Date: 27th September 2012 at 3:07pm
Written by:

Burnley face Millwall at Turf Moor this Saturday and they will be hoping to string together their first back-to-back league win of the season.

The Pre-amble:

The Clarets will need to quickly put behind them the 3-1 midweek defeat away to League One Swindon in the Capital One Cup game last Tuesday night when they return to Championship action against Millwall at Turf Moor this Saturday. Until the midweek upset against lower league opposition, Burnley had been buoyed up by their first league away win of the season and indeed first points after coming from behind to beat Derby County 2-1 at Pride Park. That victory saw the Clarets climb the table to 16th spot with nine points from seven games just four points off the play-offs spots with two home games coming up. If we can pick up maximum points against Millwall and then Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night a lot of anxieties amongst Clarets fans could well evaporate and confidence return to the team. Burnley though will be wary of Millwall who have won their last two games at Turf Moor. Kenny Jackett`s men are currently struggling third from bottom although they are still only three points behind the Clarets and will hoping to avoid a fourth straight defeat.

Burnley Team News:

Winger, Cameron Stewart will be available again after being cup-tied on Tuesday night against Swindon in the Capital One Cup. Danny Ings continues his recovery from surgery to fix a torn cartilage but is making good progress having now been given the green light to return to training. Eddie Howe may have to give both Junior Stanislas and captain, Jason Shackell late fitness tests. Both players were sidelined with minor hamstring problems for the midweek Capital One Cup game at Swindon.

Player to watch: Lee Grant

Grant has been much maligned by some of the Clarets fan base in recent times but he has been pretty impressive of late making some crucial saves and you would be hard put to blame him for any of the goals conceded over the last few games. His performance again could be crucial in helping Burnley try and pick up another victory.

Millwall Team News:

Lions` striker John Marquis has undergone surgery on a groin injury after tearing his adductor muscle and he will now be out of action until the New Year. Midfielder Chris Taylor came on as a substitute for the second half against Brighton but left the pitch early after earning himself two bookable offences and being shown a red card in the 68th minute. He will now be suspended for the Clarets clash. Millwall Irish international keeper, David Forde looks set to keep his place for after his return to the starting eleven last weekend against Brighton replacing veteran stopper Maik Taylor.

Player to watch: Chris Wood

Millwall completed the signing of West Brom striker Chris Wood on loan until the 20th November this month.

The 20-year-old New Zealand international last season also had loan spells at Birmingham and Bristol City.Wood scored in the 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton last weekend, netting for the first time since his move from the Baggies.

Team & Tactics:

The team selection and tactics could well depend on the late fitness results for captain, Jason Shackell and winger, Junior Stanislas. What is pretty clear is that Burnley look far more effective playing 4-4-2 so we could expect Martin Paterson to make a return to partner Austin up front after being rested against Swindon. If Pato does start we can probably expect him to play another 60- minutes before being replaced after the club made it clear they were still treating the former Scunthorpe striker with kid gloves due to his proneness to injury over recent seasons. If Shackell fails to make the starting eleven, Micheal Duff who returned to play against Swindon following an Achilles injury looks set to take his place. Wallace and Stewart could be the wingmen if Stanislas remains sidelined. Both Mee and Mills could be fighting it out for the left back spot. The team selection then could look something like this :

Grant, Trippier, Duff (or Shackell if fit), Edgar, Mills, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stewart (or Stanislas if fit), Austin, Paterson

Subs: Jensen, Mee, Duff (if Shackell fit), Bartley, Stock, Stewart(if Stanislas fit), Vokes. Long and Porter could well make the bench if both Shackell and Stanislas remain sidelined with injury.

Ref Watch:

South Yorkshire referee, Craig Pawson is in charge of this clash. In his six games so far this season he has shown just one red card and 21 yellows; Last season, he sent a player off in about one match every four games and his last game involving the Clarets was the bad-tempered affair away to Brighton last season back in December 2011. The Seagulls were reduced to nine men in that one after two players were sent off with Burnley taking all three points in a 1-0 victory. Last season, Pawson in 35 games in charge handed out a total of 9 reds and 106 yellows.

Match Prediction:

The Clarets really need to win this once convincingly after a pretty indifferent start to the season but I suspect they could make a meal of it again after a lacklustre performance and defeat in the Capital One Cup away to League One Swindon in midweek. I will plump for a narrow 2-1 Burnley win. Three points are a must though!

Next Match:

Burnley have another home game on the night of Tuesday 2nd October with struggling Sheffield Wednesday (currently fourth from bottom) the visitors to Turf Moor (Kick-Off-7:45pm)