Sean Dyche admits starting slots could still be up for grabs when the Clarets complete their pre-season preparations.
Dyche’s side faces Italian top-flight outfit Parma at Turf Moor on Saturday (KO 3pm) in their final warm-up fixture ahead of the start of the Premier League campaign a week later.
And the Burnley boss suggests his starting day line-up against Southampton is not yet written in stone due to some impressive pre-season performances.
“We are looking at options. There’s definitely a good feeling about the group and a real competitive edge,” said Dyche, who saw his side overwhelm Nice 6-1 on Tuesday night.
“We want that to continue, so I will look at that going into the weekend.
“Possibly it’s the first year where it’s not necessarily ‘the team’ everyone thinks it will be, because so many have put down a marker.
“Normally in that last game everyone goes ‘well, that will be the team’.
“I think this is the first time where there are that many good performances in pre-season, there could be changes beyond Saturday.
“Most managers, including myself, normally put out what you think is the team.
“I don’t know. I think it’s tight this season. There are a lot of people gone ‘I’m ready to play’.
“It means the last game of pre-season might not be the team that starts against Southampton.”
Chris Wood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson were both on target against Nice
With Jay Rodriguez and Erik Pieters arriving during the summer, Dyche has options across his squad.
That includes in goal – despite the departure of Tom Heaton to Aston Villa.
Joe Hart has been involved in two of the last three friendlies, while Nick Pope is expected to be given game time at Parma, presuming he recovers from a minor groin problem.
“He needs minutes, so he will play provided he’s fit and well,” added Dyche.
Parma completed a training camp in Austria earlier this week, having played friendlies against local side GW Micheldorf (won 4-0) and Turkish club Trabzonspor (drew 2-2).
The former three-time Coppa Italia winners and twice Uefa Cup champions returned to Italy’s top tier last season following reformation and three successive promotions.
‘The Crusaders’ finished 16th in Serie A and start their new domestic season at home to champions Juventus on 25 August.
Ticket information for Saturday’s game is available HERE