Date: 3rd October 2008 at 5:57pm
Written by:

A win at Reading tomorrow and the Clarets could be third unless the Owls thump Plymouth away

The problem is Reading are the team currently in third and in form. They beat League leaders, Wolves 3-0 at Molineux in their last match after thumping Swansea 4-0 at home before that.

They already have a positive goal difference of 13 goals, the equal best in the league with Wolves.

The Clarets however are just behind them in 4th place on 15 points, just two points adrift from the Royals and the Clarets fans can also celebrate a recent improvement in form with the side undefeated now in nine games.

Their form for September, in which they dropped only two points out of a possible 16 from four League games, contributed to gaffer Owen Coyle yesterday getting the dreaded Coca Cola Championship Manager of the Month Award. Reading manager, Steve Coppell was also up for the manager of the month award so it remains to be seen if the jinx of the award has any effect tomorrow. Let`s hope not!

The game at the Madejski Stadium however is set up nicely for tomorrow and is certainly one of the toughest games the Clarets have had this season if not the most tough.

Reading of course were one of the relegated sides from the Premier League last season and they seem to have made the perfect start to get back there with only Wolves and Birmingham in front of them. If the Clarets get just a point tomorrow that will be a tremendous achievement and will set us up nicely ahead of the two week International Break.

It would however be even better of course to sit there in third place and maybe, just maybe we can get a surprise win.

There has been no news of any fresh injury worries for the Clarets and Owen Coyle looks set to name an unchanged sixteen for the third match running unless he is tempted to start Chris Eagles. Coyle has resisted so far since Eagles returned from suspension but he has come on from the bench each time since

Predicted Team Sheet

Jensen, Jordan, Carlisle, Caldwell, Duff, Alexander, Gudjonsson, McCann, Elliott, Paterson, Thompson.

Subs: Penny, Mahon, Rodriguez, Blake, Eagles

Reading Team News:

Reading skipper James Harper has recovered from an ankle injury and could return.

The Royals do not have any new injury concerns but Marek Matejovsky (knee), Michael Duberry (calf) and Graeme Murty (calf) are still sidelined.

Player to watch: Kevin Doyle

Always a threat and he scored a brace in Reading’s last home game against Swansea.

Burnley Team News:

Looks like the Clarets will have a settled sixteen for the third match running. Akinbiyi and McDonald are still sidelined and Anderson is out for the season after his cruciate ligament injury.

Player to watch: Chris McCann

Can the impressive midfielder continue to put in another excellent performance? He has been bang on form in recent weeks assisting well in a number of our goals, coming close to scoring himself on numerous occasions whilst looking more and more mature and confident.

Last Time We Met

We last played Reading in the FA Cup in January 2007 at the Madejski Stadium . Despite a spirited effort and a fightback it was not enough to avoid a 3-2 defeat.

Reading got the double over us in their promotion season of 2005/6. A defeat 2-1 away in August 2005 was followed by a 3-0 trouncing at home in March 2006.

Ref Watch:

It’s our Friend again! Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Match Prediction:

This has a draw written all over it. I will go for 1-1, hoping we can sneak it though 2-1!

Next Match

A two week break now for the Internationals with the Clarets next game against high-flying Birmingham at Turf Moor on Saturday 18th October @ 3pm. A welcome break hopefully after an hectic schedule in recent times