Date: 30th July 2010 at 2:55pm
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The 2010-11 season is nearly upon us with expectations high following relegation from the Premier League last season. The Clarets will be hoping they can return to the top flight at their first attempt and we will soon get an indication of their chances when they play their opening game against last season`s Championship promotion-challengers Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor on Saturday August 7th.

First though there is the little matter of this Saturday`s game against Stoke City at the Galpharm Stadium in the last of our pre-season friendlies of the summer.

This match is scheduled as a ‘home` game and was originally intended to be played at Turf Moor but it was thought as a precaution it would be better to change the venue to a neutral territory in case the pitch improvement programme at Turf Moor was affected so close to the season opener. Huddersfield Town kindly offered to help so we are now plating the match at the Galpharm Stadium,

Premier League opposition in the shape of Stoke City will certainly be our strongest challenge yet in the pre-season preparations and by now Brian Laws should be getting a good idea of his likely starting eleven when the season kicks-off on the 7th August.

It will be interesting to see how he approaches this game. In most of the other pre-season friendlies he has played virtually all the first team squad available to him (barring injuries) at some point during the matches. Will the same strategy be used against Stoke or will we see his expected Championship starting eleven given more of a run out over the 90 minutes?

One player who looks certain to miss out is Chris McCann. His knee injury will not be risked and there are even doubts he will be available in time for the season-opener against Forest. Andre Bikey too could still be on compassionate leave after his wife gave birth to a daughter whilst he was on the Burnley FC tour of Singapore. Clarets fans though may get the chance to see new keeper, Lee Grant who signed this week from Sheffield Wednesday.

It will also be interesting to see who will be selected as holding midfielder this season too and whether we will get any clues at the Galpharm this Saturday. Skipper, Graham Alexander may seem the obvious choice but David Edgar seems to be relishing the role after playing a number of friendlies during the summer in that experimental role.

Clarets fans may like to discuss who they think should be in the starting eleven against Forest in our forum but in the meantime please note that if you are going to the Galpharm you will now be able to pay on the gate if you have not got a ticket. (Kick-Off 3pm)