Date: 1st December 2007 at 10:11am
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The Clarets are back down South in London today trying to continue their impressive start under new manager, Owen Coyle. Today they face high flying Charlton. The Addicks were a relegated Premiership side last season and are one of the favourites for promotion. Alan Pardew’s side are currently third with 31 points after 18 games. Their recent good form of late however was recently shattered and they suffered a 3-0 defeat at home in their last match to the Blades. The Clarets will be hoping to capitalise on that after three well earned points away to leaders, Watford in midweek.

Charlton may well be high flying but if the Clarets win today, they will only be three points behind them with a game in hand. We are currently 11th in the table with 25 points after 17 games,only three points away from the play-off positions and with a game in hand over sixth placed club, Bristol City.

Kyle Lafferty picked up a knock in the Watford match and might not feature today. It is quite probable in any case that he may have been dropped after the excellent performance by Joey Gudjonsson, who replaced the Northern Ireland International for the whole of the second half at Vicarage Road. Joey has been impressive now both in his cameo appearance against Stoke City and particularly against Watford. His stunning goal to put the Clarets 2-0 up on Tuesday night, merits a starting eleven place alone.

John Spicer it is understood , returned to training on Thursday but he will not be fit enough to play. Stephen Jordan also is still believed to be injured. These two players join Caldwell,Duff and Berisha on the injury list.

It is expected therefore that Owen Coyle’s team selection will look something like this:

Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, Mahon, McCann, Gudjonsson, Gray, Blake

Subs: Jensen, J O’Connor, Lafferty, Akinbiyi, Jones

Owen Offers:

‘They don’t get any easier with Watford away and now Charlton away, but we’ll be looking forward to it. We’ll go there and try to be positive and I’m pretty sure the lads will take a lot of confidence from their two performances.’

He continued: ‘Two games in it’s certainly a very high standard and there are some very good teams in the Championship.

‘I think there’s an awful lot of quality, and that’s been borne out by the two games I’ve seen, and that will continue to be. But we have to make sure the quality we’ve got, we’re showing on a game-to-game basis.

‘I always felt as a player that you set your standards, and it’s important then that you try to reach them. It’s not always possible to attain them week in, week out, but it should never ever stop you from striving to show our consistency week in, week out, and if we do that then that augurs well.’

Charlton Athletic Team News:

Charlton defender Grant Basey is struggling with a groin problem, and Chris Powell could fill in at left-back.

Svetoslav Todorov (cruciate ligament), Ben Thatcher (knee) and Cory Gibbs (foot) remain long-term absentees.

Player to watch: Chris Iwelumo

Our defence better be on their toes against this striker. Described by manager Alan Pardew as just the sort of striker needed for a Championship title challenge, the out-of-contract Chris Iwelumo became Charlton’s first signing of the summer on May 21st 2007.

The giant forward combined with Jamie Cureton to fire a combined 41 goals for Colchester United last season

Burnley Team News:

Spicer and Jordan are still injured along with Caldwell, Duff and Berisha. Joey Gudjonsson looks likely to earn a starting eleven place at the expense of Kyle Lafferty. Kyle may in any case be rested after picking up a knock against Watford last Tuesday night.

Player to watch: Joey Gudjonsson

We seem to have a new midfielder at long last. Lets up his stunning,impressive displays of late continue and he can finally put to shame some of his sternest critics in the past

Last Time We Met

You have to go back to Season 1996/7 for the last time these two sides met. We played in the League Cup and suffered a 6-2 aggregate defeat, losing at home 2-1 on the 24th September 1996 following a 4-1 drubbling at their place seven days before. In the League, we last played each other during Season 1994/5 and we got the double over them winning 1-1 away on 22nd October 1994 and 2-0 at home the following April.

Ref Watch:

Derbyshire referee Rob Shoebridge. A new man in the middle.He joined the refs list at the start of the 2006/07 season with his first Championship game only this August.

Match Prediction:

This has a draw written all over it, 1-1

Next Match:

Leicester City at Turf Moor, Tuesday 4th December @ 7:45pm KO. A chance for our first double of the season