Burnley’s VAR, Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez Could Shoot the Clarets to Europe

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Burnley's VAR
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:Burnley's Jay Rodriguez (left) celebrates with team-mate Matej Vydra after scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot after Bournemouth had their equalising goal ruled out for handball following VAR review during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on February 22, 2020 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images)

VAR has been the talking point after almost every Premier League game this season. Some are in favour, some are not, with the debate set to continue for some time to come. However, Burnley’s VAR could fire them to Europe.

The newly formed strike pairing of Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez, on a recent showing, could prove the difference between a mid-table finish and a place in Europe. The Clarets are currently in 10th place but just three points off a European place.

Burnley’s VAR, Vydra and Rodriguez Could Shoot the Clarets to Europe

Instant Understanding From Burnley’s VAR

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is renowned for his belief in playing two strikers. In an age where most teams play just one striker, Burnley are a reminder of years gone by where striking partnerships were adored by many. With the regular front pairing of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes picking up injuries, Dyche had a decision to make. His choice was to stick to a tried and tested formula but with two strikers not used to playing together. Burnley’s VAR was born

Sean Dyche’s decision has paid off. Two victories, away at Southampton and home to Bournemouth have seen his new strike force score three goals between them. Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra have struck up an instant understanding and Dyche is delighted:

“Jay puts a lot of effort in for the team and has a real team mentality which underlines his own performances. Vyds has had to wait, to earn the right, sit and wait for his chance, and that’s sometimes the way it is. So, I’m pleased for him because he’s been waiting and waiting for his chance, but he’s delivered twice now, so fair play.”

“The best thing for me is he (Vydra) is working for his chance. He came on at Southampton and affected the game, brilliant goal, but also his general play.”

“I thought some of their link play second half (versus Bournemouth) was excellent, I always think when two centre forwards are linking together, it’s a very powerful thing, it’s hard to play against, when they literally link. Their connection was excellent.”

Recent Form Eases Relegation Worries

The instant connection between Burnley’s VAR Vydra and Rodriguez has helped the Clarets ease any relegation fight fears they may have had. However, Burnley were already hitting form before their introduction. Four wins and one draw in their last five games has propelled them up the table. The Clarets are currently 10th in the league but are just three points off a European place.

Europe Within Touching Distance

Being just three points off a European place, has fans dreaming of a European adventure. They face out of form Newcastle next knowing a win could help them climb closer to that dream. A victory would also take them to the magic 40 points. A target set by several clubs before the season begins.

Last time the Clarets were in Europe was in the 2018/19 season. Sean Dyche’s men were playing at this level for the first time in 51 years. They entered the Europa League at the second qualifying round. They defeated Aberdeen and then Istanbul Başakşehir in the next round. A playoff defeat to Olympiacos ended their journey.

Burnley’s current form and their newly formed strike force of Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra could be enough to fire them to another European placed finish. Whatever happens, Dyche should take credit for sticking to his beliefs and playing two strikers. Few would have done so.

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