Burnley couldn’t make it to the group stages of the Europa League last term and finished in 15th in the Premier League, so the Turf Moor faithful will be hoping for more on the domestic front in 2019/20.
A return to a solid mid-table placing come May is what’s expected, but Sean Dyche’s side will face stiff competition in the most competitive league in the world. There haven’t been many arrivals in the summer window, but the arrivals of West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez and Stoke’s Erik Pieters are the main stand-outs.
There haven’t been many notable exits either, Tom Heaton going to Aston Villa being the exception, but that will hardly weaken the side overall. Dyche’s side will be playing classic 4-4-2 this season and likely line-up very similar to how they did last campaign, here’s how we predict they’ll be rolling out onto the pitch.
Nick Pope (OVR 80 – 78)
With Tom Heaton departing for Villa, Nick Pope will be Burnley’s undisputed number 1 goalkeeper this season. Joe Hart will remain waiting in the wings in case Pope loses his form. Pope has remained around the England side, but the stopper will probably be due a downgrade, largely because of the big increase in the goals he conceded in 2018-19.
Matt Lowton (OVR 78 – 75)
Matt Lowton retains his place as Burnley’s number 1 right-back, but he’ll drop a few overall points. He made just 21 league appearances last season and I think he’ll drop 3 overall, retaining his gold status, but only just. He is in his 30s now too, so expect him to lose a few pace points as a result. He didn’t register a single assist in 2018/19, either, so we also expect a decrease in his passing.
James Tarkowski (0VR 80 – 79)
James Tarkowski has fallen out of the England side and will probably suffer a slight decrease in his overall as a result. His shooting, though, will probably go up, as he did score three goals last season for the Clarets. Tarkowski is a quality player, though, and finds himself the highest-rated defender in the FIFA 20 Burnley side.
Ben Mee (OVR 80 – 78)
Like Pope, Ben Mee will likely suffer as a result of Burnley’s lower finish last season. The man mountain at the back will take a hit to his pace and defending and drop two overall points as a result, although he did play more games last term, being an ever-present in the Premier League. That said, an increase of 29 goals conceded in 38 league matches won’t reflect well on the defence as a whole.
Erik Pieters (OVR 74 – 75)
Charlie Taylor was Burnley’s go-to left-back last season, but Erik Pieters’ arrival at Turf Moor has likely curtailed the Englishman’s run. Pieters spent the second half of last season on loan at Ligue 1 club Amiens but will be due a slight upgrade as he returns to the Premier League. We’re predicting a 1 overall increase to make him a gold card, with improvements in passing, dribbling and defending.
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Johann Berg Gudmundsson (OVR 79 – 79)
Position: RM, LM
Guðmundsson will likely remain a 79 overall, with his stats more or less the same. In 17/18, the Icelandic winger got two goals and nine assists, last campaign it was three goals and eight assists. At 28 years’ old too, this is around the age when his overall will stagnate.
Ashley Westwood (OVR 75 – 78)
The first player on this list to receive an upgrade is Ashley Westwood, who enjoyed a lot more playing time last season. He went from scoring 0 goals and providing 1 assist in 2017/18 to scoring twice and racking up seven assists last season. Despite Burnley’s lower league position, Westwood should find himself 3 overall higher than in FIFA 19, with a big boost to his passing and shooting stats.
Steven Defour (OVR 80 – 77)
If you’re injured for long periods of a season, your FIFA rating will suffer, whether you deserve it or not. Defour made just six Premier League appearances last season, but still finds himself as one of the highest-rated players in the Burnley team. A 3 overall decrease is likely what will happen, especially with him being over 30-years-old now. He was down to 78 by the end of FIFA 19, so could be even lower than our predicted 77.
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Aaron Lennon (OVR 77 – 76)
Position: RM, LM
Although Dwight McNeil will probably have a bigger role in this season, Aaron Lennon will likely have a higher overall than the youngster in FIFA. Lennon was a squad rotation player last year, as he was the year before, so his contribution to the side remained roughly even. However, at 32, his greatest asset – pace – will be knocked down a few points, meaning that he’ll go down an overall point to 76.
Chris Wood (OVR 78 – 79)
Country: New Zealand
Burnley may have conceded more goals last season than 2017/18, but they also scored more, with Chris Wood matching his tally of 10 again. I predict he’ll get a slight increase to 79, with his physical and shooting overalls going up slightly.
Ashley Barnes (OVR 77 – 79)
Barnes played all but one match in the Premier League last season and scored a dozen goals, up by 3 from the season prior. He also started the 2019/20 season well too, getting a brace on the opening day v Southampton. If he continues this form, Barnes could find himself with an 80 overall, the best player in the Burnley squad.
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On the Bench
Joe Hart (OVR 78 – 77) will be Pope’s back-up and finding himself on the bench, he’ll probably drop an overall point or two down to 77 or 76, though.
In defence, Phil Bardsley (OVR 71 – 69) is still in the side, but at 34, he’ll likely be downgraded to 70 or 69. Charlie Taylor (OVR 75 – 75) was ever-present last season, and will probably stay his 75 overall, just to remain as a gold card.
Dwight McNeil (OVR 62 – 73) will see a large upgrade from 62 to the edges of the gold region, possibly as high as 73. Jack Cork (OVR 79 – 77), however, could go down after not replicating his numbers from 17/18. Jeff Hendrick (OVR 75 – 75) should remain, providing more creativity from the middle of the park than the other midfielders.
In attack, Jay Rodriguez (OVR 77 – 78) completed his return to Burnley in the summer, after scoring a very impressive 22 goals for West Brom last term, albeit in the Championship. That being said, the Englishman should find himself almost as high as Wood and Barnes in the starting 11.
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Burnley Predicted Line-up
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