golden form which saw Sean Dyche’s Clarets hit fourth place in the English Premier League has recently evaporated
into the footballing God’s ethereal.
Three points from a possible twenty four and a hiding in the FA Cup at the Etihad is hardly the sort of form to inspire soccer punters to rush to the bookies to wager on a Burnley home win when rampant, runaway EPL leaders Manchester City, hit Turf Moor for Saturday’s lunchtime televised game.
Burnley are playing on Saturday on the back of a hard earned point at St. James’ Park in Wednesday night’s midweek contest with Newcastle United. A vital point gained, edging the Clarets nearer to guaranteed Premier League survival for next season.
Burnley’s loss of post-Christmas form is down to a combination of factors, a couple of edgy games that could have gone either way against Liverpool and Manchester United. A couple of quite ridiculous refereeing decisions that have cost Burnley dearly; it might be really profitable for the bookmakers to open a book on when Burnley will be awarded a penalty? On current form, the answer will be never!
Burnley simply cannot afford to get anywhere near to match Pep Guardiola’s big spending City outfit on the financial front. Without at least six Clarets’ first teamers who are presently lying on the Burnley physio’s table, it is difficult to see Sean Dyche’s men matching the Blues of Manchester on the playing field either.
Injuries to Robbie Brady, Tom Heaton, Chris Wood, James Tarkowski, Steven Defour and Steven Ward have contributed hugely to Burnley’s inability to harvest points in their recent games. The Clarets’ transfer war chest is nowhere near large enough to plug the holes left by this debilitating number of injuries.
In the “Burnley Way”, Dyche has managed to cover the gaps and despite the injury list woes, has at least managed to maintain a competitive edge to the Clarets’ performances. It is a quite remarkable testimony to the sheer tenacity of the Clarets’ playing squad that the East Lancashire club still sit in seventh place in the English Premier League, despite their apparent loss of form.
Players like Nick Pope, Charlie Taylor and Kevin Long have all really stepped up to the plate for the Clarets’ cause and how Sean Dyche must wish he has the financial resources available at his disposal to compete at the top end of the transfer market?
The difference between how Dyche and his opposing manager on Saturday Pep Guardiola can operate is perhaps epitomised by the last minute City acquisition of a defensive reinforcement in the capture of Athletico Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte for the reported sum of £57,000,000. Dream on Sean!
I live in hope that my speculative tenner placed on a famous home victory will come to fruition. Realistically, I think keeping the score line respectable on Saturday lunchtime will be best Burnley fans can possibly hope for. (TEC)