• Brighton Should Take Lessons From Burnley in Their Quest for Premier League Survival

    Brighton & Hove Albion celebrated ebulliently after securing promotion to the Premier League in May - and who could blame them? The Seagulls haven't troubled the top flight for 34 years and narrowly missed out 12 months previously and they deserve their place amongst England's elite. It will take a significant effort to secure survival in an unforgiving division but emulating Sean Dyche's Burnley could be the best way to approach it.

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    Brighton may have been pipped to the Championship title by Newcastle but they'd already secured their place in the Premier League and it was job done for Chris Hughton and his squad. The London-born boss is one of the most competent and likeable managers on the circuit and very few opposition fans would begrudge him his recent success.

    Hughton is now tasked with preparing his squad for their upcoming Premier League season with the aim of the game staying on the right side of the dreaded dotted line!

    The Seagulls have started their recruitment early by signing goalkeeper Matthew Ryan from Valencia. Ryan was certainly keen to join the East Sussex club speaking of his ambition to compete at the top level.

    Hughton is also chasing Chelsea hotshot Tammy Abraham to bolster his forward line but the 19-year-old has attracted an assortment of admirers and will put himself in the shop window at the Under 21 European Championship this summer.

    Joe Gomez is another name linked to the club with defensive reinforcements required before the season gets underway. Shane Duffy's injury and Connor Goldson's prolonged absence left the Seagulls short at the back in the closing stages of the season and such a shortfall in personnel would be unforgivably punished at Premier League level.

    Brighton have been priced at around 4/6 to avoid Premier League relegation next season and are second favourites for the drop after fellow promoted side Huddersfield. If you're thinking of backing the Seagulls to secure their survival then take a look at Oddschecker to see the full range of welcome bonuses ahead of the forthcoming campaign.

    Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland were all relegated back into the second tier last season with two of those three clubs suffering from off-the-field mismanagement. Tony Bloom runs a tight ship at the AMEX and the club is unlikely to suffer a similar fate.

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    Burnley were widely tipped to return to the Championship following their promotion but defied the pundits by ensuring their survival with a couple of games to spare.

    Sean Dyche's side used Turf Moor to their advantage turning it into a fortress and a cauldron of noise which aided the Clarets in their quest to pick up points. Burnley lost their first home match of the season to Swansea but responded in spectacular fashion when beating high-flying Liverpool 2-0. Early goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray were enough to secure all three points against the Reds as the hosts held on manfully.

    The Lancashire side also went on to beat Watford, Everton, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Stoke during the course of the season and also picked up a point against champions Chelsea at Turf Moor. They were tough to beat on their own patch and few of the top teams enjoyed their visit.

    Away from home, it was a completely different story
    with just one win and three draws the sum total of their points haul on the road. Despite their travel sickness, they accrued 40 points securing 16th position and another season of Premier League football in the process.

    Albion will be hoping for better fortune on the road than the Clarets. Last season's away form was solid enough although just four wins from the last 12 in all competitions is a slight concern.

    Hughton must encourage the fans to play their part next season as they help to make the AMEX a fortress throughout the campaign. Manchester City are the first visitors to the South Coast and Pep Guardiola's talented squad may be guilty of complacency if they believe simply turning up will be enough.

    On paper, Brighton have been handed a tough start to life in the Premier League but winnable-looking home games against West Brom, Newcastle, Stoke and Southampton all await in the first few months and they will need to make these fixtures count. Burnley beat the sides around them in the table whenever they played hosts and the Seagulls must replicate this in order to stand any chance of survival.

    Hughton will be pinpointing fixtures like Burnley at home on the 16th of December and Watford's visit just seven days later as must-win games and anything less than six points in this period could be a concern.

    Anything picked up on the road is likely to be a significant bonus and Albion should aim to take at least a point in the early away trips to Bournemouth, Swansea and Watford.

    Burnley's togetherness was a huge part of their success with every single player giving 100% (or 110%, if you like managerial cliches) and knowing their positional duties. Sean Dyche's side worked hard in training and didn't get dispirited when decisions went against them or luck eluded them. Arsenal's controversial winner at Turf Moor didn't result in heads dropping. They simply rolled up their sleeves and beat Everton 2-1 in the subsequent home match. Brighton must take a similar approach.

    The Seagulls’ spending power is greater than that of the Clarets and they should be able to add some quality to their squad this summer. Burnley raided the Championship for many of their recruits and Brighton are likely to do the same. Steve Sidwell has Premier League experience whilst Anthony Knockaert should still be able to bamboozle many a top flight defence with his fancy footwork.

    Adding another striker is an obvious priority as both Sam Baldock and Tomer Hemed are unknown at Premier League level and Glenn Murray hasn't always flourished in his brief Premier League career, although, 11 goals in 52 appearances gives cause for optimism.

    Burnley were far from foot perfect in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, but their blueprint is something to study ahead of a potentially tricky season for the East Sussex outfit. Brighton must use the AMEX to their advantage and get in the faces of the bigger and more expensively-assembled sides. Beating the teams around them at home is a necessity and remaining compact and solid on the road should result in an occasional away day success. If Chris Hughton can steer the club to survival, it will be regarded as a wonderful achievement and it will be a season to remember for Seagull's fans.