Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes his side are preparing for their toughest challenge of the season in the shape of runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Dyche’s men were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in August, although the Clarets have proven an altogether different proposition at Turf Moor than on the road.
In his news conference ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was quick to point out Burnley’s excellent home record – with 28 of their 29 points earned in front of their own fans.
Dyche also faced the media on Friday and, while satisfied with his team’s progress since that meek display in west London, he is all too aware of a Chelsea side seemingly destined for an inexorable charge to the title.
“They played miles better than us on the day and fully deserved the victory,” he said. “I think we have morphed into a stronger unit now.
“There are no guarantees about playing teams like this but, beyond this result, I think we’re a stronger unit and I think we’ve got a bit more experience and a bit more knowledge about what the league’s about.
“That doesn’t guarantee you a result against, yet again, one of the superpowers of the division, but I think it gives you a better chance.
“I think every game in the Premier League is a test. It’s fair to say these are so strong at the moment, it’s probably the biggest challenge we’ve had in that sense.
“They are top of the league for a reason, and that many points clear. But every game is a challenge. We can’t underestimate anyone and we don’t.
“They are having a fine season. A change in system seems to have been the catalyst for them to deliver some very strong performances and results.
“We are under no illusion about what a good side they are. But we have played good sides here before and been away and played good sides, and we’ve been in more or less every game.
“There have been a couple of blips along our season so far, but more or less every game, particularly at home, of course, so we look forward to taking on the challenge, a big one as it may be.”
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