The Clarets play Barnsley at Turf Moor on Tuesday night in the first of two consecutive home games with Reading the visitors next Saturday. They will be hoping to continue their impressive home form this season and get another three points under their belt to keep up their promotion challenge.
Burnley are undefeated so far at home this season with four wins and one draw from their five games at Turf Moor so far in the League. You can also add to that the 1-0 victory we had over Owen Coyle`s Bolton in the Carling Cup. Our problem seems to be winning away although even on the road we have managed to pick up three draws from the six league games. We nearly got our first away win in our last match at Bramall Lane last Saturday but in end had to settle for a point in a 3-3 draw after being mugged by Sheffield United in the last minute of added time.
We are nicely placed in the Championship though in 8th spot on 17 points from 11 games just three points behind third-place Norwich City. A win though is imperative against Barnsley who we play next at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. QPR in top spot are already 10 points ahead of the Clarets and Cardiff in second spot are also beginning to pull ahead now being six points clear of Burnley. If we have any grand designs on getting automatic promotion we will need to start making some ground on the leading clubs and effectively that means winning at home and getting a few victories on the road. In general we seem to have adopted the win at home, draw away philosophy at the moment which only seems good enough for a play-offs spot assuming of course we can even maintain that!
Barnsley will be no pushovers and although they are currently in 14th spot they are only two points behind the Clarets. The Tykes though have yet to win a league match away this season although they have picked up two draws from their five games on the road. Barnsley manager Mark Robins will be hoping to change all that but it is imperative we ensure the Tykes go away empty handed.
Burnley Team News:
Clarke Carlisle will sit out the second game of his three match ban following the red card incident at Millwall recently.
News is awaited about Michael Duff who picked up an injury in training before the Blades game on Saturday. It is understood the injury was a recurrence of the calf problem that kept him sidelined earlier in the season so we have to hope he will make a quick recovery. Leon Cort deputised for Carlisle against the Blades and put in a decent performance so he is likely to be favourite to start ahead of Duff come-what-may on Tuesday night.
Danny Fox too could be doubtful; he came off worse from a challenge in the Blades game both being injured in the tackle and picking up a yellow card for his efforts. He had to be substituted by Edgar.
There was better news last week concerning our long-term injured player, Chris McCann. It would appear he is now making good progress following his cruciate ligament surgery that effectively involved giving him a replacement knee. He could be back earlier than expected with January looking a possibility.
Player to watch: Leon Cort
Cort has been given his chance to shine after bench warming for most of the season. He looked a little shaky when he came on against Millwall after Bikey left the pitch with a rib injury early on. In the starting eleven against the Blades though he looked far more solid and put in a good performance. If he wants to establish himself in the first team, we need more of the same from him on Tuesday night.
Barnsley Team News:
Barnsley midfielder Jeronimo Neumann is doubtful due to a groin strain. If there is any further team mews concerning the Tykes we will bring you this below the article.
Player to watch: Andy Gray
Andy Gray is of course no stranger to Clarets fans and it will be interesting to hear his reception from the home crowd on Tuesday night. Will the memories of what our former striker did to this club before leaving for Charlton Athletic come flooding back or will it all be forgive and forget? I think I know the answer to that one. Gray scored his 100th senior goal in Barnsley`s last match at home to Nottingham Forest at Oakwell. He scored from the penalty spot with the Tykes going on to win the game 3-1. He will need to be kept in check; we all know what a poaching danger he can pose.
Team & Tactics
I suspect if Fox is fit we will name the same eighteen as the one selected for the Blades game with Wade Elliott named as captain. If Fox is out injured expect to see Edgar at left back (if he hasn`t gone out on loan) with possibly Easton coming in to replace him on the bench Duff though could be back in the eighteen if he has recovered from the calf injury.
It looks like we are keeping with the lone striker for the moment with Chris Iwelumo up front supported by the wider men, Eagles and Rodriguez.
Probable line-up therefore is:
Jensen, Mears, Cort, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Elliott, Marney, Rodriguez, Iwelumo
Subs: Grant, Eckersley, Edgar, Alexander, Wallace, Paterson, Thompson
Andy Haines started refereeing in his native London in 1995 being promoted Class 3 to Class 1 in only three seasons. In 2000 he relocated to the North East and in 2003 was promoted to the National List of Assistant Referees after having successful seasons on the Wearside and Northern Leagues. After two seasons as a Panel referee he was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007. He has refereed eight games so far this season in the Football League and has yet to show anybody a red card although he has handed out 23 yellows.
Nothing less than a win will do and it is about time we put Barnsley in their place! They got the double over us the last time we played them in our Championship promotion season of 2008-9. 3-1 Clarets
Another home game to follow this time against Reading on Saturday 23rd October (Kick-Off 3pm)