Date: 14th March 2011 at 12:02pm
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Burnley will be hoping to get their promotion dreams back on track on Tuesday night with struggling and managerless Coventry the visitors to Turf Moor. This is one of the games in hand we have over our promotion rivals so it vital we make this count with a win.

The Preamble

The Clarets hopes of promotion stuttered in our last game at home to Millwall last Saturday. We had simply a shocking day at the office and never really turned up suffering a 3-0 home defeat against a pretty mediocre team. It is now crucial we get back on track and win convincingly against struggling Coventry City at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.

Luckily for the Clarets other teams battling for promotion also failed to pick up wins over the weekend. Of the six teams above the Clarets only league leaders, QPR managed to pick up three points. Swansea lost whilst Cardiff, Leeds and Nottingham could only manage home draws. Bristol City, the team we play at Ashton Gate this Saturday could do the Clarets a favour tonight by taking points off Norwich City in their clash at Carrow Road.

Burnley in 7th spot are now four points adrift of the play offs but will still have a game in hand over all the clubs above them whatever the result on Tuesday night. It does show though how important a win against Coventry City could be for our promotion hopes with all Clarets fans hoping that come Saturday we will just be one point behind sixth-placed club, Nottingham Forest as we prepare to face Bristol City away.

Coventry have had a miserable season so far although they did beat Burnley 1-0 earlier in the season at the Ricoh Arena. A run of only one victory in 16 league games has seen the Sky Blues plummet to 19th in the table just seven points clear of the drop zone. It was the death knell this week for their gaffer, Aidy Boothroyd who was sacked on the eve of the match along with assistant manager, Martin Pert. The Sky Blues will now come to Turf Moor without a permanent manager. First-team coach Steve Harrison and chief scout Andy Thorn have been put in temporary charge.

The Sky Blues away form does not look too bad on paper with four wins and five draws from their 17 league games on the road so far this season. However they have not won now in seven away matches and the Clarets will need to make sure they make that eight!

Burnley Team News:

Strikers, Charlie Austin (dislocated shoulder), Martin Paterson (thigh injury) and Steven Thompson (infected groin surgery) are all out of contention and it is still too early for midfielder, Chris McCann. McCann though is now back in full training and aiming to play in the reserves by the end of the month.

There is no news of any fresh injury concerns following the home defeat against Millwall on Saturday.
There is no news of any fresh injury concerns following the home defeat against Millwall on Saturday.

Player to watch: Danny Fox

Fox had a spell at Coventry City after the Sky Blues signed him from Walsall in January 2008. He did not stay long though joining Celtic in July 2009 for an undisclosed fee believed to be £1.5 million.

He will be keen to make an impression though against his former club and the left back of late has put in some solid performances diluting some of the criticism handed out by Clarets fans earlier in the season.

Coventry City Team News:

One player we will not need to worry about is their leading goal scorer, Marlon King. He is still suspended following a four match ban for a recent straight red card in their 4-1 home defeat against Bristol City; his second of the season

Goalkeeper, Keiren Westwood has recently been sidelined with a thigh injury but he did play in their last game against Hull City on Saturday and looks set to retain his place with only third-choice keeper, Michael Quirke available. Defender, Martin Cranie also limped off during Saturday`s 1-0 home defeat against the Tigers with a suspected hamstring strain.

Centre back, Ben Turner has been out of action for four months and will have surgery if scans this week reveal that his torn knee ligaments are not fully repaired. Another defender, James McPake is also out for the rest of the season after suffering two small fractures at the bottom of his back

Their captain, midfielder Lee Carsley is also out of contention after having hernia and Achillies Tendon operations earlier this year.

Player to watch: Freddy Eastwood

With leading goal-scorer, Marlon King suspended, Coventry will be looking to Freddy Eastwood to hit the back of the net. He has scored six goals this season just one fewer than King. The 27 year old, Welsh international striker joined Coventry from Wolves in July 2008 penning a four-year deal for a reported £1.2million fee. Eastwood began his career as a West Ham United Academy player but never made the first team dropping down into non-league football with Grays Athletic for a time. He then joined Southend United in October 2004, initially on loan before signing a four year deal with Wolves in July 2007 after completing a £1.5m move. He was a prolific scorer for Southend scoring at a rate of 1 goal every 2-3 games but he has not had anywhere near such success with Wolves or Coventry.

Team & Tactics

With no suspensions and no news of any fresh injury concerns following our shocking 3-0 home defeat to Millwall on Saturday, Eddie Howe could still name an unchanged eighteen for the Coventry clash.

Can we expect the same line up as Saturday or do we think Eddie Howe will wring the changes? A supplementary question could be do we think he should change the team in the light of the very poor performance against the Lions? Howe may take the view that this was a one-off debacle and still show faith in a team that had previously won five out of their last six games before last Saturday.

If we do stick with the same formula then the eighteen will be as follows:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Wallace, Marney, Cork, Eagles, Delfouneso, Rodriguez

Subs: Jensen, Alexander, Edgar, Bikey, Elliott, Bartley, Iwelumo

On the other hand, Howe may take the view that the back four needs tightening up and he could be tempted to try Bikey in the centre of defence replacing either Michael Duff or Clarke Carlisle. Both had a pretty average game against the Lions and our defending from set pieces was pretty woeful on Saturday with two of Millwall`s three goals coming from corners. Chris Eagles too seems to have struggled of late and perhaps it is time to rest him but keep him on the bench. Wade Elliott could be due for a return on the wing. It would be nice to see what Marvin Bartley can do at some point too but at the moment he seems to be a permanent bench warmer. He has only featured in a brief cameo appearance away to Watford so far after coming on from the bench in added time.

Ref Watch:

Michael Naylor from South Yorkshire will be in charge on Tuesday night and this will be the first time he has refereed a game featuring either side.

Naylor was promoted to the National League list in 2007

He has been the man in the middle in 18 matches this season mainly at lower league level. This clash on Tuesday night will be only his second Championship game. Naylor has shown forty yellow cards and one red so far this season.

Match Prediction:

We should be good enough to beat struggling Coventry City and there is no room for any more slip ups. We really need a convincing win to bolster confidence after the Millwall debacle and I would be looking for at least a 3-0 victory.

Next Match

We face a trip to Ashton Gate on Saturday to play midtable Bristol City on the 19th March (Kick-Off 3pm) before we take an International break.