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Burnley just four wins away from securing Premier League survival

Monday 16th January 2017
Burnley enjoyed a narrow win at home to Southampton on the weekend, courtesy of a late Joey Barton free-kick, finishing the day 10th in the Premier League with an impressive 26 points from 21 games.

The newly-promoted Clarets have been in fantastic form in recent weeks and may only need four more wins from their 17 remaining matches as the 38-point marker has proven to be enough to avoid relegation in recent seasons.
Sean Dyche's Burnley side bounced straight back after their relegation from the Premier League in 2015 and look to have learned from their lessons to ensure they can maintain their top-flight status come May. In their ill-fated 2014/15 campaign that saw them finishing 19th in the table, the Clarets only had 26 points after 35 games. They have reached the same tally four months earlier this time round and look a much more convincing outfit in the race for survival.

A poor start to the campaign coupled with Burnley's woes in front of goal cost them their Premier League status two years ago, but Dyche has made his side a much more ruthless outfit to win more games. The Clarets are not relying on a defensive approach and instead have been operating with two strikers to put pressure on their oppositions' defence as much as possible. It's certainly worked given Burnley are just five goals shy of matching their 2014/15 tally in the Premier League and have already won one more game than their last top-flight campaign too.

Their form on home soil has been key to keeping them comfortably above the relegation, with only Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea having won more games and picked up more points in their own backyard than Burnley at Turf Moor, and they are within touching distance of ensuring Premier League football for another season if they can pick up just four more wins in the next four months.

Four league victories would see Burnley finish on 38 points from as many games, a tally that would have ensured survival in each of the last five seasons. The Clarets' current 1.23 points-per-game ratio would see them finish the campaign with 47 points but the job could be done a lot sooner if they can continue their impressive recent form. Burnley, who have picked up 25 of their 26 points on home soil, have amassed nine points from their last 12 and face a number of bottom-half clubs at Turf Moor which will be regarded as must-win matches to secure their survival.

The Clarets have seven more home games to come this season: Leicester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United. Three of the fixtures feature clubs who are struggling in the bottom half of the Premier League table, but it's their away form they will likely have to improve given they've picked up just one point on the road in 2016/17.

With trips to face Watford, Hull City, Swansea City, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, Burnley will surely end their winless run on their travels in the coming months and may not need many more wins to retain their Premier League status. Four wins in four months could do it.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


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