It`s the big day on Saturday with local rivals, Preston North End the visitors to Turf Moor.
Blackpool, the Young Pretenders were beaten 2-0 recently at home but can we dish out the same treatment (or better) to the Old Pretenders? This will certainly be a tougher challenge with Preston flying high in third place having so far collected 14 points from 7 games.
They do however seem to be having a dip in form and went down heavily and convincingly 3-1 in their last match at home to League leaders, Wolves.
In contrast the Clarets appear to have hit form at the right time and managed to despatch Premier League side, Fulham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night to make it seven games on the trot without defeat. The Clarets are in 13th place but now only five points behind Preston.
Can we reduce the deficit to just two points and give Owen Coyle only his second derby win since joining the Clarets back in November 2007? Coyle and his side will certainly be up for this game having suffered a double defeat against our local rivals last season.
The sad news though is we will have to do it without Russell Anderson after he was stretchered off in Tuesday night`s match against Fulham. It was announced this week that yet again our squad has been dealt a cruel blow with the news our loan defender from Sunderland will now be out for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage. Ironically Michael Duff replaced him in that game from the bench; himself no stranger to the cruciate curse and it now looks likely Duff could start in tomorrow`s match.
Ade Akinbiyi and Kevin McDonald are likely to miss out with their niggling injury problems but we can expect the return of Steven Thompson who was cup tied last Tuesday night.
Chris Eagles has also probably done enough to earn a starting eleven place following his creative pass to Jay Rodriguez that led to the winning goal and the 1-0 victory against Fulham with two minutes to spare on Tuesday night. He had just returned from a three match ban following his sending off at home against Plymouth and came on from the bench with 15 minutes left against Fulham.
Preston will be fielding a strong side and it will be interesting to see if former Claret and Burnley fan, Richard Chaplow will be in the starting eleven! He has been injured for the last two games but looks set to return along with Callum Davidson and Chris Brown.
One former Claret in the youth team, now on Preston`s books, Neal Trotman is however sidelined and so are Wayne Henderson and Liam Chilvers.
The game is set up nicely! Bring it on and let`s hope it`s the Clarets fans outside ‘The Lounge` gleefully waving goodbye to the Preston mob in the departing coaches come full time!
Predicted Team Sheet
Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, Eagles, McCann, Paterson, Thompson
Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, Blake, Gudjonsson, Rodriguez
I feel sorry for the likes of Gudjonsson, Blake and Mahon at the moment but with Alexander in the holding midfield role, Eagles around, McCann in superb form and Elliott an automatic selection, it is difficult to see them starting. You also tend to forget about Van der Schaaf who seems to be waiting even more patiently in the wings although he did make the bench last Tuesday night.
Burnley Team News:
Russell Anderson out for the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage. Akinbiyi and McDonald look doubtful but Thompson returns after being cup-tied on Tuesday night.
Player to watch: Graham Alexander
For obvious reasons. How I would enjoy it, if he got a penalty against his former club and scored!
Preston North End Team News:
Preston are looking for a triple boost. Left back Callum Davidson(knee), midfielder, Richard Chaplow (hamstring) and striker, Chris Brown (sciatica and ankle problems)could all be fit enough to start following injury.
Keeper Wayne Henderson (back) and defenders Liam Chilvers (Achilles)and Neal Trotman (hernia) however remain sidelined.
Player to watch: Richard Chaplow
Em..for obvious reasons!
Last Time We Met
Clarets fans will want to forget last season’s results against Preston after we lost 3-2 at home in December 2007 and then gave Preston the double, going down 2-1 at Deepdale back in March this year.
2-0 Clarets and time for revenge
Watford at home next Tiesday night, September 30th @ 7:45 pm KO