Burnley 2019-20 preview: With focus back on Premier league, Clarets look to reclaim mid-table

Burnley comes on the back of a disappointing season in the Premier League, but it could be a blessing in disguise for the Sean Dyche-led team.

Ashley Barnes (C) and Chris Wood (R), who scored 22 goals between them in the Premier League last season, will once again be key to Burnley’s fortunes.   -  Getty Images

A seventh-place finish in the 2017-18 season meant Sean Dyche’s men had to focus on more than just the Premier League, which didn't quite work out. After being knocked out of the Europa League qualification and finishing fifteenth in the league last season, Burnley can solely focus on the league in the 2019-20 season.

Following Peter Crouch’s retirement and goalkeeper Tom Heaton’s departure to Aston Villa, Burnley brought in like-for-like replacements in the form of West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez and Leeds’ 22-year old keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The club has retained its core group of players but speculation around centre-back James Tarkowski to Leicester City continues to worry Burnley fans.

The partnership between Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, who scored 13 goals each last season, will once again be key to Burnley’s fortunes.

The Clarets completed a fruitful pre-season with four wins, one draw and one loss which includes a 6-1 rout of Patrick Viera’s Nice. However, a tough list of initial fixtures, which includes a trip to Arsenal, Wolves followed by a home game against last-season’s runner-up Liverpool will pose a question to the team’s mettle.

READ | Manchester United preview: Can Ole's rebuild take his team back to Champions League?

Player to watch out for: James Tarkowski

Tarkowki has been a key figure at Burnley. The England centre back has averaged just under two tackles per game over four seasons in 89 appearances. His partnership with Ben Mee has been key for the Clarets notching up 14 clean sheets in 2017-18 when they finished seventh. He has been heavily linked with a move to Leicester City, but Burnley fought to keep him, underlining his importance at the heart of the defence.

Transfers

IN: Erik Pieters (£1m, Stoke), Joel Senior (undisclosed, Curzon Ashton), Jay Rodriguez (£10m, West Brom). Bailey Peacock-Farrell (£2.5m, Leeds)
OUT: Tom Heaton (£8m, Aston Villa), Stephen Ward (free, Stoke), Aiden O’Neill (free, Brisbane Roar), Anders Lindegaard (free, Helsingborg), Aiden Stone (free, Mansfield), Marley Blair, Adam Bruce, Tinashe Chakwana, James Clarke, Ed Cook, Mark Howarth, Ntumba Massanka, Conor Mitchell (released), Peter Crouch and Jon Walters (both retired).

 

Burnley's 2019/20 Premier League fixtures

August

10: Burnley v Southampton

17: Arsenal v Burnley

24: Wolves v Burnley

31: Burnley v Liverpool

September

14: Brighton v Burnley

21: Burnley v Norwich

28: Aston Villa v Burnley

October

5: Burnley v Everton

19: Leicester v Burnley

26: Burnley v Chelsea

November

2: Sheffield United v Burnley

9: Burnley v West Ham

23: Watford v Burnley

30: Burnley v Crystal Palace

 

December

3: Burnley v Manchester City

7: Tottenham v Burnley

14: Burnley v Newcastle

21: Bournemouth v Burnley

26: Everton v Burnley

28: Burnley v Manchester United

January

1: Burnley v Aston Villa

11: Chelsea v Burnley

18: Burnley v Leicester

21: Manchester United v Burnley

February

1: Burnley v Arsenal

8: Southampton v Burnley

22: Burnley v Bournemouth

29: Newcastle v Burnley

March

7: Burnley v Tottenham

14: Manchester City v Burnley

21: Burnley v Watford

April

4: Crystal Palace v Burnley

11: Burnley v Sheffield United

18: West Ham v Burnley

25: Liverpool v Burnley

May

2: Burnley v Wolves

9: Norwich v Burnley

17: Burnley v Brighton

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