Date: 5th August 2010 at 8:02am
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This is it, the first match of the 2010-11 Season with the Clarets having high hopes of making an immediate return to the Premier League at their first attempt after being relegated last season. Their first test will be a good one with visitors Nottingham Forest coming to Turf Moor this Saturday.

The Preamble

Forest along with Burnley and Middlesbrough are three of the favoured sides for promotion this season amongst betting shops, pundits and fans. Nottingham Forest finished in 3rd spot in the Championship last season but lost out in the Play-Offs Semi-Final to Blackpool so no doubt manager, Billy Davies will be hoping to go one better this time and gain automatic promotion. A Clarets victory against a favoured club for promotion would certainly fuel optimism that we can have a good season so let`s hope Brian Laws men can secure the first three points of the season in our first game.

Burnley Team News:

The Clarets currently have one injury worry. Chris McCann has once more been sidelined with a knee injury which he picked up in our first game of the Singapore tour against Gombak United. He has not played since and was due to see a specialist this week with the result not expected until next week meaning for the moment he will be training alone and will definitely miss the opening Forest game. These are worrying times for Chris and we have to hope there is nothing sinister underpinning the injury. New winger, Ross Wallace who signed in the summer from Preston North End was a casualty against Stoke coming off on the hour mark with tightness in his back but it is understood he will be available for Saturday.

Player to watch: The New Boys!

For many Clarets fans this will be their first opportunity to see our new summer signings in action. Lee Grant is unlikely to feature with Brian Jensen currently in the driving seat. Grant has been given the Number 1 jersey but will be chomping at the bit waiting for an opportunity to pounce should Jensen put in a poor performance or two! Dean Marney, Ross Wallace and Chris Iwelumo though could all feature at some point during the game and all three have been impressive in the pre-season friendlies.

Nottingham Forest Team News:

We will bring you the latest news has and when announced but in the meantime we will leave it to one of the Vital Forest Journalists to fill us in. Galaxy42 wrote in the Vital Forest Match Preview:

“There are injuries all over the squad at the start of this season. Julian Bennett seems to finally be over his injury worries but is still not fully fit, Kelvin Wilson has had a shin problem but did play in the final friendly game, Wes Morgan hasn’t been seen since the game in Portugal. Paul Anderson & Paul McKenna both seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth & David McGoldrick has a dislocated shoulder. “

You can read the full match preview from t`other side`s perspective by clicking this link:

Vital Forest Match Preview-Burnley v Forest

Player to watch: Rob Earnshaw

Earnshaw was a prolific goal scorer last season when he played netting 15 goals from 23 starts and 12 substitute appearances. It was a bit of an odd season for him though especially on the road. An automatic choice for Forest`s home games, he seemed to end up on the bench more often than not in their away games so we shall see whether he features on Saturday.

The Welsh international joined Nottingham Forest from Derby County in May 2008 for £2.65m, signing a three year deal. Since that time the 29 year old has scored at a rate of nearly one goal every two matches and is clearly a handful. His downside seems to be teamwork with very little evidence of any assists last season. Vital Forest reckons he had just one!!

Team & Tactics?

Brian Laws dismissed speculation that the starting line-up in our last pre-season friendly last Saturday against Stoke City at the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield would be his choice for our first match of the new season but there is probably some strong clues from that starting eleven and the substitutes he made during the match.
The starting eleven against Stoke was:

Jensen, Mears, Duff, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Marney, Elliott, Wallace, Paterson, Thompson.

I expect we will start with a similar line-up with the subs bench selected from the following:

Grant, Eckersley, Cort , Carlisle, Easton, Edgar, Eagles, Iwelumo, Rodriguez

Last Time We Met

Clarets fans will well remember the 5-0 thumping we handed out to Forest at Turf Moor in our promotion year from the Championship. If you want to read about that match and the team we played that day then you can delve into our match archive by clicking this link:

Clarets Find a Fiver in Stroll through Forest

It was a double for the Clarets that season thanks to a brace from Graham Alexander in our earlier clash at the City Ground in September 2008, a game which finished 2-1. You can also read about this match by clicking this link: