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PREVIEW: Clarets Ready To Re-Enter Euro Zone

Burnley take on Nice in first leg of Turf Moor double-header as Dyche fine-tunes preparations

30 July 2019

The Clarets have swapped one taste of Europe for another as they look to peak in time for the start of the Premier League season.

Twelve months ago, Sean Dyche’s men were between the two legs of their epic opening Europa League tie against Aberdeen.

This time around it’s a case of friendly fire against French outfit Nice tonight (Tuesday, KO 7.45pm) and the Italians of Parma on Saturday (3pm) in a Turf Moor double-header.

And Dyche hope the preparations this summer will help his side hit the ground running when the real thing starts against Southampton on Saturday-week.

“The pre-season has been a more designed one, without the nice way and the historic way of the Europa League,” said the Burnley boss.

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“We’ve had a cleaner slate to work with, like we normally plan a pre-season, which we hope and we think will be helpful.

“There was good clarity from the players in their awareness to come back in the right shape, which gives you a head-start, and the continued work from there has gone well.

“So far, so good. We’ve had a few minor injuries but nothing major, which will hopefully continue, and going back to Turf Moor, playing two foreign sides, we’ll see that offers us.”

The Clarets have gradually upped the ante in their public pre-season schedule, with games against League Two teams Crewe and Port Vale followed by a trip to League One Fleetwood Town and then last Saturday’s visit to Championship side Wigan Athletic.

Only one of those has ended in defeat and bigger tests will now follow, starting against a Nice side which finished seventh in the French top tier last season under former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira.

Vieira will have enjoyed the competitive nature of ‘Le Gym’s’ 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City last Saturday as the World Cup winner's squad started the UK tour of their pre-season schedule by going down to an early Joe Ralls goal.

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Nice manager Patrick Vieira scored Manchester City's fourth goal in their 6-1 win at Turf Moor in April, 2010

And Dyche is looking forward to taking on Continental opposition again.

“All the teams we have played offer a different challenge,” he added.

“I think we’ve delivered well. It’s not all about results, but it’s nice when you get results from good delivery of performance.

“I think that’s been good so far and now we have two teams coming – slightly in advance of the others in terms of their make-up and the leagues they play in.

“It’s a different kind of challenge, but we are only looking towards getting ready for the big kick-off, that’s the main thing.”

Goalkeeper Nick Pope, defender Ben Gibson and wingman Robbie Brady have missed the Clarets’ last two games through injury but are not expected to be long-term absentees.

Ticket information for the games on Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon is available HERE


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