Manchester City date not 'perfect' start for Burnley, but trip to Crystal Palace will be bigger logistical challenge admits Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche admits the fixture list could have been kinder for Burnley's return to Premier League action.

Saturday, 20th June 2020, 12:30 pm
Sean Dyche

The Clarets resume their campaign against defending champions Manchester City on Monday night at the Etihad Stadium.

And although Liverpool are on the brink of taking City's crown, Pep Guardiola's side - already EFL Cup winners, FA Cup quarter-finalists and on course for the Champions League quarter-finals - remain one of the best sides on the continent.

City returned with a convincing 3-0 win at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night, ending the longest unbeaten run in the league in the process.

Burnley are now the proud holders of that title, going seven games without defeat, with Dyche the manager of the month for February before lockdown.

City preferred not to hold a practice game with outside opposition after returning to training - with Burnley drawing 1-1 with Preston on Saturday - but Dyche said: "It made me laugh when they said they hadn't had a 'pre-season' game, that they played among themselves, and I looked at their subs and thought 'that's a pretty good game!'

"I don't think they need too much outside stimulation when you have 20-odd players like that, I think they'll be fine.

"The challenge of the league is too far now, but they've got the Champions League, and the fact they're a top outfit showing they're a top outfit.

"They will get fitter and sharper, so it's not the perfect first game, playing them, especially when they've locked in a game, but that's the way it works and we'll get on with it."

However, while the challenge on the pitch at City is monumental, Dyche believes other fixtures will be more difficult in terms of the current situation, as regards travel, pre-match meals and accomodation.

Arsenal flew up to Liverpool at 5 p.m., before making their way to Manchester for an 8 p.m. kick-off, and with Burnley at Crystal Palace for an 8 p.m. kick-off a week on Monday, Dyche admitted: "There's a lot of logistical challenges, certain things we're allowed to do, and not do.

"Arsenal flew up at 5 last night, which I was quite surprised by, but there aren't many hotels you can use, the travelling styles - the best to give the players the best prep, there's a number of different things we're trying to iron out.

"And the world is reopening slowly.

"The Palace game is the biggest challenge, but beyond that, possibly hotels, bars and restaurants will reopen in some usable form, and we can get on with things a bit easier.

"But the Palace one is the biggest challenge, with how we can prep for that one."