BARRING a mathematical miracle Burnley will be playing European football next season.

The Clarets are all but assured of a spot in the Europa League after a goalless draw with Brighton at Turf Moor took them to 54 points for the season.

Leicester City’s heavy defeat at Crystal Palace has ended the Foxes’ hopes of reeling in Burnley, while Everton would need to win their final two fixtures of the season while the Clarets lose both of theirs, with a 15 goal swing in the process.

Footballers a superstitious bunch and Sean Dyche and the Clarets squad are unlikely to be counting their chickens just yet, but the rest of us can start planning for a European tour.

Having enjoyed three days off in the week it took the Clarets a little while to get into gear against the Seagulls.

It was the visitors who had the first good chance, Bruno volleying across goal and wide after creeping in unmarked at the back post to meet Pascal Gross’ corner.

But as the half wore on Burnley began to crank it up and they could have been ahead following an almighty scramble in the box on 24 minutes.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick bounced off Bruno and back across goal, but Mat Ryan stopped Ashley Barnes’ effort from three yards out, before the Australian goalkeeper then denied Jack Cork as he stabbed the ball towards goal, scooping a second effort away on the line. James Tarkowski then backheeled the loose ball back across goal to Kevin Long, who hit the woodwork at the back post from close range before Lewis Dunk finally got it behind, although the Clarets felt it had been through the use of a hand.

That was the start of Burnley’s increased pressure heading towards the break, with Ryan again saving from Barnes when the striker flicked a near-post shot goalwards from Matt Lowton’s cross, while the goalkeeper was at full stretch to push Gudmundsson’s 20-yard free-kick away three minutes before half-time.

That momentum that the Clarets had built was well and truly halted by the break, with the second half turning into a scrappy affair dominated by a procession of fouls.

But with news of Leicester’s struggles at Crystal Palace coming through Burnley knew a point would almost certainly be good enough to wrap up that seventh place.

For the Clarets Chris Wood was foiled by Bruno after he’d burst into the box and past Shane Duffy, while substitute Sam Vokes wasn’t far away from poking in Gudmundsson’s free-kick with his first touch.

The threat to Burnley’s goal was just as minimal though, with Pope saving Gross’ angled drive at his near post and Anthony Knockaert slashing a half-cleared corner behind.