The Clarets came away with their first victory of the season in the Championship just before the International break after defeating Derby County 2-1 at Pride Park. They will be hoping that form continues when they face Middlesbrough at Turf Moor this Saturday.
It took Burnley four attempts to get their first win under their belt in the Championship this season. The victory against Derby County at Pride Park was indeed sweet considering the Rams had a 100% record in the league and were in second spot before they faced the Clarets. The win and the performance gave all Clarets fans some hope that our decimated and young squad could challenge for promotion this season despite less-than-impressive performances in the previous league games and in the Carling Cup matches.
This was a good time to win going into the International break and the lads must now be on a high and refreshed after a two week rest from competitive games. They will however face strong opposition again at Turf Moor on Saturday with Middlesbrough the visitors. Boro have started the season well and are currently in 4th spot on 11 points from 5 games. Tony Mowbray`s men have played a game more than the Clarets but currently have 6 more points than Burnley in 15th place.
The last game Middlesbrough lost away from home was against the Clarets back in April last season and since that time they have won all four of their Championship games on the road. Victory against Burnley on Saturday would equal their all-time record of five away league wins in a row
A win by the Clarets though bearing in mind their game in hand could see them well-placed within spitting difference of a top six slot so it is vitally important that we deny them a new record.
Burnley Team News:
Michael Duff (knee), Danny Ings (cartilage) and Martin Paterson (thigh) remain on the long-term injured list. Marvin Bartley though returns after completing a three-match automatic suspension following his red card at Selhurst Park the other week. New signing, Junior Stanislas will also be hoping he is in contention for a start this Saturday but may have to be content with a place on the bench.
Player to watch: Junior Stanislas
All Clarets fans will be eager to see what our new winger, Junior Stanislas, can offer. He arrived from West Ham on transfer deadline day and comes highly recommended! It is probably too much to expect him to go straight into the starting eleven with Wallace and Treacy in good form but he could make an appearance from the bench.
Middlesbrough Team News:
Striker, Scott McDonald is back training with his team mates and could be ready in time for Saturday`s clash following a hamstring injury.
It is doubtful 26 year old Scotland International midfielder; Kevin Thomson will be available for the game against the Clarets. He is however back playing in the reserves following his recovery from leg surgery. He has yet to feature in the first-team this season after undergoing surgery to fix a leg injury picked up before pre-season training.
Player to watch: Marvin Emnes
Emnes is currently Boro`s leading goal-scorer with 7 goals in all competitions including four in the Championship. He also managed a hat-trick against Walsall in the Carling Cup. The 23 year old Dutch man is a former Holland Under 21 International who started his career with Sparta Rotterdam. Emnes signed a four-year contract with Middlesbrough in July 2008 for a transfer fee of ?4 million (£3.2 million) when the club were still in the Premier League. He failed to impress former manager, Gordon Strachan who allowed him to go out on loan to Swansea City in October 2010 initially for one month. Swans manager, Brendan Rodgers was desperate to extend the loan but by then Tony Mowbray had taken over at the Riverside and brought Emnes back to the North East. He has not looked back since and the Clarets defence will certainly need to be on guard against this guy on Saturday!
Team & Tactics
I sense Eddie Howe may be tempted to keep faith with the starting eleven he named for the Derby game before the international break. Why change a winning team?
Junior Stanislas may well have to wait for his full first team debut but at least he is likely to be named on the bench and could make an appearance at some stage during the game.
There will have to be changes on the bench of course with the departure of Wade Elliott to Birmingham on transfer deadline day. Marvin Bartley is also available for selection after completing a three-match ban following his straight red card against Palace last month. I suspect Alex MacDonald could draw the short straw and fail to make the sixteen allowing Bartley to return to the bench and provide additional centre midfield cover.
Jensen, Trippier, Mee, Edgar, Easton, Treacy, McCann, Marney, Wallace, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs: Grant, Amougou, Bartley, Stanislas, Hines
Howe will have little alternative but to select his team from the 17 players named above. At the moment, unless some new loan signings arrive in time for this game when the loan window opens on Thursday this week; these are effectively the only players available. Although 29 players could be listed at the back of the Claret & You programme, three of course are injured and another six have gone out on loan. That leaves just our third-string goalkeeper, Jon Stewart, and development squad players, Dominic Knowles and Steve Hewitt.
Mark Hayward is in charge of this clash and curiously his last game involving the Clarets was the corresponding game last season when Burnley ran out 3-1 winners at Turf Moor. The West Yorkshire referee only handed out one yellow card that day. He doesn`t seem the type of referee to hand out cards with gay abandon and this season after 9 games has only shown 19 yellows with as yet no reds.
We have to hope our new found form after Derby continues against another high-flying team. Time to get our first home win of the season in the Championship methinks! This won`t be easy and I can`t see our suspect defence keeping their first clean sheet of the season against such opposition. Our attack though could more than compensate and I expect a thriller with the Clarets just shading it by the odd goal. Let`s go with 3-2!
The Clarets travel to London Road for an away clash against newly promoted Peterborough on Saturday 17th September (Kick-Off: 3pm)