How sweet it would be if Burnley could extend their unbeaten run in the Championship to sixteen games with three points against Doncaster Rovers at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.
Second-place Burnley play 19th placed Doncaster Rovers at Turf Moor on Tuesday night hoping to consolidate their automatic promotion chances. The Clarets already ten points clear of both Derby County and QPR in 3rd and 4th place respectively will be hoping to at least maintain that gap if not improve their cushion over their automatic promotion chasing rivals. On Tuesday night, Derby face a tricky away game at Portman Road against an Ipswich side still in the hunt for a play-offs spot whilst QPR too face another play-offs contender, Wigan at Loftus Road. Burnley certainly have the easier game of the three on paper and could improve their standing even more if they continue their impressive form. The Clarets are unbeaten at home in the Championship this season and have stretched their unbeaten run in the league to fifteen games. The Premier League world could almost be our oyster if we can get 13 points ahead of our rivals with just eight games to play after Tuesday night`s game.
Doncaster Rovers though will have other ideas after a recent improvement in form. They currently have 40 points and are now eight points clear of the drop zone. Doncaster have won three of their last four games, drawing the other one although their away form is less than impressive. Paul Dickov`s men have not won any of their last 14 away games, losing 10. Their last win away from home was 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday back in September.
Burnley Team News:
Michael Duff was taken off late as a precaution against Charlton on Saturday suffering from cramp but he is fully expected to be in contention on Tuesday night. Danny Ings (ankle) and Kieran Trippier (hamstring) though will remain sidelined and Ashley Barnes and new boy, Chris Baird look set once again to make a start and deputise for the two key players
Player to watch: Chris Baird
Fans unable to go to Charlton will be able to see Chris Baird play for the first time on his expected home debut. The defender, who can also play in midfield looks set to line-up once again at right back in place of the injured Trippier
Doncaster Rovers Team News:
Paul Dichov does not appear to have any new injury concerns ahead of the clash. Paul Quinn, Chris Brown and Mark Duffy have all recovered from their injuries and should all feature again on Tuesday night after playing the full 90 minutes against the Owls on Saturday.
Dean Furman, Marc De Val Fernandez and Theo Robinson will also be pushing for a start. Centre-half, Gabriel Tamas though underwent surgery on his fractured cheekbone last week. He is likely to have a protective mask fitted which will allow him to return sooner than expected although it is unclear if he will feature against the Clarets.
Player to watch: Chris Brown
Brown has eight goals to his name this season and is Doncaster`s leading goal scorer. The 29 year old former Sunderland, Norwich and Preston striker signed for Rovers in July 2011 in a two year deal following the end of his contract at Deepdale, He has since scored 18 times in 78 appearances for the Yorkshire club including the winner in their last game at home to local rivals, Sheffield Wednesday when his goal gave them a 1-0 win.
Team & Tactics:
Sean Dyche looks set to name an unchanged eighteen with no news of any fresh injuries. If that is the case we will line up as follows:
Heaton, Baird, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Stanislas, Jones, Marney, Arfield, Vokes, Barnes
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, Edgar, Treacy, Wallace Kightly
The only possible change could be on the flanks with so many options on the wing. Once again we look set to name three wingers on the bench but which two will make the starting eleven? Arfield is probably a given and at the moment Stanislas seems to be in favour compared to Wallace, Treacy or Kightly but that may change on Tuesday night.
Cleveland referee, Tony Harrington gets this War of the Roses clash. This will be his fourth game involving the Clarets but his first in the league in only his second season as a Football League referee. His last Burnley game in charge was at Bootham Crescent against York in the 1st round of this season’s Capital One Cup back in August when we notched up a handsome 4-0 win to progress to the next round. Just one yellow card was shown that day! In his 21 games so far this season, 5 players have seen red with another 52 picking up yellow cards.
Burnley need to avoid any slip ups at all costs if they are to consolidate their position in second spot and march on towards automatic promotion. Struggling Rovers should be no match for the in-form Clarets and unless they have an off-day, three points should be ours! 3-0 Clarets!!
It`s a first v second battle up next! League leaders, Leicester are the visitors to Turf Moor on Saturday 29th March. The game is also being covered live by Sky Sports and will therefore kick-off early at 12:15pm.