Pre-season projection preview – Burnley

To enhance my 2016/17 Premier League projection I’m reviewing factors that may impact each team’s strength compared with last season, as explained here. Next up Burnley.

Last Season

Burnley are a team that (like Leicester) defy statistical assessment. They were promoted 4 points clear as champions, yet my shot-based assessment rated them as the 6th best team in the Championship (and the worst of those promoted). The biggest concern is shots on target (normally a good indicator of a team’s attacking strength) where Burnley ranked 19th in last season’s championship. Conversely, they had comfortably the highest shot on target conversion rate (40%), and also the highest save percentage (81%). This points to the quality of strikers (Andre Grey particularly) and goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

The big worry for Burnley is that these conversion and save percentages may fall-off in the premier league. However, under Sean Dyche’s excellent management Burnley have consistently confounded statistical analysis.

Player Turnover

To illustrate the relative strengths of key players joining and leaving, the numbers below compare defensive, passing and attacking strength against the average premier league player in 2015/16 (0% means at the same level as the average premier league player, greater than 0% is better and less than 0% is worse). Defensive assessment is the sum of defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks). Passing is number of completed passes, and attacking strength is goals plus assists (all measured per match). This isn’t a robust statistical analysis, and can be skewed due to acquisition from a weaker league or lack of minutes played – but the purpose is to simply indicate the comparative strength of incoming and outgoing players.


Little activity so far for a team that already looks comparatively weak.On top of this, one of last season’s top performers, Joey Barton, has left for Rangers. The purchase of Icelander Gudmundsson from relegated Charlton should enhance their under-par chance creation.

European Competition

No. No change from last season.


No change

Overall assessment

Slightly weaker, particularly due to the loss of Joey Barton.


Other previews

Arsenal, Bournemouth

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