Promoted Preview – Burnley

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Burnley have returned to the Premier League quickly with a passive transfer policy they rely on a tight knit squad to compete.

As the transfer market operates with an ever increasing level of madness Burnley remains undeterred:

“ We’ll be as competitive as we possibly can without compromising the long-term future of the business, which is the most important thing”

– David Baldwin, Chief Executive, Burnley –

This ethos was, is and continues to be the long term vision of the club regardless of the increase in television money. Burnley’s DNA has traditional values at its core which is reflected in the flexibility, resilience and togetherness of the playing squad.

The club secured the Championship title with plenty of grit and determination. Long term manager Sean Dyche sacrificed attacking style for robust invincibility as his team went on a 23 match unbeaten run to finish the season.

Dyche used only 25 players throughout the campaign citing consistency as a key factor in their success. This focus on togetherness also obviously relies on an empty treatment room. Keep on eye on Burnley’s injury list if you decide to invest in their players. Also consider the fixture congestion around Christmas if you still hold those assets as we are likely to see some limited performances.

Burnley’s style of play was counter attack focused which proved ideal for Andre Gray (6.5) who partnered with Sam Vokes (6.0) to lead the team to a divisional high 72 goals scored. It remains to be seen how effective the team can be in the Premier league though. Many FPL managers will remember Burnley’s feeble attempt for survival two seasons ago. That said the 2014/2015 team did present us with excellent FPL options at times with the current squad having a few interesting prospects as well. Read below for our ‘Projected XI’.

Projected XI

 Burnley Line Up


Tom Heaton: is entering the peak of his career. Has proven an excellent shot stopper recently called up for Euro 2016. Strongly consider him as an option at 4.5.

Matt Lowton: the right back is a capable player at this level but faces rotation risk from loan signing John Flanagan. If he nails a place down his attacking forays down the right may need to be considered. Monitor.

Michael Keane: the young centre-back took his chance to nail down a spot last season proving lethal from set pieces with 5 goals. The price premium makes him difficult to justify, you can do better for your 5.0.

Ben Mee: The left-back come centre-back was a mainstay of the defense as such is the most reliable pick in this defense. Well priced at 4.5 and one to consider in this price bracket.

Stephen Ward: became a mainstay during the unbeaten run after Mee moved to centre back. The signing of John Flanagan puts pressure on his position, a battle he very well may lose. Least secure option of this back four. Avoid.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson: The Icelandic winger signed from relegated Charlton in the summer. His a flexible hard working player who can contribute to the attack. He is idealistic suited for this team but not our initial FPL squads with better midfield options at 5.5. Monitor his impact.

Dean Marney: Only started seven matches last season the 4.5 midfield is a squad player who may need to step in after the departure of Joey Barton. Burnley are currently in the market to strengthen this position.

David Jones: is the set-piece taker for the team. He is a reliable midfielder who can be called upon at this level but his FPL impact is minimal. Ignore.

George Boyd: The wide player was a fantasy favorite a few seasons ago. His been priced accordingly at 5.5 which lowers our appetite for the player. His a hard working and flexible player who is second in line on set-pieces. Poor Price.

EDIT: With the extreme flexibility of the squad I made an oversight and didn’t include a feature on Scott Arfield thanks to Kyle who pointed this out.

Scott Arfield: One of the first names on the team sheet. Arfield played every match last season contributing eight goals and six assists to the side. He played in central-midfield last time Burnley appeared in FPL contributing only two goals and two assists. The step up from the Championship is a big one and that rise in class makes his FPL selection hard to justify at 5.5.

Andre Gray: The 24 year old was the top striker in the Championship last season with 23 goals and 8 assists. His combination of pace, precision off both feet in and outside the box as well as his share of penalties makes him extremely well suited to the 3rd striker role in our FPL squads at 6.5. Impressive.

Sam Vokes: Has unfortunately been priced appropriately (6.0) with 14 goals last season the striker found some impressive form after sitting out the previous campaign with injury. His partnership with Gray was excellent with his aerial ability a major asset to his sides style of play. Look to pick Gray instead.

12 comments on “Promoted Preview – Burnley

  1. Kyle

    The only one you didn’t highlight that I am curious about is Arfield. If I remember correctly, people were big on him his last go around.

    • Liam Post Author

      Thanks for pointing that out Kyle. Arfield is a fine player but not one who will have a large impact on our FPL seasons. He is fairly priced at 5.5 and won’t match his Championship output in the Premier League.

      There is a big difference between a good FPL player and a good player in football. Arfield is a fine player and is vital in this Burnley team hence the good things said about him.

      Not Applicable for FPL though.

  2. The Swan and Paedo

    Hey Liam,

    Do you know who the Burnley back up goalie is? They have Pope and Robinson and there is also Gilks lurking somewhere.

    I usually play a 8.5m GK pairing from the same club because I like the security of having the immediate backup if my GK gets injured. But would hate to pick the wrong backup!

    And on that note, who do you reckon will score more total points this year- Heaton or Mannone?

    • Liam Post Author

      Hi There,

      Burnley’s back up goalkeeper will be the veteran Paul Robinson. I have tried to put players in the appropriate order on all of my graphics.

      Pope was signed this summer from relegated Charlton in the Championship (now in League One) he is a young player they see with potential but I doubt he would be thrust into the first team.

      Paul Robinson is like Shay Given, Mark Schwarzer, Tim Howard etc. a former star goalkeeper of the EPL who has the experience to come in if the number one gets injured but lacks the athletic ability to be reliable over a long period of time.

      Gilks was released on a free transfer and went to Rangers in Scotland.

      I think Heaton will score more points then Mannone.

      Heaton is a much better goalkeeper then Mannone, he (Heaton) is in his prime at 30 years of age, is the third choice GK for England and is a good shot stopper.

      Burnley concede a lot of shots but a majority of them are from long range which means the goalkeeper can make saves (save points) whilst keeping some clean sheets (they got 10 last time they were in the FPL and they are a better team this time around).

      Similar to Ben Foster at West Brom who plays for a team that gives chances away from long distance but are able to keep a respectable amount of clean sheets.

      Mannone is not a reliable goalkeeper. He has the occasional poor error in him but his general goalkeeping is poor (positioning, choice of save type -punch or catch-).

      Big Sam brought Mannone in as his number one goalkeeper only after he sold Pantillimon. I believe he sold Pantillimon because he was disruptive in the dressing room because he is a fine shot stopper much better then Mannone.

      He then played the third choice keeper instead of Mannone (Pickford I believe) who did ok but looked well out of his depth as most young third keepers do.

      He had by then rebuilt Mannone’s confidence (remember this is the guy that conceded 7 against Southampton a few years ago). Who went on to make important saves as Sunderland kept few clean sheets on the way to survival.

      It think Moyes will be on the lookout to upgrade this position in the team. Also with the imminent sale of Kone to Everton I would not consider the Sunderland defence capable of the same amount of clean sheets as Burnley.

      Sunderland are a mis-match of a squad the job that Big Sam did was absolutely sensational. I had initial confidence but the players continued to crumble late in games taking until the second last game to secure their FPL status.

      Burnley on the other hand are a hard working squad with an excellent young striker with lots of positional flexibility and continuity within the club.

      My judgment says to back Burnley over Sunderland. The difference in clean sheets may only be minimal but you are getting a quality keeper in an organised side.

      At this stage I see Sunderland being relegated. Its about time.

      • The Swan and Paedo

        Mate you are a legend! Honestly can’t believe how much effort you put into that reply. I’m extremely grateful!

        While I’ve got your ear, can I ask you about 4.5m defenders?

        I am currently going with Coleman, Valencia and Stones as a set and forget back 3. I know having 2 set and forget and then 3 rotating cheap defenders is very popular but I think the 5m Stones and the potentially insane value of Baines/Coleman and Shaw/Valencia changes things.

        So I am looking to complete my backline with 2 very solid cheap defenders. I want guys who are completely nailed on and in teams that should be defensively competent. I want really good cover for guys like Aguero who will get rested/injured. I definitely don’t want a throwaway 4m like Paredes who will be deadwood and can leak money.

        Currently I have Mee and Friend in there but based on your reply here I will be changing Mannone to Heaton so not sure I want Mee as well. Who do you think are the best options at 4.5m (or below)?



        • Liam Post Author

          From my piece on Middlesborough:

          “In the 4.5 price bracket it is debatable where the Middlesborough defenders figure. Bournemouth & Watford had enticing patches of form last season and remain well priced this season. Whilst Jonny Evans (WBA), Neil Taylor (SWA), Erik Pieters (STO) & Lamine Kone (SUN) present strong options from Premier League mainstays.”

          Personally I have been trying to look for a 4.0 defender when doing these previews but I haven’t quite found one. Tarkowski of Burnley is a good young talent & Benalouane was a player who I expected to get minutes at Leicester last season but Morgan-Huth were just too good.

          Valencia is sure to face rotation from Darmian at some point that is my concern there but a worthy person to start the season with. His attacking output is delightful and he won’t face rotation in the first month.

          I would look at upgrading Bolasie or Redmond whilst downgrading Feghouli. All 3 have potential for say 120 point seasons but only 1 of them is likely too. You want to try and get a nailed down 150+ player at 7.5 or higher.

          That comes down to strategy…so my concern there is your spread of the budget across those 3 players. Are you going to start 5 midfielders every week? If not look at downgrading that 5th midfielder for the time being.

          Some free cash is not a bad thing to start the season and everybody is fit so having that 5th midfielder collecting 2 points and occasionally more is OK if you can find a 4.5 or 5.0 breakout player great go ahead and do it. I don’t see Feghouli as that player at 5.5 but I do think he is perhaps underpriced. Not a great scorer of goals and neither is Bolasie, Redmond has significant upside but his minutes are the less secure of those three options.

          Hope that has given you something to think about.

          One last thing Llorente is not the Llorente of 4 seasons ago. He is 31, his slow, he scored 4 goals in 23 games last season. I got some intel on him today that he appears to have lost the instinct to score goals and is more of a creator. I see him supplying the Swansea midfield it makes Gylfi Sig a tasty prospect at 7.5 to upgrade Bolasie / Redmond and downgrade Feghouli.

          These are just my suggestions I am not the oracle. Llorente could rediscover himself and go on a scoring spree to start the season. I am not familiar with his game style myself (I have not watched him) but I was encouraged by his name appearing ‘this guy is a star’ after some investigation it is more ‘this guy was a star, damn’.

          As for the replies I am happy too. I enjoy it and its mostly a brain dump of accumulated knowledge (the Mannone stuff I didn’t research today I knew already).

          I am just learning how to put it on paper in a way that is useful to others and your questions have been great.

          • The Swan and Paedo

            Mate you are doing a great job and clearly very up to date on information.

            Llorente. This is purely a strategic thing based on fixtures. Swansea have Burnley which is a decent fixture to start. Then they have Hull at home which is looking like the best fixture of 16/17. if Llorente scores GW1 he is likely to become a bandwagon for GW2 with Hull(H) up next. If he doesn’t score he is virtually immune to price drops because of low ownership and Hull fixture.

            Then after GW2 he is trade fodder as their fixtures get ugly. Gives me a chance to have a look at Carroll, Gray, Wilson, Wickham etc. over the first 2 weeks before deciding. Alternatively, if I were to start with Gray or Wickham and they blank GW1, there is a good chance of a price drop as they face LIV and spurs respectively in GW2. Not sure if I’ll go through with it but it seems very low risk high reward at this stage.

            The Redmond/Bolasie/Feghouli combo is also quite strategic although I doubt I will follow through with it either.

            Basically it gives me 3 tickets to the breakout raffle instead of 2 which I like. Feghouli and Redmond rotate perfectly over the first 5 weeks so I’d be benching the other.

            I’m planning to WC around GW5-8 so I could then downgrade one of these guys to a Fletcher type. I’m thinking that I might be able to grab a discounted Fletcher/Capoue type if one of them becomes a popular wildcard tradeout over the first few weeks. I fully agree with the strategy of having a secure 4.5m mid sitting at M5 for the year and just leaving them to it but why pay 4.5m when I might be able to get one of them at 4.3m?

            But to be honest I’ll probably bottle it and go like Tadic/Lamela/Oscar at M3 and a Deulofeu at M4 and a Fletcher at M5.

          • Liam Post Author

            I like your strategy its very clear and has good price reasons behind it which is vital early in the season.

            I think Gray will perform rather strongly in GW1. His honestly the most impressive promoted striker I have looked at, more impressive then Deeney. I try not to overplay the valuations before the game gets rolling although I have become less of a master of them in recent years.

            In regards to Hull planning (my preview will be up tomorrow). I have decided to invest quite heavily in Leicester at this stage and am considering captaining Aguero or Mahrez.

            I plan to be on top of value hunting for the first time in a couple of seasons.

            My advice is to go with your gut and trust your own strategy it is well thoughtout and could prove fruitful. Just here to give a different and hopefully informed perspective, not always correct of course.

          • Liam Post Author

            Faces rotation now that Arsenal have recruited Xhaka. Has no impact going forward, a poor shooter and doesn’t get into positions to assist.

            A tenacious player though and has really come on leaps and bounds from a few year ago. Hopefully maintains his level this season they will need him to perform.

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