are fit and well" and "adapting to what we do", with Bamford a potential replacement for the injured Ashley Barnes. With the duo in contention for their debuts on Saturday, Hull could provide the same opportunity for no less than six new signings. Ryan Mason, David Marshall, Will Keane, James Weir, Dieumerci Mbokani and Markus Henriksen "are available" with Phelan suggesting "we can build on the start we have made".

Hull smashed their transfer record to bring in Ryan Mason (photo : The Mirror)
Hull smashed their transfer record to bring in Ryan Mason (photo : The Mirror)

Strong defences against weak attacks 

Burnley have a terrific record against Hull, winning ten of their last twelve league encounters, including the four times they have met in the Premier League. Yet if they are to extend that great run of form their strike force will have to break down a Hull defence that boasts Curtis Davies, who has made more interceptions and clearances than any other player in the Premier League this season.

With an average of 0.66 chances created by the teams in their opening trio of games and only six goals between them, goals could be few and far between. In Tom Heaton and Eldin Jakupovic, the two goalkeepers with the most saves to their name will also be on show at Turf Moor to make the task of scoring that much more difficult. 

Not only will the visitors defend courageously but they will also look to keep possession of the ball. Their passing superiority over Burnley can be witnessed by the fact that eight Hull players have completed more passes than their opposition's most creative player, Dean Marney. The midfielder is the only Burnley player to see the ball more than his goalkeeper this season.