Burnley won only four homes in 2020-21, and Sean Dyche is looking forward to playing back in front of a full house at Turf Moor.
Fans will be back for the Clarets’ Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, with Turf Moor having only been able to welcome supporters for one game last season.
And Dyche, who has brought in three players to bolster his squad so far this transfer window, is expecting to receive a major boost from the Burnley faithful.
“We’re in good shape. I think we’re in good mental shape and physical shape, so we look forward to (it), and our own fans being in, the feeling that fans give players,” he said.
“It will be interesting as well with the bigger picture in football, the idea of home fans in stadiums, how we all spoke last season about the differential between away form, etcetera. So that will be interesting in the bigger picture.
“Then in our picture, we obviously want to make sure our home form goes back to where it has been, because it has been strong over many seasons.”
Brighton finished one place and two points above Burnley last season.
Heading into his third season in charge, Graham Potter singled out experienced midfielder Adam Lallana – who struggled with injury at times last term – as a player who can shine this year.
“He’s hugely important. I think that’s one of the reasons he came to the club because he has got fantastic experience and fantastic understanding of the game,” Potter said of Lallana.
“It’s also important to have players around that have been there and done it a little bit, and who can pass on things and learning points from their career and that’s really helpful.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Burnley – Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil enjoyed another fine season at Burnley last term, and Everton and Aston Villa have been reported to hold an interest in the youngster. If he does want to move on, then he will want to hit the ground running.
Brighton & Hove Albion – Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard made Belgium’s squad for Euro 2020. He had a promising second season in England last year, though will hope to fully live up to his potential in 2021-22.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·Burnley have won just one of their last seven home league games against Brighton (D4 L2), winning 1-0 in the Premier League in December 2018.
·Of the 517 Premier League fixtures to have been played at least eight times, Burnley against Brighton has the fifth lowest goals-per-game ratio, with just 12 goals being scored in the eight meetings between the sides (1.5 per game).
·After losing their opening fixture in each of their first three Premier League campaigns, Burnley have lost their first match in just one of their last four top-flight seasons (W2 D1). However, that loss did come against Leicester City last season.
·Brighton have lost their opening fixture in three of their four Premier League campaigns, beating Watford 3-0 in 2019-20 in the other.
·Burnley are winless in their last 10 home league games (D5 L5) since beating Aston Villa 3-2 in January. Only once in their league history have they had a longer run without a win at Turf Moor, going 11 games between April-November 1979 in the second tier.