The Clarets are back in action tonight, desperate to get their play-offs hopes back on track after a disappointing away defeat at Plymouth on Saturday. Significant questions were asked of the defence after that 3-1 defeat with individual errors from Jensen and the back four compounding the problems despite having most of the possession.
A defensive error was the reason for all the goals we conceded.
Tonight we entertain Coventry City at Turf Moor, this is the rearranged game postponed from Saturday 16th February. The fixture was changed to tonight due to the Sky Blues still being involved in the FA Cup that weekend. As it happened they got tonked 5-0 by West Brom!
This is a ‘must win` game if we are to maintain our assault on the Top 6. We are currently placed 9th, five points behind 6th placed Charlton with a game in hand over them and four of the other Top 6 clubs. That game in hand is played tonight and there is no room for any further slip ups. Nothing less than three points will suffice from tonight`s game to keep all the Clarets fans hopes alive.
Although defensive errors were to blame mainly for our defeat on Saturday down in deepest Devon, it has to be said that we also sorely missed both Andrew Cole (sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury) and Ade Akinbiyi (suffering from a bug) in attack. Kyle Lafferty failed to impress up front flanked by Blake and Elliott in a 4:3:3 formation.
According to Owen Coyle yesterday, both Cole and Akinbiyi could still miss out tonight if they fail to pass late fitness tests so we will have to hope for some positive news on this front later today.
One player that won`t make the sixteen will be Stan Varga; he also suffered from a flu bug on Saturday and only managed to brave the first 20 minutes or so of the Plymouth game before being substituted by Clarke Carlisle.
Carlisle himself saw action for the first time in a League match since the 29th December on Saturday and could be in the starting eleven tonight with David Unsworth on the bench.
Another big question is whether Brian Jensen can retain his place after his goalkeeping howler for Argyle`s first goal on Saturday. Although he redeemed himself with one or two excellent saves during the rest of the match, it could be Kiraly who seizes the opportunity to start between the sticks tonight.
The team selection therefore could be as follows:
Kiraly, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Harley, Elliott, James O`Connor, McCann, Lafferty, Akinbiyi, Blake
Subs: Jensen, Unsworth, Gudjonsson or Randall, Cole, Spicer
If Akinbiyi does not make it, we might have to persevere with Lafferty up front again flanked by Blake and Elliott, bringing Gudjonsson into midfield.
Coventry have improved recently under new boss Chris Coleman but still find themselves in the bottom half of the table. They are in 18th place on 39 points, with the 4th worst goal difference in the league (minus ten).
They were defeated 2-1 by the Clarets only recently at the Ricoh back in January and the Clarets will be hoping to pick up their first six pointer of the season tonight.
Come on you Clarets, don`t mess up this time!
‘Every game in this Championship’s very important.
‘But this is the game in hand we’ve got over a few teams,’
‘Every game in the Championship is always a tough game but it’s an opportunity for us to go and get three points, and if we brush up on the little individual errors then I’ll settle for a similar performance but a better result.’
Burnley Team News:
Stan Varga is sidelined with flu and the same bug could prevent Akinbiyi making an appearance. Cole may also still be out with his Achilles tendon problem but both strikers face late fitness tests and Coyle will make a decision today.
Player to watch: Wade Elliott
Back to his best on Saturday, can he scare the Sky Blues with his mazzy runs this time? Perhaps he could score himself, he hasnt scored this season yet, his last for the Clarets being the spectacular goal away to Sunderland towards the end of last season
Coventry City Team News:
Sky Blues Captain Michael Doyle will serve the second of a three-match ban while Stephen Hughes is out with concussion.
Player to watch: Kevin Thornton
Coventry midfielder Kevin Thornton is set to make only his second league start after impressing manager Chris Coleman in their recent 2-0 win against Leicester at the Ricoh.
Last Time We Met
We beat Coventry last January 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena with goals from Blake and Akinbiyi but lost the match 2-1 at home last season. However it was the last match of 2006/7 with no side having anything to play for other than pride.
3-0 Clarets,no messing!!
Saturday 1st March @3pm-Watford at Turf Moor