Burnley pulled off one of the shocks of the season over the weekend managing to beat current Premier League champions Manchester City. The 1-0 win has greatly helped their survival push leaving them just one point below Sunderland who are currently in 17th.
In an added bonus for the Clarets last year’s in-form striker Sam Vokes made his first Premier League start for the club after being out with injury since the start of the season. Vokes was one half of the strike partnership with Danny Ings that fired Burnley into the Premier League last season, so will his return be the missing jigsaw piece that they need to avoid relegation?
Burnley’s player of the year last year scored 20 goals in 39 appearances in the Championship while also racking up a number of assists for strike partner Ings. In March 2014, he was diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee which prevented him from playing the remainder of last season, and most of the Premier League season this year.
His return, even if it was only short, against Manchester City could mean Burnley have the power to finish this campaign on a high. Vokes was an extremely influential team member last season and I am sure his return will have spurred the rest of the squad on.
It will be nice to finally be reminded of the pairing that was so important in Burnley’s promotion and to see it in English football’s highest division. Last season the pair ran circles around many teams causing chaos and confusion in many a back four.
I reckon the fantastic team performance against Manchester City could be the turning point for Burnley and just what the team need in order to survive relegation. They have a tough set of fixtures left with Southampton, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton in their next four games so there is no doubt that the challenge is a difficult one.
But it is not all doom and gloom. They still have fellow strugglers Leicester, Hull and Aston Villa to play and it’s these matches that will be the real ‘six pointers’.
Many neutral fans have grown to love Burnley and what they have brought to the Premier League this season. They have been refreshing, offering something different, and many teams could learn from how they go about things both on and off the pitch.
They have been a team which has been there to play football and Sam Vokes certainly knows how to do that. If Ings and Vokes can get their partnership back on track pretty sharpish then they could shock a few teams who think they have got Burnley sussed.
While they may know how to play the Burnley of the Premier League they don’t know how to play against their deadly partnership of last season. I strongly suspect that Burnley have not finished with the upsets yet and my prediction is that Tottenham – especially with their current form – could be the next team to be surprised by Burnley.
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