After what seems an eternity, the Clarets return to action today following a two week break due to the Euro 2008 Internationals. They face Barnsley away at Oakwell today desperate to get back to winning ways following their last match and defeat at Cardiff. That defeat saw the team fall to 13th place on 13 points. They are however still only three points away from the play-offs positions with a game in hand but we must get back on track following a number of indifferent matches. We have not won now in our last five games and we need to break this rut of drawing at home and drawing/losing away.
Oakwell is not an happy hunting ground either and the Tykes are on an impressive run at the moment. They find themselves in 6th place on 16 points so this will not be an easy task for the Clarets.
Four of our players have returned from International duty and they all appear to have come through the matches without any injury worries.
Kyle Lafferty was the hero for Northern Ireland in their match against Sweden, scoring a stunning goal in their 1-1 away draw. Steve Cotterill is hoping the lad will not be suffering ‘burn-out’ in an hard fought match so he could be rested.
Graham Alexander played in Scotland’s disappointing 2-0 defeat away to minnows,Georgia but appears fit as does Joey Gudjonsson. Joey may be suffering from humiliation though as Iceland went down 3-1 to even smaller, minnows Liechtenstein. Steve Jones is the other Internationl, but he didnt feature for Northern Ireland spending his time bench warming, so unless hes suffering from bum sores, he will be available for selection.
There is a doubt over one Clarets player, but the gaffer is not revealing who this might be.
That just leaves Berisha and Duff from the squad who we know will definitely not play following their long-term cruciate injuries.
Chris McCann could start after his substitute appearance in the last match following recovery from injury.
‘If we beat Barnsley we go level on points and could overtake them on goal difference,’
‘The league’s pretty tight at the moment. I’m sure it will take shape over Christmas and we need to be in the shake-up over Christmas to have a chance.
‘I think we always knew that Watford would be strong and Charlton as well. Watford have got a four-point lead and Charlton are only six points clear of us and we’ve got a game in hand.
‘For me, there’s not a stand-out team in the division and we’ve got to make sure, with the bigger teams, we take the points, and the lesser teams – no disrespect to them – we’ve got to make sure we win those games.’
‘Barnsley’s a tough place to go to – but everywhere in this division is tough at the moment.
‘They’ve started very well and are sixth. If we go there with confidence and the belief we have in each other, then there’s no reason why we can’t win.’
Barnsley Team News:
Istvan Ferenczi is still injured.
On-loan midfielder Anderson De Silva is suspended and serves a one-match ban following five bookings.
Martin Devaney, Sam Togwell or Andy Johnson are lining up to replace him.
Barnsley have no other new worries.
Player to watch: Brian Howard
The midfielder has scored six goals this season and recently denied he wished to leave the club following interest from other clubs.
Burnley Team News:
Long-term cruciate injuries to Berisha and Duff rule them out for selection and there is another ‘mystery’ player who might not make it. Kyle Lafferty could be rested following International duty although may be named on the bench. Other than that the gaffer has a full squad to consider. Even Garreth O’Connor is available now following his return on loan from Bournemouth
Player to watch: Robbie Blake
Always the danger man and even when off-form always seems to pose an opportunistic threat! Hope hes not the injured ‘mystery man’
Last Time We Met!
The last time we met at Oakwell was back in December 2006 and we suffered a 1-0 defeat that day at more or less the start of that miserable run of nineteen games without a win. A more happier memory would be our home encounter that season. The match finished 4-2 with a hat-trick from Gifton Noel-Williams with Harley also getting on the scoresheet
Its time we won and our away form has been more impressive than our home form. I think we can steal this one so 1-0 to the Clarets
Norwich City at home on Tuesday night, 23rd October @ 7:45pm KO