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Burnley Championship promotion dark horses at a massive price

| 04.02.2013

Burnley’s late equaliser at London Road allowed them to move a point closer to the play-off spots but, with the teams above them suffering some bad results of late, the Clarets may well regard this as an opportunity missed.

The gap between the Championship’s top six and those vying to be in it is dwindling by the week and with it so tight in the midfield, the massive 16/1 on offer for Sean Dyche’s men to earn their second promotion to the Premier League could be worth a punt.

To go up automatically is too big a task at this stage, though the lottery of the play-offs could well favour the Lancashire-club. They’re currently four points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough, whose 4-0 drubbing at Ipswich was the Teessider’s fourth league loss on the spin. If they can string a couple of results together, Burnley will have the chance to cut that gap to at least one point in the sides’ upcoming clash at Turf Moor.

Crystal Palace are showing signs of wavering in recent weeks too. Their win over Charlton at the weekend was their first in four matches and if they don’t build upon this in the immediate future they could also see the hefty eight-point cushion between them and the chasing play-off pack grow less comfortable.

Burnley are the closest to the top-six of all those vying to get in there and that’s despite failing to win either of their previous two games. Their price, however, is far steeper than that of Brighton, Blackburn, Leeds and Nottingham Forest, who all have fewer points in the bag than the Clarets.

It took them a while to acclimatise to Dyche’s managerial approach when he took over from Eddie Howe but, prior to the previous two, they’d won four from five league games without conceding.

What’s more is that only one of these games saw stone cold marksman Charlie Austin bag a goal. This indicates that the team can still find the back of the net even if their star striker is off colour and it could prove crucial in the run-in.

Middlesbrough can’t score goals full stop, while Crystal Palace are over-reliant on Glen Murray’s ability to beat the keeper; he’s the only player to have bagged for them in any of their last six. These factors work against the promotion hopes of either of these sides and, if Burnley can keep plugging away, they could find themselves right in the play-off mix before the season is out.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton