Burnley have struggled throughout the second half of the year
Burnley are currently rock bottom of the Premier League and look set to return to the Championship after just one season back in the top flight. The Clarets, who secured automatic promotion last season for the first time since 2009, have struggled since their return to the top flight and have won just five matches throughout a difficult campaign.
Back in August, we predicted that Sean Dyche’s side would finish bottom of the table and at the moment, it is looking like we may be right. We take a look at Burnley’s season, particularly the run-in, and give our thoughts on why the Clarets look doomed for the drop this year.
They are on a poor run of form
Burnley are struggling and cannot buy a win at this moment in time. The Clarets have won just one of their last 13 Premier League matches – a 1-0 victory over current champions Manchester City. Sean Dyche’s side simply haven’t been good enough since January and have failed to cope with the gruelling schedule throughout the last three months. They opted not to invest during the transfer window and have ultimately paid the price as Burnley look like a team that are running on empty.
The table below shows the amount of points that each of the current bottom six teams have picked up during their last 10 Premier League matches. From this data, it is clear to see that Burnley have fared considerably worse than some of their relegation rivals throughout the second half of the campaign. Incidentally, the three teams that have performed the worst during the period are also the same three that are currently in the drop zone.
|Team||Points earned (out of a possible 30)|
Burnley have been too reliant on Danny Ings
Ultimately, goals win football matches and finding the net has been Burnley’s main failure in recent times. The Clarets have scored just one goal in their last eight matches – a George Boyd strike in their victory over Manchester City – and they are desperate for leading goalscorer Danny Ings to regain his form. Ings, who has scored nine goals this year, last scored on the 11th February in the 3-1 loss to Manchester United, but had scored five in six matches prior to that defeat. The 22-year-old has been linked with a move away from the club and there is a good chance that the speculation has been playing on his mind and has affected his game.
The Clarets have struggled against the teams around them
Burnley have struggled to pick up points against the sides around them in the table – which is the main reason why they are currently bottom of the league rather than 17th. The Clarets have beaten the likes of Southampton and Manchester City, while earning deserved draws with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham throughout the season.
However, they have failed to win the important clashes against those around them in the table. The chart below shows the points earned by the bottom six in matches against each other this season. Although these sides still have to face one another, the records of each team are very interesting and one can see that both Burnley and Sunderland have struggled considerably in the ‘six-pointers’.
|Team||Remaining Fixtures||Record||Points earned|
|Burnley||Hull (a), Villa (a)||DDWDLWLL||9 out of 24|
|QPR||Leicester (a)||LWWWWLWLD||16 out of 27|
|Sunderland||Leicester (h)||LDDLDWLDL||7 out of 27|
|Leicester City||S’land (a), QPR (h)||DDLLWWDW||12 out of 24|
|Hull City||Burnley (h)||WLLWLWWDD||14 out of 27|
|Aston Villa||Burnley (h)||WLDWDLLWD||12 out of 27|
Realistically, Burnley must win three of their last five matches
Burnley will need to win at least three of their remaining games if they are to stand any chance of staying in the Premier League. The Clarets travel to West Ham United for their next match before their crucial clash with Hull City at the KC Stadium. After that, Burnley host Stoke City in their final home game of the season before visiting Villa Park on the last day of the campaign.
The two matches against Hull and Aston Villa are going to be the key fixtures in Burnley’s run-in and if they can earn away victories in both clashes, then they will stand a great chance of performing the great escape. However, this is a big ask. Dyche’s side have won just one away game all season – a 2-1 victory at Stoke. It may be the case that the Potters gain revenge by condemning Burnley to the drop when they meet on May 16th. If they fail to pick up a positive result against a West Ham side that have won just one of their last 10 Premier League matches, then it will probably be a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
Do you agree that Burnley will be playing their football in the Championship next season, or do you think that Sean Dyche’s side can complete a miraculous escape and remain in England’s top flight? Let us know in the comments!