Will the Europa League hamper the Clarets? – Burnley 2018/19 Opposition Preview

6 August 2018

Liverpool know exactly how much the Europa League can impact on Premier League form, so Burnley‘s squad depth will be tested to the limit this season.


When we play them: December 4 (away); March 9 (home)

Last season: Drew 1-1 (home); Won 2-1 (away)


The Clarets will have to perform miracles to improve on last season’s heroics, following a wonderful campaign that saw them deservedly finish seventh.

Sean Dyche may not be the most fashionable of managers but he masterminded a campaign of defensive brilliance, team spirit and consistency.

To achieve European qualification was a commendable effort, but Dyche is going to have his work cut out juggling two major competitions in 2018/19.

That is, of course, assuming Burnley get through the third qualifying round against Istanbul Basaksehir later this month.

Liverpool and numerous other teams have found it extremely tough down the years, with the constant Thursday-Sunday matches taking their toll both physically and mentally.

Looking at Burnley‘s squad, it isn’t one brimming with depth, so it will be intriguing to see how they fare, with very few week-long breaks between matches this time around and injuries more likely.

To say they could find themselves back in a relegation fight is probably going too far, but a top-half finish does feel unlikely.

This will be Dyche’s greatest challenge yet—a good European adventure and another solid league showing would only enhance his reputation further.

 

Burnley

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 21, 2017: Burnley's James Tarkowski applauds the supporter after the FA Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Players in: Ben Gibson, Joe Hart

Players out: Scott Arfield, Dean Marney, Chris Long, Tom Anderson

Best XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Brady; Barnes, Wood


We spoke to Natalie Bromley from No Nay Never podcast (@NoNayNever) to hear how she thinks both Burnley and Liverpool’s seasons are going to pan out.

How optimistic or pessimistic are you for the new season, and why?

I am optimistic that we will survive, without question, but realistic enough to know that we probably won’t be in the running for a seventh-placed finish again.

The Europa League is going to place a huge amount of pressure on our squad, but what a fantastic reward for our efforts last season.

Let’s enjoy the ride!

What are your aims for the season?

For a side like Burnley, 17th and survival is the first aim, as it should be for most sides outside the top seven.

As each year passes, however, we should be aiming higher and higher. I’d like to think Dyche is pushing us to strive for the top 10.

Qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League is also a major aim, of course.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2017: Burnley's Steven Defour in action against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Who’s your man to watch?

As ever, Burnley are more of a team than one possessing individual standout stars, but the clear fan favourite is Steven Defour.

He is perhaps the most skilful player to ever grace Turf Moor.

Opposition defenders will continue to despise Ashley Barnes but our love for that man is deep.

 

Turf Moor

A general view of Turf Moor, home of Burnley

Capacity: 22,546

Away fans’ pubs: Burnley Cricket Club, behind the away end of the stadium. Cracking atmosphere.

One piece of advice for visiting fan: Bring a cushion—you’ll be sat on wooden seats!

 

Liverpool

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (left) celebrates scoring his sides third goak of the match with team mates during the pre-season friendly match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. ( Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images)

How do you rate Liverpool’s chances heading into the season?

Good.

This is perhaps the strongest chance yet to push for the title, although Man City will probably win the Premier League again.

Liverpool are the team with the best chance of challenging them.

Who’s going to be the Reds’ Player of the Year?

Mo Salah.


TIA’s Burnley Predicted Finish: 13th (Average of the TIA writers’ predictions)

Where Natalie says Burnley will finish: 13th

Where Natalie says Liverpool will finish: 2nd


This is part of our club-by-club opposition previews this summer, getting the views of away fans on their club and their thoughts on LFC:

Arsenal | Bournemouth | Brighton | Burnley | Cardiff | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Fulham | Huddersfield | Leicester | Man City | Man United | Newcastle | Southampton | Tottenham | Watford | West Ham | Wolves

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