Premier League 2018/19: Burnley season preview
Last year was a 'once in a lifetime' season for Premier League minnows Burnley. A place in the top seven and European qualification led to manager Sean Dyche making history with the club. However, a lot of sides struggle in the league when they've qualified for Europe. Newcastle and Leicester are two notable sides who have struggled but managed to survive in the BPL while maintaining a strong-hold in Europe.
The main concern of the fans is the strength that the club lacks when you look in-depth. 3rd choice goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard looks set to start the season in-goal for Burnley due to injuries to both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope. Luckily for the Clarets, the goalkeeping position is where they're undoubtedly strongest in terms of depth. The same cannot be said for other positions.
A lack of signings may also be a concern with fans, however, after all of the work Dyche has done with the club they trust their manager to improve the squad through whatever means he can.
Before the Aberdeen game, I would have said this was Burnley's strongest position. However, with Nick Pope out for up to six months and Tom Heaton suffering from major injuries for the last 12 months. Burnley may be looking to add another goalkeeper to their squad on loan before the window closes.
With two first-team players in both full-back positions, Burnley are in good stead to start the season with a possible rotation policy if need be. However, better options are available and if so they might look to replaced Stephen Ward this Summer.
In terms of squad depth, this is where I really worry about Burnley. Both James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are good enough as a for the majority of teams in the Premier League. However, I'm still suspect of Kevin Long and I believe Burnley need at least one more centre-back to be successful this season.
Burnley have a very strong central midfield when everyone is fit and this is shown by their quality on the ball. Jeff Hendrick and Jack Cork were their main pairing were often joined by Steven Defour last season when Burnley played a 4-4-1-1 system. I would like to see one more back-up come in to help them ease the load of the Europa League.
For me, Burnley lack a pacy winger, Brady and Gudmundsson can do a job but again, a pacy winger off the bench can do wonders for a side. Burnley attempted this with the loan signing of Georges-Kevin N'Koudou but it didn't work out as they'd hoped.
One guarantee with Burnley is they've got the potential for goals in their side with target men and quality poachers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. With Sam Vokes, Jon Walters and forgotten man Nakhi Wells as their back-ups, you can imagine Burnley will be fine in the striker department this season, even with the added stresses of Europe.
One to watch: James Tarkowski
Best signing: N/A
Weak link: Stephen Ward
Signings needed: 3