Twelve months after being relegated Burnley’s decision to stand by Sean Dyche was justified as he guided them to an instant return to the Premier League.
Achieving survival this season would be an even bigger achievement, however, and it looks inevitable this could be another difficult campaign in the top flight.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Dyche is considered to be one of the best young managers in the country and he will have undoubtedly have learned from the failed campaign two years ago.
Winning is a habit and the squad should at least start the season with plenty of confidence having not tasted defeat in the league since Boxing Day.
Reasons to be fearful:
The transfer window has not been kind to Burnley and their squad is arguably weaker now than it was in the Championship as Joey Barton turned down a new contract to join Rangers.
Jamie Thomas (Bolton, free), Robbie Leitch (Motherwell, free), Nick Pope (Charlton, £1.1m), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Charlton, undisclosed), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool, loan).
Out the door:
Joey Barton (Rangers, free), Luke Conlan (Morecambe, free), Matt Gilks (Rangers, free), Lloyd Dyer (Burton, free), Danijel Nizic (released), Matt Taylor (released), Steven Hewitt (Accrington, free), Michael Duff (retired), Jamie Thomas (Ayr United, loan), Alex Whitmore (Morecambe, loan).
Andre Gray – the Championship’s player of the year last season needs to take his form into the Premier League
One to watch:
Nick Pope – A low key signing from Charlton but the young goalkeeper has bags of potential.
First five games:
Swansea City (H), Liverpool (H), Chelsea (A), Hull City (H), Leicester City (A).
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Arsenal, Bournemouth, Burnley, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Hull City, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United.