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Opinion: Why Burnley’s European adventures may affect their overall season

Opinion: Why Burnley’s European adventures may affect their overall season

Premier League club Burnley beat Turkish outfit Istanbul Basaksehir 1-0 on aggregate after extra-time to go one step closer to playing in the Europa League group stage. This is a massive achievement for a club who spent the 2015/16 season in the Championship, after getting relegated the previous year.

Credit goes to the manager Sean Dyche for sticking with the team and getting them back to top-flight football, before propelling them to this height. Praise should go to the board as well because they believed in the manager and the team despite going down in 2015.

This long-term project is now reaping rewards, with the Clarets being increasingly closer to playing Europe’s second-elite competition.

However, when one takes a look at the squad Burnley have and the games they could potentially play in the Europa League group stages, things do look a little bleak. Here’s why:

Lack of squad depth and travels

Taking part in European competition is always a thing of pride. After all, it increases the standards of the club and raises their bars to another level. But to prevent that from ruining their season, Burnley should have done more business in the transfer window. As things stand, they have a reasonable squad with just about cover for every position.

Europa League games usually take place on Thursday nights and then teams have to play their league games over the weekend. This can be quite taxing even for a squad with considerable depth, let alone for a stretched one.


As a result, Dyche must now hope that his players do not get injured and manage their fatigue levels accordingly. Assuming the Clarets do get into the group stage, they would have to travel to far-off places in Europe. After playing on Thursday night, they would return by Friday afternoon. As if that was not enough, they must then get ready to work wonders in their league games as well.

This is where a constant rotation of personnel is required, a luxury which the Burnley manager might be unable to afford.


Now, the Premier League is one of the toughest and most intense leagues in the world. As a player, one can’t play three games a week for most parts of the season. In contradiction, the situation at Burnley is that if one player gets injured in any position (we hope not), they will be stretched and their problems will only multiply from there on.

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Hence, the Clarets need a bit of luck in this department. Only then can they continue living the dream of playing in Europe and performing well in the league as well.