Burnley won promotion to the Premier League from the Championship last season.
The Clarets had been relegated from the Premier League the season before, having stuck to a strict budget and not overspent on high-profile players.
For much of the summer, it looked likely that the Clarets were going to stick to that somewhat flawed strategy this summer, until Sean Dyche broke the club’s transfer record twice by signing Steven Defour and Jeff Hendrick late in the transfer window.
Burnley returns to Premier League action this weekend when they host fellow top-flight new boys Hull City at Turf Moor on Saturday, in a game that could be crucial even this early in the season.
The Clarets may struggle to score goals
Sean Dyche’s team were the Championship’s joint top scorers last season alongside Brighton and Brentford. In the second tier, the Clarets have been prolific, with strike-force Andre Gray and Sam Vokes highly effective.
Both forwards have got on the scoresheet once each this season, but the Clarets have failed to score in two of their last three top-flight games this season. In fact, Dyche’s team have now failed to score in nine of their last 12 games in the top-flight, stretching over their two spells in the Premier League.
The lack of goals is a major concern for the team from Lancashire. Dyche must find a way to get the best out of his two strikers. Gray has been involved in recent social media controversy and it could cost Burnley dearly this season.
The incident and the subsequent charge will only act as a distraction to arguably the team’s best source of goals this season. The Clarets have to rediscover their scoring form from last season to survive in the Premier League this season.
A season changing game
The visit of Hull on Saturday represents a chance for Burnley to pick-up their second league win of the season and in the process move level on points with the Tigers in the Premier League table.
There is a thin line between success and failure in the Premier League. Burnley are perceived to have made a mixed start to their return to the top-flight, but Hull are regarded to have had a good start. If the Clarets record a win then the pair will be all-square in the top-flight.
Even at this stage of the campaign, this game could be a season changer for both teams. If Burnley wins it will change the complexion of their season and give the players the confidence maybe to go on a winning run.
If Hull wins then the Tigers will have enjoyed a fantastic start to their Premier League campaign and will be far more confident of securing their top-flight status this season. It may not seem like a significant game now or maybe not yet be classed as a six-pointer, but it is nevertheless an important game.
Staying up still a priority
Hull may have started the campaign in good fashion, but The Tigers and Burnley are still favourites for relegation at odds of 10/11 and 4/5 respectively. Both teams priority will be to stay in the Premier League this season.
It would be naïve to claim that either team will be very far from the Premier League danger zone this season. Hull’s squad is still slightly light in numbers, but they seem to have a strong group, although much will depend on how they bounce back in this clash after their defeat against Manchester United before the international break.
At the start of the campaign, I stated that I was sceptical about Hull’s chances of staying in the top-flight this season. However, Burnley are now favourites to be relegated this season and it would be hard to argue with that assessment at the moment.
The Clarets may have attempted to spend big by their standards this summer, but in truth, most clubs in the league have strengthened their squads this summer and comparatively speaking the club from Lancashire’s squad could come up short.
Burnley have been solid at times under Dyche, despite the four goals conceded in their first three Premier League games. However, the lack of goals could well prove to be the decisive factor in the Clarets demise this season.
Does Burnley have enough quality to survive relegation?