Monday, August 15, 2022

The Strongest Burnley XI To Stave Off Relegation And Finish Mid-Table?

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Burnley earned promotion to the Premier League this season after finishing as the 1st placed team in the Championship. Sean Dyche ensured that the team does not remain away from the top flight for a long time and the Clarets would have been delighted to have earned the opportunity to ply their trade in the top division of England.

But things were not always smooth post the promotion for Burnley with the club taking an eternity to get moving in the transfer market. Burnley have traditionally loathed spending big in the transfer window, basing their principle on risk management instead of taking a gamble and getting players who can give them a realistic chance at survival and maybe more beyond that.

But they did shell out significantly on the odd occasion this summer during the latter stages and Dyche seems to have almost decided on his ideal first eleven leaving out the suspensions and the injuries.

Burnley are currently in the 14th position having acquired 7 points from 7 games. They would be feeling hard done by in the last game where a late and controversial Koscielny goal denied them a hard fought draw against Arsenal. The Clarets have been slightly inconsistent thus far but have shown on multiple occasions that they are more than capable of giving any team a run for their money.

Their main aim will be to keep as far away from the bottom 3 as possible and look to churn out good performances with a settled team.

IDEAL BURNLEY XI WHEN FULLY FIT (4-4-2)

DEFENCE

Tom Heaton is the preferred goalkeeper now and will have to be in top nick this season with Burnley expected to concede lots of shots. Matthew Lowton has been selected at right-back but might face competition in the form of Jon Flanagan in the near future.

Michael Keane’s displays have earned him an England call-up and he will look to form a solid partnership with Ben Mee in the centre of the defence for his club. Stephen Ward will be a regular at left-back.

MIDFIELD

Burnley mostly play a flat 4-4-2 and in the system, the central midfielders are likely to be Stephen Defour and Jeff Hendrick. The duo has looked impressive since joining the club and might edge others to regular starting spots.

Gudmundsson might have done enough to warrant a regular spot on the wings while the opposite wing will most likely feature Scott Arfield. Dyche has a healthy number of options at his disposal and will have to sort out a solution.

ATTACK

The duo of Sam Vokes and Andre Gray will be leading the line although Gray’s suspension has given an opportunity to the manager to tweak his formation.

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