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Burnley 2 Fulham 1 | Talking Points

Burnley won their third Premier League in a row as Fulham look to have sealed their relegation fate.

Fulham went 1-0 up in the 2nd minute from a lovely goal from Andre Schürrle. The German controlled a pass from Denis Odoi over his shoulder and smashed the ball past Tom Heaton.

Fulham were the makers of their own demise thanks to two own goals in quick succession from Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi.

This win sees Burnley move into 15th, four points clear of the drop. Fulham, however, remain in 19th, five points from safety.

Can Ranieri keep Fulham up?

There was much positivity surrounding Ranieiri’s appointment at Craven Cottage. He did, after all, win the Premier League just a few seasons ago. He has struggled to turn things around for Fulham however.

They have won just twice since his appointment, against Huddersfield and Southampton. Whilst it is important to take points off the teams around you, Fulham need more if they want any a chance of staying up.

Ranieri has been long been known for improving the defensive qualities of the teams he manages but Fulham fans are still waiting to see the results.

They have kept only two clean sheets in the league this season and are conceding an average of 2.2 goals a game.

If Ranieri wants any chance of keeping Fulham out he has to sort out the defence first and foremost. They have players who are always capable of creating chances and scoring, however their defence still looks unsettled and anxious despite being over halfway through the season.

There is talk of Gary Cahill making the short trip across West London and his experience could be vital if Fulham want to be in the Premier League next season.

How has Dyche turned things around?

A few months ago Burnley looked almost certain to go down. They were conceding goals at a rate of knots and could not seem to score them either.

The fact that they now find themselves in 15th and within touching distance of mid-table safety is a remarkable achievement.

It seems that Dyche has gone back to basics and reaffirmed the qualities which gave him and his team so much success last season; namely a solid defensive base.

The go-to back four of Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski and Bardsley look gelled as a unit. This is particularly impressive from Bardsley who has made only eight appearances this season after ousting Kevin Long from the team.

Another factor which cannot be ignored is the reintroduction of Tom Heaton to the team. He commands the back line and has a chemistry with his defence which Joe Hart could never match.

Are multiple signings actually beneficial?

Many predicted success for Fulham after their business in the transfer market over the summer, though this has evidently not gone as expected.

Fulham spent £109 million on just seven players in the summer as well as bringing in five more on loan.

They seemed to have signed quality players such as Jean-Micheal Seri and Alfie Masson as well as bringing in the likes of Andre Schürrle and Luciano Vietto on loan.

What looked so promising just a matter of months ago has turned into a bloated, underperforming squad of individuals.

Ranieri needs to get rid of the deadwood and remind his players that it is a privilege, not a right, to play in the Premier League.

Do Burnley need to make any signings?

Sean Dyche has always been conservative when it comes to rotation. He likes having a settled team where everyone knows their job.

This is all well and good until injuries and suspensions hit and you are left high and dry.

Saying this, Burnley have a well-balanced squad and may be able to get by with just the players they have currently.

A more pressing concern for Dyche will be the rumours that Liverpool are interested in signing James Tarkowski for £50 million. If this happens he may want to dip in the transfer market for a centre back but with the likes of Ben Gibson and Matt Lowton in the squad, even this may not be necessary.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 82
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 57
3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 53
4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 48
5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 45
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 43
7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 41
9 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40
10 Burnley 29 11 6 12 39
11 Crystal Palace 29 10 9 10 39
12 Everton 29 10 7 12 37
13 Newcastle United 29 9 8 12 35
14 Southampton 29 10 4 15 34
15 Brighton & Hov… 29 6 11 12 29
16 West Ham United 29 7 6 16 27
17 Watford 29 6 9 14 27
18 AFC Bournemouth 29 7 6 16 27
19 Aston Villa 28 7 4 17 25
20 Norwich City 29 5 6 18 21

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