Premier League 2016/17 Preview – Burnley

burnley

Burnley won the Championship last season by four points. Image: Fox Sports

Burnley were promoted as champions last season, but perhaps face one of the tougher tasks in avoiding relegation. Similarly to their last appearance in the top flight, they have kept largely the same side that got them promoted, with a few British based players brought in. The loss of Joey Barton’s Premier League experience both on and off the pitch will be huge. Andre Gray and Sam Vokes hit 39 goals last season, and these two will be vital in Burnley’s relegation scrap, especially as the service that they will receive will be limited. Michael Keane has been the subject of interest from elsewhere in the Premier League, whilst Jon Flanagan has been brought in to bring some top-flight experience to the defence. Tom Heaton was one of the stars of Burnley’s previous Premier League campaign, and he can expect to be busy again this time around. The Clarets will want to get off to a good start as they have a tough run of games in October, hosting Arsenal and Everton, whilst travelling to Southampton and Manchester United.

Key Man: Andre Gray. Burnley’s top scorer last season, Gray has his chance to make his mark on the Premier League. His partnership with Sam Vokes will be key if Burnley are to avoid relegation. A good season for Gray could see him knock on the door of the England team, with Sam Allardyce likely to include players from outside the top six clubs.

One to Watch: Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The Icelandic winger was joint top of the Championship assist charts last season despite playing for relegated Charlton and impressed again at EURO 2016. How well Gudmundsson adapts to the Premier League could affect their survival, as he will be counted upon to create the goals to keep them up.

Last Season: 1st (Championship)

Prediction: 19th

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