Places up for grabs for opening game at Chelsea

PNE against Burnley at Deepdale. Sean Dyche
PNE against Burnley at Deepdale. Sean Dyche

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.”