Date: 9th November 2008 at 4:20pm
Written by:

The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066, shortly after an invading Norwegian army under King Harald Hardråde (Old Norse: Haraldr harðráði) defeated the army of the northern earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria at the Battle of Fulford two miles south of York. After a lengthy forced march up to Stamford Bridge that took place in just four days, King Harold Godwinson of England caught Harald’s force by surprise, which meant that the soldiers were unarmoured. After a stubborn battle, the majority of the Norwegians were killed along with Harald Hardråde and Earl Tostig, Harold’s brother. Although Harold repelled the Norwegian invaders, his victory was short-lived: he was defeated and killed at Hastings less than three weeks later……..

What the ferk? Sorry got carried away there, showing how cultured I am and all knowing about history (aka can Google well!!)

Well it`s obvious which Battle of Stamford Bridge will be at the back of most Clarets fans minds at the moment as we face an uphill battle to defeat the Premier League high-flyers Chelsea in London on Wednesday night in the 4th round of the Carling Cup.

Harold got one in the eye but can Chelsea be blinded by the Clarets brilliance too as Old King Coyle plots a victory against all the odds?

It is very, very difficult to see how the Clarets are going to progress to the 5th round against such wealthy opposition. So wealthy in fact that even a third or fourth string Chelsea team could beat the Clarets with such depth in quality.

I suppose our chances increase if Scolari opts for blooding the youngsters rather than wheel out the likes of Lampard, Terry, Deco, Kalou, Anelka and the rest.

Will Chelsea treat us with respect; indeed will they treat the competition with respect and put out their best team? Do we want them to be respectful?

Whatever happens, I just hope we give a good account of ourselves. If we put in 100% effort, that`s all you can ask for against such quality.

Then again, just maybe…yes, maybe we could cause a major upset! I think Chelsea may have a similar sounding club name to Burnley at the back of their minds and look where Barnsley are now!

Well, although we are not playing at home, our away following should make quite some noise after selling all our allotted tickets and maybe the Clarets too should keep the word, ‘Barnsley` echoing through their minds.

Can we do it? Well if we do, this really would be a New Dawn!

Predicted Team Sheet

What team will Owen Coyle select and will he be tempted to play the more defensive 4-1-4-1 with Alexander reverting back to his holding midfield role?

What is clear is that we now won`t have Clarke Carlisle available in the back four after picking up a one match suspension for a second yellow and being sent off in our last match in the 2-0 defeat against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.

Unless Kalvenes recovers from his leg injury, we may have no option but to play 4-4-2 although we will have to play better than we did against Wolves if we are to stand any chance of beating Chelsea.

One other player who definitely won`t feature will be striker, Steve Thompson who is cup tied so this could be an opportunity for Paterson to get back in the starting eleven with Blake playing just behind him.

Alex MacDonald and Remco van der Schaaf were also sidelined with a viral infection last Saturday and with the selection permutations available may have to be considered to make up the sixteen if they have recovered in time.

We could possibly line up as follows but the choice and formation would improve significantly if Kalvenes becomes available but let`s for the moment assume the worst case.

Jensen, Alexander, Caldwell, Duff, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Paterson

Subs: Penny, McDonald, Rodriguez, Akinbiyi, Van der Schaaf or Mahon

Maybe having old experienced heads around on the bench like Ade Akinbiyi and Alan Mahon who have missed out in recent times could be a good ploy against Chelsea. They might be able to bring some stability to the side and steady the ship if things start going pear shape.

Chelsea Team News:

Just don`t know how Scolari will play this and he might be tempted to play some of his youngsters. We will let you know if any definite news comes out of Stamford Bridge before the team is announced.

Player to watch: All of Them!!!!

All of them for obvious reasons, the Clarets players better watch them well too!

Burnley Team News:

Carlisle suspended, Thompson cup-tied

Coyle will be hoping that Kalvenes has recovered from his leg injury and that Remco van der Schaaf in particular has got over the lurgy along with young Alex MacDonald so that the Clarets gaffer has more selection and formation options.

Player to watch: Chris Eagles

This really is a chance for Chris Eagles to shine against Premier League opposition. He will be keen to get one over on Chelsea being a former Manchester United player and he is the one player along with maybe Wade Elliott who could impress the Chelsea crowd and cause a few shocks.

Let`s hope his class and Premier League experience shines through.

Last Time We Met

You have to go back to a second division encounter in the 1982/3 season for the last time these two sides met. We lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in December 1982, a result Clarets fans would probably take on Wednesday night considering the situation although they would much prefer the result we got against them that season in the return match at Turf Moor. We thumped them 3-0 back in April 1983!!

My how times have changed, and it`s always difficult for someone like me recalling the good old days of the 60s and 70s when it was not unusual to defeat the likes of Chelskimanuarse on a regular basis.

We can but dream it will happen again in the future starting on Wednesday night!

Ref Watch:

Dorset born, Keith P Stroud (Hampshire)

Match Prediction:

My mind is telling my heart not to keep having a larf!! I keep telling it to remember Barnsley.

What the hell, the biggest shock of the year, Chelsea 0 Burnley 1 with Eagles taking the glory!

Next Match

A more mundane trip across London to face Queens Park Rangers in another top half of the table Championship battle at Loftus Road on Saturday 15th November @3pm KO.

Burnley 5th,QPR 7th so another juicy fixture being lined up!