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Burnley aim for 100-points club after securing Championship title

Burnley steamrolled to the Championship title in 2022/23 as Vincent Kompany’s side left their Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers’ play-off hopes in tatters with a scrappy 1-0 win at Ewood Park on Tuesday night. 

One year since dropping down from the Premier League, the Clarets have sealed their top-flight return, with Manuel Benson’s second-half strike rubber-stamping his side’s champion status.

Kompany’s high-flyers did not only secure the title with two games to spare, but they also rubbed salt into their rival’s wounds, condemning Blackburn to a gut-wrenching eighth place in the standings, outside of a playoff spot. 

They will be looking to avoid losing back-to-back Saturday-held Championship matches for the first time since 2012 when they meet Bristol City at Ashton Gate Stadium at the weekend.

Following last weekend’s shock defeat at Queens Park Rangers, Burnley swiftly returned to winning ways, yet they need maximum points from their final two fixtures to make history.

With 95 points under their belt, the Turf Moor outfit could become only the fourth-ever Championship side to hit a 100-point landmark, but it will require victories over Bristol and Cardiff City. 

Let’s look at their chances of achieving this flattering milestone.

Bristol City (A) – April 29

Burnely scored on either side of half-time to oust City 2-1 in the reverse fixture in September, extending their winning streak against the Robins to six games in all competitions.

On top of their imperious H2H form, the Clarets have developed into a force to be reckoned with on hostile turf, with Kompany masterminding an eye-catching 12-game unbeaten league run on the road (W8, D4).

In stark contrast to Burnley’s high spirits, Bristol’s confidence could still be low, even though a 2-1 triumph over relegation-battling Rotherham last time out halted their three-game winless stretch (D1, L2).

Nigel Pearson’s men will have to settle for another mid-table finish following an underwhelming league campaign, yet with nothing but pride left to play for, they could be an unpleasant opposition. 

Unbeaten in their last four home league outings (W2, D2), the Rabits will still have to defy the odds to block Burnley’s path to glory.

However, after winning their last two second-tier visits to Ashton Gate, Kompany’s side should waltz away with a potentially history-defining three points.

Cardiff City (H) – May 8

If everything goes according to plan at Bristol, overcoming a downtrodden Cardiff side on home soil should be a more manageable part of the equation. 

Sabri Lamouchi’s side may come into the final matchday fighting for their lives unless they take advantage of a game in hand to pull further away from the red zone.

After managing just one win in their last four league contests (D1, L2), the Bluebirds find themselves only three points clear of 22nd-placed Reading going into the season finale. 

Having suffered as many as seven defeats across their ten Championship travels in 2023 (W3), Cardiff should be no match for Burnley, especially at a sold-out Turf Moor. 

The Clarets have been ruthless at home this season, picking up a league-high 51 points courtesy of a staggering 15 wins from 22 fixtures, accompanied by a single loss (D5). 

As such, Burnley’s win in this match-up looks like a no-brainer. 

History beckons 

Only three sides have cracked a 100-point milestone in rich Championship history. Let’s look at each. 

#1 Reading – 106 points (2005/06)

Despite starting the season with a loss, Steve Coppell’s Reading side embarked on arguably the most formidable campaign in Championship history.

With four Royals players hitting double-digits, Reading only lost once in the remainder of the season to finish on a record-breaking 106 points, 14 clear of second-placed Sheffield United. 

To this date, no team has troubled their record. 

#2 Newcastle United – 102 points (2009/10)

Following relegation from the Premier League in 2009, Newcastle United made their second-tier stay short-lived on the back of Chris Hughton’s managerial masterstroke.

Hughton turned a dysfunctional side into a supreme force, with the Magpies going from strength to strength in 2009/10 to earn promotion in style, leaving second-placed West Brom 11 points behind. 

With an up-and-coming Andy Caroll spearheading the front line, Newcastle finished the season as the most prolific side with 90 goals – a tally Burnley are unlikely to achieve unless they score eight in the last two rounds.

#3 Leicester City – 102 points (2013/14)

As the last side to join this celebrity club, Leicester City reigned supreme in 2013/14 under highly-rated manager Pearson, racking up 31 wins from 46 games. 

The Foxes’ golden generation, led by Ryad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, pushed the Midlands team towards promotion that year, but little did they know they would conquer the Premier League only two years later. 

Burnley can join the 100-points club with two wins which will ‘only’ give them 101 points for the season – the four-highest points total ever in the Championship and a record worth taking with them as they navigate the increasingly difficult Premier League under Kompany next season.

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