Burnley will host Southampton at Turf Moor in their first Premier League game of the season.
After finishing seventh the season before, Burnley dropped to 15th place last time in the Premier League. The 2017/18 season was one of a kind for the Clarets. They finished 7th in the Premier League, which is their best finish in the competition yet. That finish yielded European football for Burnley. Turf Moor witnessed the early stages of the Europa League, but Burnley could not cross the first hurdle. Replicating that finish the next season was always going to be very tough, and so it turned out to be.
They were seriously embroiled in a relegation battle before a run of results resulted in their safety. Still, the finish in 15th place is not a great achievement by any means. Dyche will hope to better that this time. In terms of transfer window spending, he has taken a conservative approach. All of Burnley’s signings so far have been free transfers. Joel Ward was signed from Stoke City, and Aiden O’Neill came over from Brisbane Roar.
The transfer spending by Dyche has always been tight, and it’s more of the same this summer. He has excelled in dealing with a small budget at Turf Moor. Burnley have a squad well suited to Dyche’s needs. He has a bunch of hardworking players who play physical and direct football. Along with achieving a good spot on the table, preserving that identity will also be a priority for Burnley.
Southampton will hope to travel upon a new path under manager Ralph Hassenhuttl. He took charge midway through last season as the Saints were in danger of being relegated. Southampton finished 16th in the end, well clear of the bottom three. Hassenhuttl rose to prominence during his time at RB Leipzig. His Leipzig side played fast and exciting football, which prompted Southampton to hire him.
Now he arguably had more talent to work with in Germany, but the signs are promising at St. Mary’s so far. He implemented his philosophy to some extent last season, but that time was not enough. Now equipped with a full preseason, he will hope to make his mark on the Premier League. The Saints have been active in the transfer window already. They made the Danny Ings deal with Liverpool permanent. Southampton also signed Che Adams and Mousa Djenepo to bolster their attack.
The last three games between these two sides have ended in draws. Those three games have seen just four goals in total. Before that, Burnley won two consecutive games. If recent results are anything to go by, the game should be a close one.
Burnley vs Southampton Prediction
Burnley have always been a tough opponent at home, and that should continue this season as well. They will keep it tight defensively, and the total goals should be less than 2.5 in the game. It will be a close game, and a draw seems like a probable result between these two sides.