Burnley currently sit fourteenth in the Premier League, three points ahead of the relegation zone, but the warning signs suggest a tough road ahead.
With a return of only two wins and a draw from their opening seven matches, Burnley’s poor form has been masked only by abject performances by the teams below them.
However a closer look at the numbers doesn’t make good reading for the Turf Moor outfit.
Sean Dyche’s men are the joint lowest scorers in the division so far with just five goals, level with Stoke City.
The concern is that Burnley lead the Premier League in goals from outside the box with three, which means the goals they are scoring are as a result of lower percentage, more difficult opportunities.
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Add in the fact that only Hull City and Middlesbrough have taken fewer shots and you have a team that struggles to create opportunities and relies on spectacular strikes when they do score.
The Clarets are fifteenth in the league for crosses with 121, seventeenth for through balls with just two, and fifteenth in corners won with just four per game.
Front man Sam Vokes has been caught offside ten times, more than any other player in the division, and the club leads overall in offsides with 21. The Clarets have yet to score a counter-attacking, or ‘fast-break’ goal as defined by the Premier League statistics, which speaks to a disconnect between the midfielders and the attack.
This is particularly damming when you consider that with 521, Burnley are fourth in the Premier League in long-balls played this campaign, which amounts to almost 75 a game.
The flip side of this is that the defence have been under tremendous pressure. That rearguard has been holding up but how long will Dyche be able to rely on that?
Burnley lead the league in clearances with 217, ten more than Swansea in second place and no goalkeeper has made more saves than Tom Heaton.
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The fact that Heaton had to leave the England camp with a calf injury will be of particular concern to Dyche with his ‘keeper in such excellent form.
With Burnley sitting third in the league in both interceptions and blocks, these are yet more indicators of a team struggling to stem the tide of opposition attacks under constant pressure.
They have also developed a nasty habit of allowing late goals. While Laurent Koscielny’s stoppage time goal for Arsenal in Burnley’s last league outing probably should have been ruled out, this is not a rare occurrence for Burnley.
No team has conceded more (5) in the last fifteen minutes of games than the Clarets.
Manager Sean Dyche is favoured for the vacant Aston Villa role and he may want to trade one Claret and Blue for another soon before the decision is taken out of his hands.