Burnley will be hoping to show some animal aggression in the game against Sheffield Wednesday at Turf Moor on Tuesday night with fans badly needing a win to cheer them up.
The Clarets have faced a menagerie of clubs with nicknames from the animal kingdom in recent weeks and it will be no different on Tuesday night when the Owls visit Turf Moor or on Saturday when we play the Eagles at Selhurst Park. First though let`s concentrate on the game against Sheffield Wednesday. Burnley will be disappointed by the 2-2 draw on Saturday at home to Millwall following their victory at Pride Park against the Rams in the previous Championship game. The Lions. scored an equaliser two minutes into stoppage time leaving the Clarets in 16th spot with 10 points from 8 games. It is still early days and Burnley are only four points behind the sixth placed club, Huddersfield but the lack of consistency and generally poor performances do not give fans much confidence going into the Owls game. Ominously for the Clarets too is the fact that we are only three points clear of the drop zone and anything less than three points on Tuesday night could drag the club into a relegation battle with confidence low. Eddie Howe really has to pull something out of the bag on Tuesday night or the frustrated fans could begin to vent their spleen against him. This is particularly the case considering the opposition.
Sheffield Wednesday are one of the new boys in the Championship this season following their promotion from League 1last season as runners-up. Dave Jones men though have found life pretty hard this season and are currently struggling fourth from bottom with just seven points from eight games. They are though on a par with third from bottom club Millwall with the same goal difference and we know how Burnley struggled against the Lions last Saturday and we only have three more points than both these clubs The Owls though are on a terrible run having lost their last five league games in addition to being knocked out of the Capital One Cup away to Southampton. They have picked up just one point from their four away games so far this season and that was against Derby on the opening day of the season. If we can`t beat a team who must be pretty low on confidence having lost six on the spin something is seriously wrong. Come on you Clarets!
Burnley Team News:
Danny Ings (torn cartilage) is back in training but he is still several weeks away from a first-team return. Eddie Howe will be hoping to have Jason Shackell back in action. The Burnley captain having been named in the starting eleven for the weekend game with Millwall aggravated a hamstring injury in the warm-up session and had to be replaced by David Edgar. He faces a late fitness test on Tuesday night. Howe though at least does not have any more injury worries ahead of the Owls clash.
Player to watch: Junior Stanislas
The former West Ham winger has shown improvements of late and would have been gutted on Saturday to see his well-taken goal scratched-off. The goal music had started, the scoreboard had clocked up a 3-1 Burnley lead and the ball was back on the centre spot for the restart before the referee decided to speak to his assistant and reverse his decision claiming Paterson in the build up had been offside! Stanislas needs to find that consistency now and continue his improved form.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News:
Sheffield Wednesday defender Reda Johnson is not expected to make a return due to a foot problem that has kept him sidelined for the last three matches. Winger Jermaine Johnson could be asked to play at right-back again. Midfielders Kieran Lee (ankle) and Chris Lines (groin) plus defender Mark Beevers (knee) look to be ruled out but midfielder Rhys McCabe (thigh) and defender Lewis Buxton (hamstring) could both be back in contention.
Player to watch: Chris O’Grady
26 year old former Rochdale striker, Chris O’Grady is the Owls joint top scorer so far this season with three goals. He made his mark at Spotland after previously playing for Leicester City, Rotherham and Oldham. He scored 19 goals in 75 appearances for Rochdale and indeed at one point it was rumoured that he was one of Eddie Howe`s targets. In August 2011 though O’Grady signed for Sheffield Wednesday after penning a three-year deal at Hillsborough for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £350,000.
Team & Tactics:
We can probably expect a similar line-up to Saturday with only Jason Shackell a doubt. The centre back pairing of Duff and Edgar could be called upon again if Shackell fails a late fitness test but if the captain is fit enough to play it will be interesting to see if he partners Duff or Edgar. I suspect it could be Duff considering Edgar was originally named on the bench for the Millwall game before Shackell had to pull out during the warm up session. Ben Mee also looks set to continue at left back after a good performance on Saturday in which he picked up the Sponsors Man of the Match award and also scored his first career goal.
I can`t see Howe making too many changes and I would expect him to continue with a 4-4-2 formation so the line-up is likely to look something like this :
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar(or Shackell if fit),Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas, Austin, Paterson
Subs: Jensen, Mills, Edgar(if Shackell fit), Bartley, Stock, Stewart(, Vokes. Long could also be on the bench again if Shackell remains sidelined.
Nottingham referee, David Coote is in charge of this clash his first match involving the Clarets. So far this season in his six games in charge he had handed out two red cards and seventeen yellows. Last season a player was shown red in roughly one game in every five by this referee. His stats last season were seven reds and ninety yellows from 33 games.
Dropping gates and the lack of atmosphere at Turf Moor should be a sign to the club that all is not well and that the fans are getting frustrated and restless by poor performances and poor results. Fans badly need their spirits lifting and only a convincing win over the Owls on Tuesday night would go some way to achieving that. Considering basically this same team played such attractive football in the opener against Bolton, we have to hope that there is at least the potential there for a significant improvement. If the confidence and motivation is there to achieve victory anything would appear possible but the problem is those highs have rarely been achieved in other games this season and patience is wearing thin. We have the potential to thump the struggling Owls if we play like we did against Bolton all those weeks ago but will we make hard work of things again? Let`s hope not 3-1 Burnley!
It`s a trip to Selhurst Park next for the Clarets! They line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday 6th October (Kick-Off: 3pm)