The Clarets start their Carling Cup campaign on Tuesday night away to Grimsby at Blundell Park. They will be hoping to consolidate their good start to the season following their home win against WBA in the Championship opener on Saturday.
One player who seems almost certain to play is new signing, David Unsworth who finalised his transfer today. He could well replace Clarets captain, Steve Caldwell, if the skipper fails to recover from a hamstring injury.
It will be interesting to see if Steve Cotterill will be tempted to give the other players who didn`t feature last Saturday a run out in this match against lowly opposition or whether he will want to build on the team that so comprehensively beat the Baggies and try and get them to gel even more. Alan Mahon, Besart Berisha, Stephen Foster, John Spicer, Jay Rodriguez and Steve Jones could all come into contention whilst James O`Connor and Brian Jensen were the only two players named in Saturday`s squad not to feature and might be tried this time.
The impressive second half performance from the Clarets on Saturday could mean that both Ade Akinbiyi and Lafferty might start this match with Ade partnering Gray up front and Lafferty developing the wide left role he handled so well against the Baggies. This would mean Blake could be on the bench though after a relatively lacklustre performance in his second debut for the Clarets.
I will predict though that it will still be Blake starting this match partnering Gray with both Lafferty and Akinbiyi named on the bench.
‘I knew David (Unsworth) was out and about, but there was a Premier League club in for him. He was waiting for that, but eventually he wanted to come to us.
‘We know David will be fitter in a month’s time than he is now and I am sure he will get put through quite a bit of pain and punishment in the next month, but he would encourage that anyway!’
Cotterill added: ‘I see him as part of the squad and he will be straight in at the deep end tomorrow night.’
Grimsby Team News:
Grimsby boss Alan Buckley looks set to name an unchanged line-up with teenager Ryan Bennett continuing in defence. Paul Bolland completed the full 90 minutes on Saturday and looks set to continue in a midfield of five players.
Player to watch: PaulBolland
Burnley Team News:
The only definite news so far is that new boy, David Unsworth will be named in the squad and looks likely to play especially if Caldwell is still out injured with the hamstring problem
Player to watch: Joey Gudjonsson
A little underpar last Saturday but has shown steady signs of improvement in the pre-season matches and it could be just the tonic for him if he plays well and gets into the thick of the action! Lets see if he can get a trademark thunderbolt goal from 30 yards again!
Scunthorpe away Saturday 18th August @ 3pm KO