Stoke City-Burnley Preview
Burnley will be playing for pride only as they take on club record-seeking Stoke City at Turf Moor Saturday.
The Clarets (6-11-19) have been relegated to the Championship after just one season in the top flight. Their fate was sealed in ironic fashion after a 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Hull City last Saturday. Danny Ings tallied in the second half to score Burnley's first goal in over 10 hours, but results elsewhere meant Sean Dyche's side could not finish out of the bottom three.
The narrow victory against Hull was only the Clarets' sixth in 36 league matches.
Burnley boss Dyche remains reasonably upbeat about his side's chance of bouncing straight back up to the Premier League.
"There are no guarantees because the Championship is not an easy league," Dyche told his club website. "But we think we are powerful and we like the group we've got and know we can add to it.
"Most of the players here are under contract and good contracts too, so we're happy with the group and we know we can add to it. I want to win and be in the Premier League, like everyone else does. We've had a season of being in there and now we're not, so the challenge is to get back in there."
The Potters (14-8-14) are in ninth place and need just one point from their final two games of the season to surpass the record 50 they collected in Mark Hughes' first campaign in charge at the Britannia.
Stoke claimed only their second win in eight league matches last week when they thrashed Tottenham 3-0 at home with goals from Charlie Adam, Steven Nzonzi and Mame Biram Diouf.
Potters club captain Ryan Shawcross insists he and his teammates are determined to end the season in historic fashion.
"It's already been another very good season for us, but we have an opportunity over the next two weeks to make it a great one," Shawcross told his club website. "All things considered, the injuries we have had, the sticky periods we have gone through, for us to be in this position now shows the progression that we are making as a club.
"I've said it before, but when the gaffer came in a couple of years ago we needed that spark to help take us to the next level, and I think it is there for everybody to see that he and his staff have done that. We harbour aspirations of achieving even greater things, and who knows where we could go in a year or two's time. Look at Southampton this season."
With no fresh injury concerns, Dyche is likely to use the same squad of players that won at Hull.
Stoke will have defender Marc Wilson available after suspension, while goalkeeper Jack Butland is set to keep his place in goal, as first-choice stopper Asmir Begovic remains both injured and the subject of increased transfer speculation.
Burnley beat Stoke 2-1 at Turf Moor in November. Ings scored twice in two minutes early in the first half for the Clarets. Jon Walters pulled one back at the half hour mark, but Stoke couldn't find the equaliser despite attempting 25 shots to Burnley's five. The Potters held 62 percent of the ball in the defeat.