The Clarets are back in action tonight trying to get past Premier League side, West Brom in the FA Cup 4th Round replay at Turf Moor.
The club have confirmed that this match will now go ahead despite heavy snow falls in the area. There will be pitch inspection as the playing surface is now clear of snow.
The likely prize for the winners will be a juicy 5th round tie against Arsenal at the Emirates providing the London club can see off Cardiff at home in their replay originally scheduled for the same night.
The Arsenal v Cardiff game however is already a victim of the snowy conditions in the South East and has been postponed, so if we do defeat the Baggies, we will not know for a few days which team we will be playing in the 5th round. Arsenal’s FA Cup replay against Cardiff City will now be played on Monday 16 February.
The Clarets left it late in the first leg at the Hawthorns. Burnley had gone ahead in the first half after Alexander scored from the penalty spot on 25 minutes before Koren equalised 6 minutes later. A cruel second goal for the Baggies four minutes into the first half added time when only two minutes had been announced looked to have sealed our fate until the 89th minute.Paterson then equalised to earn a replay at Turf Moor.
Burnley have now racked up over 40 matches this season thanks to our run in the Carling Cup and FA Cup and probably needed yet another replay like a hole in the head. But that`s what we got and now we have to progress further with the potentially lucrative Arsenal carrot dangling in front of us.
Until the league game against Charlton at Turf Moor on Saturday we had suffered a dip in form with five consecutive defeats in the Championship. We should at least now be buoyed up for the Baggies game after breaking that bad run with a 2-1 win against Charlton.
Predicted Team Sheet
One person who won`t feature for the Clarets is our new loan, Rhys Williams. He is not eligible having only signed on loan after we had played the first leg. Bizarrely, we seemed to have lost out again to the vagaries of cup competition rules considering the Defoe decision in the Carling Cup. Something really must be done to standardise rules across all domestic cup competitions.
It also sounds like Jordan will still be sidelined with injury, so Kalvenes is once more expected to deputise at left back. The absence of Williams could mean an early recall for Carlisle at centre back. He was dropped from the sixteen on Saturday and if Coyle wants to play Alexander is his preferred holding midfield role, bringing back Carlisle is the only real option that will allow that.
It has to be said quite a few players looked in need of a rest on Saturday, most notably Chris Eagles, Martin Paterson and Chris McCann but whether Coyle will be tempted to leave these players out is doubtful since we don`t have the luxury of a big squad at the moment.
Coyle has also said other unnamed players picked up bumps and bruises on Saturday so we shall have to see if they all come through fit enough to play.
Taking everything into consideration I would select the following eighteen:
Jensen, Duff, Caldwell, Carlisle, Kalvenes, Alexander, Elliott, McDonald, Eagles, Blake, Thompson
Subs: Penny, Gudjonsson, Mahon, McCann, MacDonald, Rodriguez, Paterson
Burnley Team News:
Rhys Williams is not eligible to play and Stephen Jordan is still sidelined with a knee ligament injury.
Player to watch: Kevin McDonald
Looks to back in top form and should be given a run out in the starting eleven at the expense of McCann who looks tired and jaded.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
West Brom themselves are not without their own problems. Struggling in the Premier League and propping up the division, they have a pile of injury worries and it sounds like Tony Mowbray could be prepared to field a weakened side in order to concentrate on their survival in the top flight.
Speaking to Sky Sports he said:
“We have got to patch the team up and keep sending them out because the games keep coming. We have got another one on Tuesday.
‘We have already had one or two suggesting Tuesday might be a step too far for them if Saturday is such a huge game against Newcastle.
‘That is my dilemma over the next few days, how strong a team do we play against Burnley in the FA Cup when Newcastle is a very obvious opportunity for us to keep our points total ticking along.”
Well we shall see what sort of team he puts out and see whether he is trying a little bit of psychology here although he does appear to have numerous injury concerns.
Their injury list already includes Jonathan Greening, Jonas Olsson, Neil Clement, Luke Moore, Ishmael Miller and Craig Beattie and on Saturday in their 2-2 draw away to Hull, Borja Valero picked up a hamstring injury and Robert Koren suffered an injury to his calf. West Brom also have injury doubts over central defenders Abdoulaye Meite and Ryan Donk who are both suffering from groin strains.
Player to watch: Scott Carson
Can the first choice keeper keep the Clarets out with West Brom known to have a dodgy, leaky defence even if they coud field their full strength back four? Will he even feature following the news that West Bromwich Albion keeper Dean Kiely has just signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2010?
Last Time We Met
The score was 2-2 of course in first leg.(Alexander penalty and Paterson late equaliser for the Clarets) Incredibly the only previous meeting in the FA Cup competition was way back in 1889, when Albion easily won 5-1 at home in a second round tie.
Last season we played West Brom in the Championship opener at Turf Moor back in August 2007 winning 2-1 with Duff and Gray the scorers. The return at the Hawthorns in February 2008 reversed the score with James O`Connor scoring our goal in the 2-1 defeat.
2-1 Clarets whether West Brom field a weakened side or not
The Midlands games continue with a trip to high-flying Birmingham for a juicy game at St Andrews on Saturday 7th February @3pm KO