The Clarets play their second home game in three days following their win against Derby on Boxing Day. Next up, Leicester City this Saturday.
Burnley have a great chance to get back on track for a play-offs spot if only they can despatch high-flying Leicester City at Turf Moor on Saturday. The Clarets will hopefully be buoyed up by their Boxing Day victory over Derby County at home on Wednesday afternoon; their first win in six games! The 2-0 win lifted Burnley to 13th spot just four points behind the sixth-placed club Watford although the Hornets do have a game in hand. If we can defeat the Foxes on Saturday, we could move to within a point of the play-offs and that would certainly raise spirits ahead of the New Year.
Nigel Pearson`s men though will be a tough test for the Clarets. They are currently in fifth spot on 38 points, five more than the Clarets and they will be looking to maintain their promotion push and hopefully get the double over the Clarets following our 2-1 defeat in the King Power Stadium last September. Leicester`s form of late though has been somewhat indifferent and they have only picked up three points from one of their last six games, drawing another two and losing three. They also have a similar set of statistics for their performance on the road with just one win and two draws in their last games away.
The Clarets have every chance of beating them so let`s hope the festive cheer continues this Saturday and we enter 2013 looking confident and strong with our promotion hopes intact.
Burnley Team News:
The big worry for Sean Dyche is that Charlie Austin may not be fit enough to play. The leading goal scorer was withdrawn during the second half of the Boxing Day win over Derby after complaining about a muscle problem and he appeared to hobble off the pitch. Sam Vokes is on stand-by to make a rare start. Junior Stanislas missed out on the Derby game with a tight hamstring but could be back in contention. Defender Ben Mee (medial knee ligament) will not return until the New Year and a fit again, Danny Lafferty looks set to retain the left back spot. Brian Stock was not thought to be fully fit for the Derby clash although did come on from the bench and could now be pushing for a starting eleven spot.
Player to watch: Danny Ings
All eyes will be on Danny to do the business especially if Austin is unfit to play! It will be interesting to see how he plays alongside Vokes should Austin be sidelined
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester hope to have 25 year old striker and winger, Jamie Vardy back in contention for the Clarets game. Vardy missed the goalless draw at Hull on Boxing Day after limping off with a heel injury early in the second half of the home defeat to Cardiff last Saturday
Former Preston defender, Sean St Ledger faces the prospect of a few more weeks on the sidelines as he battles to recover from a hamstring injury. The 27 year old Republic of Ireland international pulled the hamstring in the 2-0 win over Bristol City at the start of October. But the injury is taking longer to heal than originally thought.
Defender, Michael Keane is also still sidelined with a hamstring problem. There does not appear to be anymore injury concerns for Nigel Pearson but if there is any late team news we will inform you below this article.
Player to watch: David Nugent
Clarets fans certainly know what our former loan striker is capable of and let`s be honest he always seems to score against us! Somehow we have to keep him in check. He is already the Foxes leading goal scorer this season with 11 goals in all competitions. Nugent has recently been suffering from a neck problem too but he is still fit enough to start games although Leicester have now gone three games without scoring so let`s keep their run going!
Team & Tactics:
It is difficult to predict the line-up with doubts over Charlie Austin`s fitness although if he is sidelined, Sam Vokes would appear to be the obvious choice to replace him. I suspect Dyche will be unwilling to change a winning team so it could be the same line-up again unless Austin remains injured. I suggest that the eighteen will look something like this:
Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Lafferty, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Paterson, Ings, Austin (or Vokes if Austin not fit)
Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Bartley, Stanislas or Stock, Treacy, Vokes
South Yorkshire referee, Michael Naylor gets this one! So far this season, in his 17 games in charge, he has dished out 40 yellow cards and sent two players off. His last game involving the Clarets was last season back in March this year when we lost 3-2 away to Sean Dyche`s former club, Watford. Two yellow cards were shown that day
Time to take this League by storm and show them we can play with consistency and panache! 2-1 Burnley!!
It`s the first game of 2013 next Tuesday with a trip to Hillsborough on New Year`s Day to face struggling Sheffield Wednesday (Kick-Off: 3pm)