Burnley have made a bright start to their bid to retain their Premier League status following their promotion to the top flight last season. The Clarets have been relegated immediately back to the Championship in their previous two forays into the division, but Sean Dyche appears to have struck a chord with his players this term.
The Lancashire-based club have already collected more points this term than at the same stage in their previous campaigns in the Premier League but they will have to improve the level of their form for the duration of the season to ensure that they do not suffer yet another relegation.
Turf Moor has become the foundation of their attempt at survival backed by sell-out crowds, which is an impressive feat given that a study from Voucherbox found that a season ticket at the stadium is the second most expensive in the Premier League at £765. However, the Clarets have used the passion of their fanbase to yield important victories that could be extremely crucial come the end of the season.
In the 2014-15 campaign, it took Burnley until their 11 match of the term to pull off their first victory. Their poor start left them playing catch up and was an integral part of their eventual drop into the Championship. It was a different story this season, as Dyche’s men pulled off one of the surprise results of the season to date by beating Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor thanks to first-half goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray.
A last-minute equalizer from Robert Snodgrass prevented them from putting together back-to-back wins in their clash against Hull City, but the Clarets were on form in their 2-0 win over Watford, producing a complete performance against the Hornets. Burnley even proved their resilience when faced with further top-quality opposition when Arsenal visited Turf Moor. Only a controversial late strike from Laurent Koscielny won the game for the Gunners, highlighting the progress the club have made compared to their exploits in the division two years ago.
Dyche’s men produced last-minute victories of their own against Everton and Crystal Palace to lift them into the dizzy heights of ninth. Should they keep propelling themselves up the table with home wins then the club will be well on their way to safety. Promoted sides have used their form in front of their home supporters to great effect in the past – for instance, teams such as Sunderland, Stoke and more recently Watford.
However, they will need at least to contribute a handful of points on the road, if only to ease the pressure on their matches at Turf Moor. Burnley have claimed only a point away from home thus far, which came in their goalless draw at Manchester United. They don’t have to be outstanding on their travels, but results like their 4-0 hammering at West Brom and 2-0 defeat to Stoke will only raise the stakes for their winnable home games.
Losing their home form could result in another relegation, making it essential that Dyche and his men right the ship on the road to ease their passage to safety. It will be a tricky challenge, but something will have to give for Burnley to end their cycle of failure.