A Posh Do on London Road!

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Burnley play struggling bottom club, Peterborough at London Road this Saturday and they will be hoping to put their 2-1 defeat at home to Birmingham last weekend behind them and maintain their push for a play-offs spot.

The Pre-amble:

Burnley suffered a harsh 2-1 defeat at the hands of Birmingham City at Turf Moor last Saturday after being reduced to ten men following the sending off of Dean Marney on the hour mark by woeful referee, Darren Drysdale. It needed a successful appeal this week to overturn the crass decision but the damage had already been done. The loss kept the Clarets in eighth spot but since the game against Brum was played on FA Cup 4h Round day a number of Championship clubs now have a one game advantage over the Clarets. The Clarets currently have 42 points from 29 games, that`s five points behind sixth placed club, Middlesbrough who are also one of the clubs with a game in hand.

It is vitally important we keep up the pressure and three points against bottom club, Peterborough at London Road this Saturday would be a great fillip

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson and his team are having a torrid time of things at the moment and they currently prop up the Championship table with just 26 points from 28 games. Posh are already six points adrift of safety having lost so far this season 18 Championship games. The worst record in the division! Their home form too is a concern with a divisional low of just 13 points at London Road. Burnley will have to ensure that Peterborough don`t achieve only their fifth home win of the season on Saturday.

Peterborough United Team News:

Striker, Lee Tomlin and centre-half Gaby Zakuani are back into contention for Posh. Zakuani has returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Tomlin has completed a three-match suspension

Winger George Boyd was not expected to still be on the books at London Road but a proposed move to Nottingham Forest controversially collapsed at the 11th-hour this week so it will be interesting to see what frame of mind Boyd will be in this Saturday and whether he will be pushing for a place.

Midfielder Jack Payne has signed on loan from Gillingham and Peterborough have also signed 19 year old Spurs winger Alex Pritchard on loan. Both could be in the eighteen this Saturday.

Player to watch: Dwight Gayle

22 year old striker, Dwight Gayle is making a name for himself with Posh. Gayle joined Peterborough United on loan in November 2012 from Dagenham & Redbridge making the move permanent this month. So far he has scored 7 goals in 10 appearances for the Cambridgeshire side. In December he became the Championship Player of the Month after scoring seven goals from six games.

Burnley Team News:

First the good news! A successful appeal this week following Dean Marney`s atrocious sending off against Birmingham at Turf Moor last Saturday means Sean Dyche`s midfield options are not reduced. There is also talk that hotshot striker Charlie Austin could be ready to make a return after recovering from a hamstring problem. Austin has not featured since the home defeat to Leicester back in late December. Michael Duff could also be back in contention after missing out for a fortnight with a hamstring problem. Ben Mee though is still sidelined with his medial ligament injury.

Player to watch: Dean Marney

Marney fresh from victory after a successful red card appeal by the club will be hoping to stamp his authority and run rings round the Posh rearguard. In recent games, the midfield pairing of Marney and McCann have looked bang on form. Let`s hope that continues at London Road this Saturday.

Team & Tactics:

If it`s true Charlie Austin is back on the scene then we have to assume he will go straight back into the starting eleven if fully fit probably at the expense of Sam Vokes. It will be interesting to see if a fit Duff replaces Edgar but I think in fairness, Edgar has done enough to retain his place. Dyche might be tempted to play 4-1-4-1 again but perhaps he should be a bit more adventurous against lowly Posh and consider 4-4-2 without a holding midfielder. I will stick my neck out and plump for this 4-4-2 line up.

Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Stanislas, Ings, Austin

Subs: Jensen, Duff, Stock, Richards, Treacy, Paterson, Vokes

Ref Watch:

Billericay referee, Andy D`Urso gets this one! The Essex man has dished out 5 reds and 55 yellows in his 25 games in charge so far this season. We don`t often see this referee in charge of a game involving the Clarets and you have to go back to March 2011 for the last time we did! That day we beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Turf Moor with just two yellow cards handed out and both to Eagles players!

Match Prediction:

2-0 to the Clarets no messing!! Burnley bounce back in style! Yes, I know London Road has been a bit of a jinx for the Clarets over the years. Burnley have won only once in ten visits to this ground but now it`s time our luck changed. Hopefully we can complete the double having put five past Posh at Turf Moor in September with Charlie Austin bagging a hat-trick in a 5-2 victory.

Next Match:

It`s the second away game on the trot next Saturday with Burnley travelling to the Reebok to play Bolton on 9th February (Kick-Off: 3pm)

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Vital BFC Editor