The Clarets play their first game at home since October 2nd tonight and again its against East Anglian opposition. This time struggling side, Norwich are the vistors and the Clarets will be hoping the Canaries wont be on song tonight. Norwich are currently 2nd from bottom on 8 points whilst the Clarets have slipped to 15th thanks to Sunday and midweek matches. They are still however only three points behind a cluster of clubs hovering round the play-offs places on 17 points and crucially still have an home game in hand.
The Clarets have suffered too many home draws in recent times and we really need to tonk Norwich tonight and assert our authority if we are to start to challenge for a Top 6 spot We have another home game against Saints coming up on Saturday, and six points from these two matches will be very handy indeed. The creeping negativity of the ‘Cotterill Out’ brigade is beginning to chirp up again despite having achieved some hard fought draws away from home and despite being well within site of the play-off positions. A loss tonight would be unthinkable and put significant pressure on both the gaffer and team.
The big decision for Steve Cotterill will be whether he plays Blake following his hamstring problem. He may also opt to drop Jordan after a few lacklustre perfomances recently and may try Unsworth in the starting line-up at left back.
Kyle Lafferty could be in the starting eleven and if Blake is not fit could partner Gray upfront in preference to Ade Akinbiyi.
‘I suppose everyone will turn up tonight and expect Burnley to win,’ he told the Burnley Citizen.
‘Norwich are a massive club, were recently in the Premiership, have 24,000 watching them every week, have a bigger budget than what we’ll probably ever have here, and we’re expected to turn them over. So we’ll make sure we guard against that.
‘Before Bristol City scored their first goal on Saturday, Norwich dominated the game and having looked at it, there would have been every chance that Norwich could have won by three or four.
‘The thing we will have to take no notice of is Saturday’s scoreline. John Hartson could have had about four, but hopefully that’s Saturday only.
‘He’s not had a game so he probably had a freshness in him. He’s been around so he’s going to be a wily old fox.
‘But I don’t like talking too much about other clubs, I don’t have an opinion on other teams, where they’re doing well and not doing so well really. I don’t like that because I think it has a habit of coming and biting you if you go and say the wrong thing.
‘I certainly won’t be doing that, other than to say Norwich are a big club and we’ve just got to make sure that when they come here tomorrow night that our fans are as vociferous and vocal as the ones that we’ve just endured in our last three away games in Bristol City, Cardiff and Barnsley.
Burnley Team News:
Robbie Blake could be a doubt depending on how well he’s recovered from his hamstring problem after being rested last Saturday. There does not appear to be any more injury worries
Player to watch: Kyle Lafferty
It will be interesting to see if he starts tonight and whether he will be given a chance to partner Gray up front if Blake and Akinbiyi are sidelined
Norwich Team News:
Norwich will be without left-back Adam Drury. He picked up a calf injury in Saturday’s defeat by Bristol City.
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Jimmy Smith looks likely to be included after recovering from calf and ankle injuries.Dion Dublin however misses out because of a back injury.
John Hartson could start two games in three days following his debut.
Player to watch: Darren Huckerby
Huckerby is normally a thorn in our side if he plays and got the equaliser against Bristol City in their last game before the Canaries conceeded another two goals in the last five minutes
Last Time We Met
A comprehensive 3-0 drubbing of the Canaries at Turf Moor last April as we continued our good run following that awful 19 match winless streak. Akinbiyi,Gary and Elliott on the scoresheet. We did the double over them last season beating them 4-1 at Carrow Road a year ago this month! That was about Nigel Worhington’s last match: this time they have already recently sacked his replacement, Peter Grant with Jim Duffy temporarily in charge
3-0 Clarets! Has to be!
Saints this Saturday featured on Sky so a 5:20 pm KO