Life goes on for Clarets fans and after the Rovers derby on Sunday anything else seems almost an anti-climax. Nevertheless we play Nottingham Forest at the City Ground this Saturday.
It`s back to business as usual following the high-profile local derby at home to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday and the Clarets now face a tricky away game against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground this Saturday. Forest look a much improved side this season and like Burnley are chasing a play-offs spot. Sean O’Driscoll’s men are currently in 10th spot just one point ahead of the Clarets in 14th place. Burnley currently have 28 points from 20 games and are now 5 points behind the sixth-placed club, Watford who we play next at home after Forest on the Saturday 15th December. Three points could be vital for the Clarets if we are to keep up or promotion hopes and it won`t be easy on a ground where points have been hard to come by over the years. Burnley fans were somewhat disappointed we could not beat the old enemy on Sunday but at least Vokes` last minute goal to earn a point lifted some spirits and if we can follow that up with victory against Forest all will be forgotten. Burnley`s form is pretty impressive to be honest under Sean Dyche with 3 wins and 2 draws from seven games and we have won one and drawn one of our last two away games.
Forest`s recent home form is also a little shaky with two defeats and one draw from the last four games on the City Ground so they are beatable. Come on you Clarets!!
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Nottingham Forest look set to be without striker Simon Cox for about two months because of an ankle ligament injury. The 25-year-old was injured in Forest’s recent 2-1 win at Wolves at the end of last month when the ligament detached from a bone in Cox’s left foot.
Sam Hutchinson (knee), Radoslaw Majewski (ankle), Jermaine Jenas (calf) and Greg Halford (calf) look likely to remain sidelined with as yet no expected return dates.
Player to watch: Dexter Blackstock
Blackstock is currently joint leading Forest scorer this season with Sharp and Cox who have all scored five goals each in the Championship, The 26 year old Antigua and Barbuda and former England U21 international striker originally joined Forest on loan from QPR before joining them permanently in July 2009, Blackstock signed a 4 year contract with for a seven figure fee.
Burnley Team News:
Ben Mee appears to be the only player out injured following bad news this week that he has suffered medial knee ligament damage and could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after picking up the injury in the local derby last Sunday. Danny Lafferty will be in competition with Joseph Mills to fill the left back position this Saturday
Player to watch: Daniel Lafferty
Lafferty has recently been preferred to Joseph Mills at left back in the absence of Ben Mee but with Mee out injured once more, both left backs will be fighting each other for a place in the starting eleven. I suspect that once again Lafferty will be preferred to Mills and this could be a testing time for the defender with no doubt Forest targeting that flank now as a weakness.
Team & Tactics:
It is more than likely that Dyche will once more adopt his 4-1-4-1 formation tactic with options on the bench to play 4-4-2 if need be. His only area of concern with Ben Mee now sidelined is the left back position but he does have plenty of options with Danny Lafferty and Joseph Mills both recognised left-backs. I suspect the eighteen could look something like this:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Stock, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Ings, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Mills, Edgar, Stanislas, Stewart, Paterson, Vokes
I do think once again that we should rest Martin Paterson and play Danny ings instead. Pato has been somewhat ineffective and disappointing these past few games. I just wonder too if Dyche might be tempted to give Vokes a starting eleven position after becoming our goal-scoring hero against Rovers last Sunday. We shall see!
Mark Heywood gets this one! The Northwich referee has featured in 10 games so far this season sending two players off and showing another 29 a yellow card. Last season in 27 games, just one player saw red and 75 yellow. A fairly new referee in only his second season, this will be his first game featuring the Clarets!
We are fully capable of winning this game and I am quietly confident we can come away with a rare win from the City Ground but it will be close. I think we will shade it so 2-1 to the Clarets!
It`s Dychember Day with cheap tickets on offer for our clash at home to Sean Dyche`s former club, Watford at Turf Moor on Saturday 15th December (Kick-Off: 3pm) Tickets for the Watford match are £10 for adults, £5 for seniors, students and 16-to-18-year-olds and £1 for under 16s.