The Clarets travel to the dreaded Oakwell on Tuesday night looking to beat a struggling Barnsley and earn their second away win in four days.
In the space of four days, Burnley will have travelled to their most loved away stadium and their least! On Saturday, the KC Stadium continued to bring sunshine for the Clarets giving them a remarkable fourth consecutive away victory against Hull City on this ground. Dean Marney got the only goal against his former club to give Burnley a 1-0 win. Now this Tuesday night, they continue their Yorkshire adventure with a visit to Oakwell, one of the most ominous places to visit for the Clarets with only one victory there since 1932. If the match was decided on current form rather than the bogey ground factor, the Clarets in theory should return easily with three points against a struggling Barnsley side. Burnley`s form under new manager, Sean Dyche has been pretty impressive especially the improvements in defence with three clean sheets now from the last five games. Although we have lost two of the five games against lowly opposition, you could argue poor or at least controversial decisions by the referee have cost us dear away to Ipswich and at home to Charlton recently. The Clarets, under Dyche though have responded positively and the away win at Hull City on Saturday was probably our most impressive giving the new manager his first victory on the road. He now will be looking to plot his second hoping to kick the jinx on this ground into touch! Three points at Oakwell could be crucial to our promotion dreams with the club just three points away from the play-offs positions. Burnley are currently in 13th spot on 26 points just three points behind sixth-placed club, Millwall. Millwall did Burnley a favour on Saturday beating the deadly enemy 2-0 at Ewood Park allowing the Clarets to move to within two points of Rovers. Of course with our next home game against Rovers coming up on Sunday, it would be a great confidence boost to pick up some points against the Tykes ahead of the derby. By the final whistle on Sunday, Burnley could be in the play-offs positions ahead of Blackburn Rovers and that would lift everybody at the club and virtually ensure hero-status for Sean Dyche.
Barnsley are probably low on confidence so we stand a good chance of making their fans even more miserable. The Tykes are struggling in 20th spot on 16 points, just one point away from the drop zone. Their home form is particularly poor with just two points from their last six games. Barnsley will be hoping to avoid a fourth straight defeat on home soil and you have to go back to the 1st September when they last won at Oakwell and even that was against fellow struggling side, Bristol City . Barnsley manager Keith Hill is certainly under some pressure at the moment and Burnley will need to ensure he is still feeling it come the final whistle on Tuesday night.
Barnsley Team News:
Midfielders Jonathan Greening and Akos Buzsaky on loan from Nottingham Forest and Portsmouth respectively both made their debuts against Cardiff City at Oakwell on Saturday. Greening was in the starting eleven and Buzsaky came on from the bench. Both are likely to feature again on Tuesday night. Greening was the second Forest player to join the Tykes on a temporary basis within a week after striker Marcus Tudgay also joined them recently. Barnsley were going mad in the loan window before it closed this month, they also signed striker Emile Sinclair on a two-month loan from Championship rivals Peterborough.
In terms of injuries, Mido picked up a serious injury in a pre-season at Doncaster after rupturing a hamstring. The striker does not appear to be in contention although he was targeting a return in November. David Perkins also remains sidelined. The 30 year old midfielder has suffered the recurrence of the same injury 3 times over a 12 month period. Perkins limped off early on in the Tykes 1-0 Championship defeat at Hull City earlier this month with a subsequent scan revealing he could be out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring problem.
Player to watch: Craig Davies
Davies is the Tykes leading goal scorer with a total of nine goals so far this season. The 26 year old Welsh international striker joined Barnsley from Chesterfield in July 2011 and has since scored 19 goals in 52 appearances for the club. His most remarkable game this season was against Birmingham at St Andrew’s back in September. Davies scored four goals in the space of 19 second-half minutes with the Tykes eventually tonking Brum 5-0.
Burnley Team News:
Dean Marney frustratingly picked up his fifth yellow card in the fourth minute of added time at the KC Stadium on Saturday and now sits out a one-match suspension. Kieran Trippier though should return at right back after his appeal to overturn a red card decision and one match suspension for handball at home to Charlton was rejected. David Edgar who stood in for Trippier at right back against Hull City on Saturday looks likely to return to the bench.
Player to watch: Charlie Austin
Incredibly Austin has not scored in his last three games and the leading goal scorer in Europe let alone the Championship will quickly want to address the mini-drought! Barnsley have only managed to keep two clean sheets in their last twelve games so Austin stands a good chance of causing them even more woe.
Team & Tactics:
Kieran Trippier should waltz straight back into the starting eleven after sitting out a one-match ban against Hull. Dean Marney though is now suspended for a game after picking up his fifth yellow card in added time at the KC Stadium. I would have thought the most obvious replacement though without making too much disruption to the team would be to bring in Marvin Bartley as his replacement. Having David Edgar on the bench would give Dyche some options both in defence or midfield should he need them during the match. Cameron Stewart who was unavailable to play against his parent club on Saturday could return to the bench. Based on these considerations, I will go with the following predicted team sheet
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Stock, Wallace, McCann, Bartley, Paterson, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Lafferty or Mills, Edgar, Stewart, Stanislas, Ings, Vokes
Once again I suspect Dyche will go with his favoured 4-1-4-1 formation hoping that our lone striker, Charlie Austin will get to see enough of the ball. Brian Stock will no doubt continue his role as the anchorman in front of the back four.
West Midlands referee, Philip Gibbs is in charge of this clash. He is quite lenient with his card displays and last season only sent four players off in 41 games with another 117 seeing yellow. This season in 15 games so far, only one player has been given a red card whilst a modest 37 have picked up a yellow. The last game he was in charge of a Clarets match was back in October 2011 when we suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Reading. 3 yellow cards were shown that day!
If Brian Laws can mastermind a victory over Barnsley at Oakwell for the first time since 1932, I am sure Sean Dyche can plot our first win there since that Boxing Day triumph in 2010! 2-1 Clarets
Well of course it`s the big one at home to Blackburn Rovers next on Sunday 2nd December (Kick-Off 12:30 pm) and astonishingly it won`t be televised so you will have to turn up!