The Clarets will be hoping to get back on track against Bury in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night after their disastrous start of the new League campaign against Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.
That 4-1 defeat at Hillsborough has certainly brought club, players and fans down to earth with a bump after such a promising pre-season.
The pre-season saw six new faces arrive at the club including record signing Martin Paterson from Scunthorpe and Chris Eagles from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. The hectic pre-season schedule including trips to the US, Scotland and Ireland also produced encouraging results with only one defeat in nine games with seven wins and one draw.
However, perhaps we got too carried away, bearing in mind the opposition did come from the lower leagues of football and last Saturday`s result against Championship opposition caused grounds for concern with the back four in particular looking shaky.
We have to remember also that Sheffield Wednesday finished 16th last season, just three points off a relegation. They have not been that active in the summer transfer window although have brought in former Clarets midfielder, James O`Connor on a Bosman. The club are also in turmoil as they seek to sort out a board takeover and bring some stability.
The Clarets have to ask themselves therefore how we could have gone down to such a heavy defeat against the Owls and what we need to do to rectify the obvious problems in defence.
However, back to the Bury game. Could this be a banana skin waiting to happen or will we return to winning and winning emphatically?
We certainly need to stamp our authority in this match against the League 2 side.
Bury will be up for this game and started the season well with a 1-0 home win against Brentford last Saturday. We need to be on our guard therefore but nothing less than a convincing win will be enough to raise spirits for our next League game at home to Ipswich on Saturday.
Predicted Team Sheet
There are no reports so far of any injuries following the Wednesday match. Clarke Carlisle, bizarrely red-carded in our last match of 2007-8 against Crystal Palace sits out the second game of his two match ban but will be available to play against Ipswich this Saturday. Bes Berisha is also of course unavailable following his departure for Rosenborg on loan.
That leaves Owen Coyle with yet again virtually a full squad to choose from and maybe a dilemma considering our poor performance against the Owls.
Will he start with the same starting eleven? Will he continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation or will he revert to 4-4-2 or maybe 4-3-3?
Well it sounds like he will be making some changes but have we got many options in defence our main area of weakness?
Let`s face it, our main problems are certainly in defence and we have little option in that department but to play the same back four although Kalvenes could return to replace Jordan. Jordan however was on balance the best defender we had on show against the Owls!
I suspect Coyle will name the same sixteen but change a few things around. There is some belief he will start with Gudjonsson and Akinbiyi, so we might start with the eleven that finished and opt for 4-4-2 with Paterson & Akinbiyi up front.
I will opt for the following line-up therefore:
Penny, Jordan, Caldwell, Duff, Alexander, McCann, Elliott, Eagles, Gudjonsson, Paterson, Akinbiyi
Subs: Jensen, Kalvenes, Van der Schaaf, Blake, Mahon
Bury Team News:
New signing Andy Morrell looks set make his debut partnering Andy Bishop in the Shakers attack.
Defender Ryan Cresswell could also make his full debut. He replaced Paul Scott in Bury`s 1-0 win against Brentford last Saturday at Gigg Lane.
Player to watch: Efe Sodje
Veteran 35 year old defender Efe Sodje signed a two-year contract at Bury following his release from Gillingham in July after agreeing a player/coach role. The Clarets had enough problems with another Sodje last Saturday against the Owls, his brother Akpo so let`s hope this one causes less concern and our attack can get past him.
It will also be a chance to see striker, Andy Bishop, a player linked with a number of Championship clubs in the close season including the Clarets.
Burnley Team News:
Only Berisha (loaned out) and Carlisle (suspended)are unavailable for selection and there is an indication that Akinbiyi and Gudjonsson could make the starting eleven
Player to watch: Martin Paterson
Martin Paterson was on song against the Owls and could be too much of an handful for the Shakers.
Last Time We Met
The Clarets played against Bury at Gigg Lane in August 2004 in the same stage of the competition.
Burnley were the 3-2 victors in Steve Cotterill’s first season as manager. Blake scored a brace that day to add to the own goal by Bury’s Mattis.
This was to be Blake’s last season for the Clarets during his first spell with the club.
S.W. Mathieson (Cheshire)
3-0 Clarets and nothing less will do!
Ipswich at home on Saturday 16th August 2008 @ 3pm KO