Burnley are currently preparing for their Capital One Cup second round game against Plymouth at Turf Moor this Tuesday night.
The Clarets are on a bit of a downer at the moment. After the dizzy heights and superb performance against Bolton at Turf Moor a week last Saturday in the league season opener, things have gone on a bit of a downward spiral since then with the team suffering two away defeats on the trot in the Championship. A 3-2 defeat against Middlesbrough at the Riverside last Tuesday night was followed up on Saturday by a very poor performance against newly promoted Huddersfield in the John Smith`s Stadium. The 2-0 defeat was a bit of a shocker for Clarets fans who will hoping the team can quickly get back on track starting with a comprehensive victory against League 2 Plymouth in the Capital One Cup second round tie at Turf Moor this Tuesday night.
Burnley who knocked out another League 2 side, Port Vale 3-1 at Vale Park in the first round will be hoping for an easy passage into the third round and will certainly be keen to avoid any banana skins against the lower league side.
Plymouth had a poor start to last season and as a result their manager at the time, Peter Reid was sacked last September with the club firmly rooted to the bottom of League Two. Midfielder Carl Fletcher took over as caretaker manager. The Pilgrims were still struggling for most of last season and just about avoided relegation in the end finishing fourth from bottom on goal difference. They were helped in fact by the arrival of Burnley striker, Alex MacDonald who played for the Pilgrims on loan after signing for them in January 2012. He stayed at the club until the end of the season scoring four goals in 18 appearances. After leading Plymouth to two wins in seven games, Carl Fletcher was appointed player-manager on a permanent basis on 1st November 2011 and then in May 2012, the club confirmed that Fletcher had signed a rolling 12 month contract to become manager of the club after retiring as a player to focus on management. This season Plymouth dispatched League One Portsmouth 3-0 in the Capital One Cup first round tie at Home Park although crisis club Pompey were forced to field virtually a youth team after being forced to sell all their first team squad in order to avoid liquidation. In League 2 though they have had a poor start picking up only one point from three games with the club currently second from bottom. Their confidence then could be low something which Burnley will hopefully exploit and go on to demonstrate their class.
Burnley Team News:
It has been confirmed via a recent scan that Martin Paterson has suffered a minor hamstring tear but the club are hopeful he should be available for the Championship game against Brighton at Turf Moor this Saturday. Pato picked up the injury in the opener against Bolton when he felt his hamstring tighten. Speaking about the injury manager Eddie Howe said :
“He`s had a scan and he has a ‘Grade I` on his hamstring, which is a really tiny tear so we expect Martin back very soon. Whether he makes the Brighton game or not we`ll have to wait and see.
“I`m frustrated for him and for us. It`s nothing serious, we`ve had the area scanned it is just a really minor tweak so it`s nothing to shout from the rooftops about. It`s a slight setback for him, but he`ll be back.”
The injury to Pato though does leave Eddie Howe with few attacking options bearing in mind striker Danny Ings is also out of action for up to six months with a torn cartilage.
Player to watch: Joseph Mills
The left back on loan from Reading has put in some decent performances of late and he could pose a threat down the flank if he plays a more advanced role on Tuesday night.
Plymouth Argyle Team News:
Plymouth Argyle captain Darren Purse is a doubt. The 35 year old limped off with a calf problem in their 2-1 away defeat at Oxford United last weekend. Midfielder Paul Wotton could deputise at centre-back if Purse is ruled out. Rhys Griffiths (calf) remains sidelined and midfielder Jamie Lowry (ankle) will also miss out.
Player to watch: Warren Feeney
The 31 year old Northern Ireland international is still going strong. The much travelled journeyman signed for the Pilgrims in August 2011 after his contract at Oldham had been terminated. The striker`s goal tally though has dried up in recent seasons and so far he has managed just 2 in 31 appearances for Plymouth.
Team & Tactics:
Eddie Howe seems to have dispensed with experimental teams against lower league clubs in this competition and we could see a similar starting eleven to the one that lined-up against Huddersfield on Saturday. Howe might though give a chance to some of his young guns on the bench and we might also see some of the first team squad recently sidelined given a chance to shine. Danny Lafferty plus new signings George Porter and Luke O`Neill might all be hoping for a recall.
More than likely though, in the light of no new injury concerns that Howe will select something like the following eighteen :
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, McCann, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas, Vokes, Austin
Substitutes: Jensen, Mee, Duff, Stock, Bartley, MacDonald, McCartan or Treacy
Details not yet announced. Once known will be posted beneath this article.
It is probably a worrying statistic in itself but the Clarets are unbeaten in their last 14 league and cup matches against Plymouth at Turf Moor. Over a period spanning 35 years Burnley have won 10 and drawn four of those fourteen games. Argyle won 2-1 at Burnley though in their only previous League Cup meeting back in October 1973. Burnley now however can`t afford any banana skins after two back-to-back defeats in the Championship. The team badly need a confidence boost and what better way to do it than a thumping win over the League 2 side? 4-0 Clarets!
Burnley`s Championship season continues with a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday 1st September (Kick-Off: 3pm)