Predicted Burnley starting line-up for season opener vs Swansea

Ben Mee celebrates after scoring the third goal for  Burnley

Burnley kick off their return to the Premier League at home to Swansea. What will their starting XI look like?

Burnley manager Sean DycheBurnley manager Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche is famed for having an extremely settled Burnley side, one in which each player knows their responsibilities in the team. That said, he still possesses a very talented group, and that means that competition for places is fierce.

Burnley have made tentative steps into the transfer market this summer, for example raiding Charlton of Icelandic international Johan Berg Gudmundson and Nick Pope. Some players will pick themselves, but there are still a number of areas on the pitch that are yet to be claimed. 

At left-back, will Dyche pick experienced campaigner Stephen Ward, or throw his new loan signing Jon Flanagan into the line-up from the outset. You would expect Michael Keane and Ben Mee to start as the centre back pairing, but will Keane still be a Burnley player come the end of this window, amidst interest from Champions Leicester City?

Might James Tarkowski, signed from Brentford last January, be able to make the step up to first team regular this season? it's also a straight fight between Matthew Lowton and Tendayi Darikwa for the starting berth at right-back. 

Michael Keane of Burnley applauds fans at the end of the gameMichael Keane applauds fans at the end of the game

In central midfield, which player will step up and replace the hole left by the departure of Joey Barton? Dyche has plenty of conversations to choose from, the likes of Dean Marney, David Jones, Fredrik Ulvestad, perhaps even Michael Kightly. All offer slightly different strengths, but you sense that this is a key area where Burnley must select the right personnel to avoid being overrun in the middle of the park, especially due to the 4-4-2 system they play. 

Rangers' Joey Barton in action with Burnley's Dean MarneyRangers' new signing Joey Barton in action with Burnley's Dean Marney

You can expect forwards Andre Gray and Sam Vokes to start the season upfront, but who will get the nod on the wings? George Boyd, Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes, and new signing Gudmundson are all competing for two spots, but who should start in the opener?

Gudmundson showed great form in the Championship last term, finishing joint top in the assists table. Barnes was a regular last time Burnley played in the Premier League but has spent lots of time out due to injury over the past year. Arfield and Boyd both have plenty of Premier League experience, and both can still pose a threat at this level but also help out defensively too. 

Burnley's Andre Gray celebrates after he scoring their second goalAndre Gray is Burnley's main goal threat

With these selection dilemmas in mind, here's a look at how Burnley could line-up against Swansea to start their Premier League campaign:  

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