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Transfer Assessment: Burnley

Burnley Sep 3, 2014
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Reality check for Dyche's men

Burnley Aug 19, 2014
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Aug 26, 2014

Confidence boost needed for Burnley

Burnley will seek their first points of the Premier League season when they visit Swansea.
After a tough start to their league season, the cup offers a chance to shine for some.

The distraction of a midweek cup match can work both ways. For struggling teams it can provide a change of pace and an opportunity to get a morale-boosting win under their belts, but sides that are on good runs already might prefer to save their momentum for the league.

Sean Dyche's Burnley would probably rather not play on Tuesday given the choice, but a Yorkshire-Lancashire clash with Sheffield Wednesday offers an opportunity to have a look at some fresh faces and get a much-needed win on the board after two defeats in the Premier League so far.

Summer signings Steven Reid, Stephen Ward and Matt Gilks are all in line to make their debuts at Turf Moor, and Dyche could also freshen up his front line by handing starts to Ashley Barnes and Marvin Sordell. Youngsters such as central midfielder Steven Hewitt and Cameron Dummigan may also come into contention. Burnley supporters will wonder when these promising players will get a chance if it is not in the early rounds of the Capital One Cup.

Among those expected to drop out of the team is Ben Mee, who has had a tough start to life in the Premier League and could do with being taken out of the firing line for a match. The 36-year-old Michael Duff might get the night off too after acquitting himself well against top strikers Diego Costa and Wilfried Bony so far this season. Dyche will need to decide whether to give the new forward partnership of Danny Ings and Lukas Jutkiewicz another game together to develop their understanding or bring in Barnes and Sordell to improve their match fitness.

Sheffield Wednesday have started the Championship season well and, with two wins and two draws from their four league fixtures so far, they must not be underestimated. Dyche will need to find a balance between rotating his squad and still ensuring he names a team strong enough to beat Stuart Gray's Owls. Burnley will be the underdogs in the majority of their league games this season but they will be the clear favourites on Tuesday.

In his prematch comments, Dyche said: "We have always respected all of the cups and we will do that again, but it's also important that we use players.

"We have a deeper squad that last season and we need to make sure that players are fit because everyone can see the demands that are on the players here, so we will look at the idea of change. That's not necessarily what we are going to do, but players do need games and there is a bigger picture to our season and that's here for all to see."

Burnley didn't rotate their squad at all last season, and Dyche naming a regular settled side was one of the key factors in their unexpected promotion to the Premier League. But the Premier League poses a unique challenge with the intensity of the division making it more difficult for players to play a full 90 minutes twice a week and still be at the top of their physical levels.

Even with an international break just around the corner, Dyche will be careful not to push his team too hard and, as Manchester United are the visitors to Turf Moor on Saturday, that match will naturally be the priority this week. United's poor start to the season has the vultures out in force and Dyche will want his Burnley team to pile on the misery for Louis van Gaal's men in what suddenly looks like an eminently winnable fixture.

But Dyche's mantra is always "one game at a time" and he will want to get a victory in the cup to get his side up and running. Burnley also have good memories of this competition after a run to the semifinals just five years ago. It isn't likely to be a big crowd at Turf Moor, but derby clashes like this always tend to have a bit of spice.

Avoiding injuries to key players will be high on the list of priorities for the game, but a positive result to build confidence throughout the squad is also necessary for Dyche's team.

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