Cardiff come to Turf Moor today with one eye on Wembley and the FA Cup Final against Portsmouth. Maybe it is that eye that will be taken off the ball in their clash with the Clarets in our last home game of this season.
Both sides have nothing to play for but pride with the play-offs for both sides now beyond their reach. Cardiff suffered a recent humiliating away defeat against relegated Scunthorpe going down 3-2 and in their last match away to play-offs chasing Wolves, went down 3-0 to kill off any remaining hopes of promotion for the Bluebirds.
The Clarets are in 12th place on 61 points just one point and one place ahead of Cardiff.
Although there is nothing to play for, it would be nice for the Clarets to go out on a high in front of the home fans and seal a victory in the last home game of the season. We also have the little matter of making sure Preston; six points behind the Clarets don`t manage to finish above us for a change.
Coyle will be without Lafferty (Appendix Operation) and Varga (Foot injury) both out for the rest of the season now and Mark Randall may be sidelined with an illness that kept him out of the sixteen in our last match away to Southampton.
Jon Harley however should return in place of Stephen Jordan after his child was rushed to hospital last week ensuring he didn`t travel down to Hampshire.
The only other question is likely to be whether we will see Michael Duff play in his first game for the Clarets since his cruciate ligament injury picked up in a game against Palace at home back in September last year. I suspect he could be named on the bench again but could make a cameo appearance with a view to making the starting eleven in our last match of the season against Palace away a week on Sunday.
The clue seems to be provided by Coyle himself:
‘And Michael Duff will start one of the games, although I would imagine it will be Crystal Palace.’ He said this week.
The sixteen therefore is likely to be as follows:
Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Harley, Elliott, James O`Connor, McCann, Blake, Cole, Akinbiyi
Subs: Kiraly, Duff, Unsworth, Gudjonsson, Mahon (or Spicer)
Come on you Clarets lets go out with a bang in our last two games, starting today in our last home game of 2007-8
Coyle is already thinking about next season and says:
‘I’ve got my targets in mind, and at this moment in time, none of them are loans, but the loan market is available to us, and if the right players is there, for six months or a year, that could be something we would look to do.
‘I think then you’re probably looking at the Premier League for real quality, and they can enhance your team.
‘But we’re touching base just now with who we would like to get.
‘The bottom line is we will be the purchaser and we will be guided by the selling club.
‘We can only try and do our very best, and if things happen straight away, great, and if not, we’ll work through our list of targets.’
‘Come the end of the season, you might look for a couple of weeks here and there for a break, but, I’ve got to be honest, I’ve not much chance.
‘Already my diary is bedlam, but that’s the nature of the game, and why we love it.
‘I’m at the European Championships, as part of my pro licence, and it would be nice if one or two players cropped up there.
‘I’ll be at two or three other places that I can’t talk about yet as well, so I’ll be looking at players here and there.’
Burnley Team News:
Lafferty is out for last two games of season recovering from an operation to remove the Appendix. We will not see Stan Varga again either; injections to his foot have been unsuccessful.
Mark Randall is also doubtful due to a virus illness.
Will Coyle play Michael Duff and give the Clarets a chance to see the defender play for the first time since September 2007?
Player to watch: Andrew Cole
This could be the last chance Clarets fans see Andrew Cole play at Turf Moor if he hangs up his boots at the end of this season. Cole, now 36 may however be tempted to play at least one more season.
Cardiff Team News:
Striker, Warren Feeney is sidelined still and a hamstring problem could keep Paul Parry out of action although he is close to a return and joined the first team in training this week.
Veteran forward Robbie Fowler is unlikely to be risked against the Clarets although hee is close to a full recovery after overcoming a hip problem.
Player to watch: Joe Ledley
A dangerous threat we will need to snuff out
Last Time We Met
We went down 2-1 away this season, with Akinbiyi getting out goal.
The fixture at Turf Moor last season produced a convincing victory by the Clarets 2-0 with Jones and McVeigh getting the goals. The match played just over a year ago was in our recovery period after just going 19 matches without a win.
Let’s have a good result in our last home match of the season,2-0 Clarets
The final match of the 2007-8 Season and its away to play-offs hopefuls, Crystal Palace on Sunday May 4th. NOTE: 2pm KO