Date: 24th January 2011 at 11:12am
Written by:

Burnley take a break from their league campaign this Saturday to concentrate on the fourth round of the FA Cup with struggling League side, Burton Albion the visitors to Turf Moor

The Preamble

The Clarets will be hoping to avoid any banana skins on Saturday and smoothly and convincingly progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup. They will certainly want to avoid any replays in view of their hectic New Year schedule at the moment with eight games to be played between now and the end of February.

It should in theory be a convincing home victory against the League 2 minnows, Burton Albion. We should be too strong for them although they will be on a high after knocking out Championship club, Middlesbrough in the 3rd round by beating them 2-1 on home soil.

They may also have the advantage of freshness as they won`t have played a game since their FA Cup victory on the 8th January by the time we face them. Their Saturday game away to Bradford at the weekend was postponed due a frozen pitch and unlike Burnley they have no midweek match this week.

Paul Peschisolido`s men though have struggled

Burnley Team News:

Martin Paterson could be match fit by the time we play Burton so may be in Howe`s plans.

We still await news of the injuries to Clarke Carlisle (knee) and Steven Thompson (groin). Thompson is seeing a specialist this week about the injury.

It should be noted that this article was written prior to our midweek game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Tuesday night so we may have more injury or suspension problems to report. We will bring you these below the article as appropriate.

Player to watch: Martin Paterson

Let`s hope he does get a run out; if he misses out again I will begin to worry there is something more serious going on. I would love to see him back to peak form and partnering Iwelumo up front in 4-4-2.

Burton Albion Team News:

Well at least we won`t need to worry about their current leading goal scorer, Shaun Harrad who currently has 13 goals to his credit including a brace in the FA Cup game against Boro. He has since refused to sign a new contract and has now joined Northampton.

One player who could make his debut for the Brewers on Saturday is on-loan striker from Crewe, Calvin Zola. The 26 year old penned a loan until the end of the season on the 18th January.

16 year old winger, Nathan Redmond could also be given a debut after signing on a one-month`s loan from Birmingham. Redmund is already an England U17 international.

Player to watch: Aaron Webster

Now that Shaun Harrad has left the club, Burton`s top goal scorer is 30 year old utility man, Aaron Webster. He can play at either left back or as an attacking midfielder. Webster has also played on the left wing and as a central striker. He has been at the club since 1998 after coming through their youth system. This season Webster has eight goals to his credit including 2 in the FA Cup

Team & Tactics

It will be interesting to see what approach our new manager will take for this one. Will he go for a strong starting eleven or give a lot of the fringe players a chance to shine against the League 2 minnows? I suspect the latter.

Paterson could be given his first run out since picking up a thigh strain in the game against Doncaster at Turf Moor back in November and it would be an ideal time to try him in this cup clash.

We shall have to see too if Howe has managed to convince Brian Jensen to stay at Turf Moor, if he has by the time of this match expect him to start.

I would suspect the eighteen could look something like this if we adopt a 4-4-2 formation.

Jensen, Mears, Bikey, Edgar, Easton, Wallace, McDonald, Marney, Elliott, Paterson, Iwelumo

Subs: Grant, Duff (or Carlisle if fit), Fox, Cork, Eagles, Rodriguez, Thompson (if fit)

Sorry Grezza, time for a rest methinks!

Match Prediction:

You are always on a hiding to nothing in these games; even if you win 3-0 it doesn`t seem good enough against a struggling League 2 minnow. Fall on a banana skin you are a laughing stock and confidence suffers. What we certainly don`t need is a draw and a replay with our hectic schedule at the moment. We are constantly told we have a good squad by the club so let`s prove it and win convincingly. It could be 5-0 or more but let`s go for 4-1 Clarets.

Next Match

We return to league action on the night of Tuesday 1st February when we travel to the Keepmoat to play Doncaster Rovers (7:45pm Kick-Off)