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Burnley travel to Leicester today to take on a team who are playing their first home game after winning last week at West Brom. The game brings together two managers who previously worked together at Watford when current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was manager at Vicarage Road.

Ahead of today’s game, Rodgers, speaking about Burnley, said: “They’re really, really talented players. They’re always super organised, they’ve got a really good balance in their team, between attacking and defending. They’ve got some highly gifted, technical players that can play football too and Sean has turned them into that type of team over these last number of years.

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“They’ve consolidated their Premier League place with some great finishes, so for us, last week was a test at a newly promoted team, away from home, and we rose to that challenge. It’ll be a different challenge on Sunday, but equally as tough, playing Burnley. A lot of focus has gone into it and we’ll be ready on Sunday.”

With our build up over, a cup tie played, Sean Dyche is ready to take the Clarets into a new season for the eighth time and for the sixth time in the Premier League.

“Pre-season plays tricks with your thinking sometimes and this has been a strange one in many ways,” he said. “The players sometimes thrive when the real stuff starts even after a quiet pre-season, while others sometimes don’t.

“I just prefer to have a pre-season where they look alive and ready to go. With the group we have here, it looks good at the moment, outside the noise of signing players. There’s an energy and an urgency about the group we work with, so hopefully that bodes well going into our first league game.”

The injuries continue to plague his team selections, have they’ve done since before the end of last season, and of that he said: “We are having to play players and protect others. The younger players, such as Jimmy (Dunne) and Josh (Benson) are not just figuring as bit parts; they are looking like they are going to have to figure because of the way it is at the moment. That’s good for them and we’re happy about that, but it is a lot to ask of them, so we do still need to reinforce in certain areas and we’re still a couple of players short at least.

“We’ve found times when we’ve put players in, and they have done very well. We are looking for them to deliver performances and deliver into what we do, and at the moment it is a great opportunity for them, when it comes. In the bigger picture though, I do hope for them we get the crowds back soon though. It’s a massive part of your learning curve and understanding, playing in front of a big crowd. The good and the bad, by the way. It’s just a shame it’s not there yet.”

Dyche will be coming up against his former Watford colleague Brendan Rodgers. “Leicester had a tough finish to the season after lockdown and probably didn’t enjoy that spell, but over all they had a strong season,” he said. “They are a very good outfit and have invested heavily on the side. Brendan is a good coach and they are certainly a side to be reckoned with. Their challenge will be a different one to ours because they will probably be looking to see if they can go and get one of the Champions League spots, after being so close last season.

“For us, it’s a restart and let’s see where that takes us, and we have to be open minded about that.”

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