Burnley started the season excellently and after a drop-in form in which they were without a win in 11 games, they have come back into form after a great victory over Everton in which they showed good character to win for the first time ever under Sean Dyche after conceding the first goal.
They are seventh in the table and only 5 points behind Arsenal who have their Europa league contentions to deal with. They will most likely be involved in Europe next season themselves and will be keen to keep Leicester, who are only 3 points behind them, at bay.
Sean Dyche has been a revelation this season and a breath of fresh air too in a world of Allardyces and Pardews. This is the sort of young English manager that Premier League clubs should be giving the chance instead of hiring and sacking the same set of managers. Burnley have been rewarded for their trust by one of their best ever seasons and some shrewd recruitments in the summer can make them a plucky force in the league plot next season as well.
07 Apr 15:00 33 Watford (A) 3
14 Apr 15:00 34 Leicester (H) 3
19 Apr 19:45 34 Chelsea (H) 4
22 Apr 13:30 35 Stoke (A) 2
28 Apr 15:00 36 Brighton (H) 2
05 May 15:00 37 Arsenal (A) 4
13 May 15:00 38 Bournemouth (H) 3
Burnley have decent fixtures for the coming weeks and they also play a double game in Gameweek 34. Although they do face Chelsea, it is at Turf Moor and Chelsea have only one of their last 7 games, losing 5 as Conte looks to move on to greener pastures at the end of the season. The Arsenal game is away, but given the chance of Arsenal being involved in Europa league to secure Champions League qualification for next season, this could be as good a chance as any for Sean Dyche to finally beat Wenger.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Burnley have a very disciplined way of playing but that doesn’t mean that they cannot play beautiful football. Ashley Barnes acrobatic finish last week was a thing of beauty and they are capable of producing moments that will take supporters off their seats. They have also improved their scoring rate, scoring 2 or more goals in their last 3 matches.
Dyche is a very good tactician and he adapts his game plan to get the better of his opponents. He has drilled his players to follow his orders very well and because of this adaptability, you can expect Burnley to challenge every team for points.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT
Chris Wood (£6.3): Has been a super substitute in recent weeks and at this price, with a double gameweek on the horizon, he is one of the best punts to make. Has looked confident and why not, with 4 goals and an assist in his last 3 matches. Burnley play to provide service to him and he promptly delivers.
Ashley Barnes (£5.4) Surprisingly even cheaper than his teammate, even though he plays far more regularly, Barnes has the unique distinction of being reliable without being flashy. His goal last week against West Brom got him noticed, and you should snap him up before prices rise. Has scored in 4 consecutive gameweeks leading up to this weekend.
Ashley Barnes had just scored just 5 Championship goals for Brighton in 2013/14 when Burnley signed him. He’s now just scored for the fourth week running in the Premier League. Dyche effect. 💪
Aaron Lennon (£5.4)
In a team full of physical and hardworking players, he has the pace and flair to stand out and he has two assists in the last two games.
PLAYER TO AVOID
James Tarkowski (£5.4)
Even though the Burnley defence has gotten a lot of plaudits this season, they have not been as tight in the second half as they were in the first. The goalkeeper gets points for his saves but the defenders have kept only 1 clean sheet in 14 matches. Preferable to look for options elsewhere.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.1): The Icelandic international was in great form before his calf injury, laying on two assists in two matches but will mostly be on the bench at best this weekend.
Nick Pope (£5.0)
Recently called up to the England squad over Joe Hart, long-time number one. The decision by Southgate was not only the correct one, it was the appropriate reward for Pope’s efforts this season. He has stepped up in the absence of club captain Heaton and has helped shape a season which could easily have led to a relegation battle into upper half security. However, with Heaton back in the squad, it is only a matter of time before the young Englishman gives way to his senior counterpart. Avoid.