Places up for grabs for opening game at Chelsea

PNE against Burnley at Deepdale. Sean Dyche
PNE against Burnley at Deepdale. Sean Dyche
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Places are up for grabs as Sean Dyche makes plans for champions Chelsea.

Burnley are at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, a week on Saturday.

And as the Clarets round off pre-season at home to Hannover 96 on Saturday, Dyche admits there are decisions to be made as he formulates his team: “I think this is the closest it’s been since I’ve been here, when I’m looking at the team and I’m not sure it is the team.

“For Hannover it might be a different team to the one that plays at Chelsea in two or three positions. I think there’s a few here knocking and they’ve put good markers down, so it might be the team against Hannover is not the team, there might be a couple of positions that change in that.

“That’s good, I think that’s healthy for the group and for me as manager and my coaches.”

It shows how his squad has progressed, but he stressed: “We’re not ready to make big, bold statements about our progress because that will be measured over a season, but I think if you look at a team sheet and the squad, it has risen again, and that’s an important factor for a club like this.

“It’s about building and building and building, and sometimes it’s tough to do that but we have to do it and that’s the nature of the club.”