Clarets back in the big time

Burnley are clear favourites to be relegated this season, but the Clarets upset the odds last year to be promoted to the Premier League and Sean Dyche’s team could surprise everyone again.

Clarets back in the big time

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August 8th, 2014

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A fearsome strike partnership between Sam Vokes and Danny Ings saw the pair notch over 40 league goals between them, but that twosome has been broken up by Vokes suffering an anterior cruciate knee injury in March.

Lukas Jutkiewicz is the man Dyche has turned to, with the former Middlesbrough striker in good form during pre-season, scoring five goals in five games so far. Jutkiewicz will be the target man for Burnley and he has big boots to fill in Vokes’s absence, but the 25-year old has shown enough so far to suggest he is capable of the step up.

The other new arrivals at Turf Moor are less exciting. Matt Gilks, Steven Reid and Matty Taylor provide Premier League experience and versatile cover, while Dyche will be hoping to rejuvenate Marvin Sordell’s career after the former Watford attacker had a torrid time at Bolton Wanderers.

Michael Kightly’s loan last season has been converted into a permanent transfer and he is another with top flight experience, but Burnley fans remain concerned there has not been enough strengthening of the best XI so far. Burnley seem to lack star quality other than talented striker Ings and dynamic right-back Kieran Trippier, both of whom look like future England internationals.

The Clarets have targeted West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson and Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury, and those two deals would improve the summer transfer dealings at Turf Moor no end.

Burnley are a physical team, but that doesn’t mean they will look to kick teams off the pitch. They were the fittest team in the Championship last season and will aim to be so again in the Premier League this season. And it’s Burnley’s second season in the top flight in the last five years – all talk of the club punching above its weight ought to be banned.

Dyche has already performed miracles by leading Burnley to the Premier League on a tiny budget, but keeping the Clarets up would be another massive surprise. Realistically, the best Burnley can probably hope for is to establish themselves as a yo-yo team in the coming years.

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