Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
DISTRACTION TACTICS

Here’s why Burnley are in real trouble of getting relegated this season

The Clarets are embarking on their first European campaign in over 50 years... but could that be bad news?

We’re all going on a European tour with Burnley and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Forget what Will from the Inbetweeners said in the first movie; Burnley fans don’t need to f*** off as they’re some of the best around.

After their stunning Premier League heroics last season, the Clarets begin their first foreign adventure in 50 years this week with a glamorous two-legged qualifier against, er, Aberdeen.


SIGN UP NOW – It’s time to pick your fantasy football team for the new season


Burnley boss Sean Dyche is believed to be keen on bringing Michael Keane back to Turf Moor

PA:Press Association
6
That smile… that damned smile

But, regrettably, I’m here to be a true party pooper.

The Europa League – a competition with unique travelling demands – can be a gruelling and cruel mistress.

Thursday to Sunday fixture patterns, long haul flights to the middle of Azerbaijan… is it really all that?

Sean Dyche has done a stellar job at Burnley

Rex Features
6
‘What do you mean I have to take more than one flight there?’

And many of the so-called ‘lesser sides’ in the Premier League have subsequently struggled with the added challenge of a European campaign, duly seeing their domestic form suffer as a result.

In recent years a number of clubs have seen their league form nose dive dramatically whilst distracted by the Europa League.

Swansea, powered by the unforgettable Michu, won the League Cup in 2012/13 and earned a Europa League place the following season off the back of it.

Nice hair, dodgy football

Action Images - Reuters
6
Nice hair, dodgy football

But, after finishing ninth the season before, Swansea fell to 12th in 2013/14 and Michael Laudrup was sacked by the start of February.

One season later it was a similar story for Everton, who could only manage 11th in the Premier League following their sixth placed finish the year before.

The Toffees were also knocked out of both domestic cup competitions in the first round in 2014/15.

Where did it all go wrong?

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
6
Where did it all go wrong?

And what for Southampton? Yep, you guessed it.

The Saints finished above Liverpool in the 2015/16 season and marched into Europe as a result.

But the following campaign went slightly to pot on multiple fronts, failing to get out of their Europa League group and finishing a distant eighth in the Premier League – 15 points behind Everton in seventh.

Hey Siri, find me a photographic example of pathetic fallacy

Reuters
6
Hey Siri, find me a photographic example of pathetic fallacy

So, should they get through qualifying of course, what does that mean for Burnley?

Well our worry is, for a side who were tipped to go down last season, it might be a case of too much too soon.

They had one of the smallest squads in the Premier League last year and have signed the square root of f*** all so far this summer.

Zero incomings whatsoever. Zilch. Nada.

Sean Dyche also made the fewest amount of changes to his first XI last season; testament to the faith in his players, but also an indication of his lack of options.

Chris Wood leads the line for Burnley with eight goals this term

REBECCA NADEN
6
Burnley were everyone’s second favourite team last season

Maintaining their odds-defying exploits will be a hell of a challenge, let alone with the burden of European football.

It means a moving of the goalposts and a reality check may be required, with ensuring Premier League safety again the priority for Dyche and co.

Could they be victims of their own success?

Have you signed up to play fantasy football this season yet?

Yep, it’s that time again.

Dream Team – the UK’s biggest fantasy football game – is back and better than ever ahead of the eagerly awaited new Premier League season.

August 10 is the date you need to get in your diaries – but you can already sign up to play fantasy football well before Man United and Leicester get it all underway.

Sign up to play Dream Team 2018/19 now

  • Dream Team is back and better than ever ahead of the new Premier League season
  • Completely free to play
  • £400k jackpot up for grabs across the season
  • REGISTER FOR DREAM TEAM 2018/19 HERE

It’s completely free to play, there’s £400k in prizes up for grabs and you can show your mates who really is the boss.

What more could you ever want?


DREAM TEAM 2018/19 Sign up for the best fantasy football game around here