Scouting report: Burnley

A closer look at Tuesday night’s visitors to Macron Stadium

Ahead of Burnley's visit to Macron Stadium on Tuesday night, take a closer look at Sean Dyche's side...

After securing an immediate return to the Premier League last season, Burnley have looked to strengthen their squad in recent weeks ahead of their upcoming top-flight campaign.

The 2015/16 Championship winners recently acquired Johann Berg Gudmundsson from Charlton Athletic following the Icelander’s successful Euro 2016 campaign.

Also making the move to Turf Moor from the Addicks is goalkeeper Nick Pope, who will provide cover for Tom Heaton alongside former England international Paul Robinson.

Three other members of the Clarets’ squad also enjoyed mixed fortunes at the recent European Championships with Sam Vokes, Stephen Ward and Tom Heaton called up by Wales, Republic of Ireland and England respectively.

Now back to business and looking towards their league exploits however, Dyche’s men have enjoyed a relatively successful start to their pre-season with a 3-1 victory over French outfit FC Stade Nyonnais, a 1-1 draw against Morecambe and 4-1 victory against Bradford City to their names so far.

With Wanderers already boasting a handful of victories of their own during the club’s pre-season preparations, and with a number of players looking to impress under new manager Phil Parkinson, this evening’s friendly game looks set to be an entertaining encounter.

Having led Burnley to promotion twice since taking over the managerial reins at Turf Moor, Sean Dyche is a man held in the highest regard by the club’s faithful. 

A defender in his playing days, he started his coaching career with former club Watford as a youth coach in 2007 before being promoted to assistant manager two years later. 

Later named manager in 2011, a change in ownership at the Hornets saw him relieved of his duties after just a season in charge at Vicarage Road. 

Briefly a member of the England Under-21s coaching set-up, he returned to management with Burnley in September 2012, and has not looked back since, winning promotion in his first full season at the club.

And despite being relegated after just a solitary season in the Premier League, Dyche led Burnley back into the top-flight at the first time of asking last season as Championship champions.

A firm fan favourite at Turf Moor, Burnley captain Tom Heaton has established himself as the Clarets’ first choice goalkeeper during his three years with the club. 

Starting his career in Manchester United’s academy, the 30-year-old spent various loan spells with the likes of Swindon Town, Cardiff City, Rochdale and Wycombe Wanderers before returning to South Wales in 2010.

Spending two seasons with the Bluebirds, the keeper proceeded to spend a solitary campaign with Bristol City in 2012/13 as the Robins suffered relegation to English football’s third tier.

Joining Burnley that summer, he has not looked back since, winning promotion to the Premier League twice during his time in Lancashire.

Also a former England youth international, Heaton made his senior debut in a friendly against Australia back in May and was a part of the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 squad.

Last season’s Sky Bet Championship’s top goalscorer with 25 strikes in all competitions, all eyes will be on Andre Gray this evening and throughout the upcoming Premier League season. 

A youth player with Shrewsbury Town during the noughties, it wasn’t until the 25-year-old moved to Hinckley United in 2010 that his ability became apparent. 

Impressing for the Knitters, he was soon snapped up by Luton Town where he won the Conference Premier title in 2014. 

Moving onto Brentford that summer, he scored 18 goals in 50 games as the Bees made the play-offs – enough to convince Burnley to hand over a club record fee to secure the frontman’s services.

Helping fire Burnley to the Sky Bet Championship title, Gray will be eager to reproduce his prolific form both tonight and in the top-flight, having scored four times against Wanderers last season.

LAST BURNLEY XI (v Bradford City, W 1-4)
Heaton, Darikwa, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Gray
Subs: Pope, Lowton, Lafferty, Kightly, Hennings, Jutkiewicz, Ulvestad, Tarkowski, Long, Ginnelly, Agyei, O'Neill, Aghayere

Liam Feeney opened the scoring for Wanderers the last time they hosted Burnley back in February, only for a late Andre Gray brace to seal victory for the eventual Championship winners.

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