By 90Min
August 08, 2019

Following the conclusion of pre-season, Burnley manager Sean Dyche's focus will have turned to the opening game of the season, a very winnable clash with Southampton at Turf Moor.

Whilst the club struggled for large periods last season, Burnley managed to retain their Premier League status. The Clarets conceded 68 goals last season, 29 more than in the previous campaign when they finished a remarkable seventh.

Whilst the defence must tighten up, new signing Jay Rodriguez offers more options going forward. Dyche has plenty of difficult decisions to make but this is the side he should go with against Southampton on Saturday.


Nick Pope (GK) - With fellow English goalkeeper Tom Heaton joining Aston Villa, Pope is expected to fill the void. A string of strong performances in 2017/18 mean Burnley fans will have faith in Pope.

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Matthew Lowton (RB) - In and out of the side last season due to injuries, Lowton started half of Burnley’s Premier League games. However, he played regularly during the run-in when the club secured their top flight status.

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James Tarkowski (CB) – The England international will again be tasked with organising Burnley's defence, just like he did last year. An influential figure and leader both on and off the pitch, he's a definite candidate to replace Heaton as captain.

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Ben Mee (CB) - A consistent performer last season, Mee's partnership with Tarkowski will be vital for Burnley. He, as will the rest of the backline, will be hoping for a clean sheet on the opening weekend.

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Charlie Taylor (LB) - With Charlie Taylor a doubt for the opening weekend, new signing Erik Pieters may start in his teammate's stead. He made 15 appearances on loan for Ligue 1 side Amiens, scoring once.

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Jeff Hendrick (CM) – Another important man for Burnley, Hendrick provides good energy in midfield and recently found the net in a 6-1 triumph over Nice.

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Ashley Westwood (CM) – Westwood was voted Burnley’s player of the year last season. The midfielder is clearly crucial for the Clarets and is expected to start against Southampton.

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Jack Cork (CM) - Known for his stamina in the middle of the park, Cork was an ever-present last season, missing just the one game. Another big season is expected.

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Jay Rodriguez (RW) - New £7m signing Rodriguez re-joined Burnley this summer from West Bromwich Albion. He scored a superb 22 goals in 45 appearances in the Championship last season and can play anywhere across the frontline.

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Dwight McNeil (LW) – Promising winger McNeil broke into the Burnley side last year and showed everyone what he can do. A direct player who can provide the spark of creativity Burnley require.

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Chris Wood (ST) – First choice striker Chris Wood will be relied on to score the goals to keep Burnley in the division. The New Zealander enjoyed a good pre-season, notching a hat-trick against Ligue 1 side Nice. 

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