Date: 25th September 2007 at 6:34pm
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The Clarets entertain Premiership outfit, Portsmouth at Turf Moor tonight hoping to progress to the 4th Round of the Carling Cup. This will be no easy task, even if Pompey are likely to make a number of changes to the team that beat Blackburn 1-0 at Ewood Park in their last league game.

Could the omens point to another Liverpool? Reserves, Clattenburg and Traore (see below)? Lets hope so, they for once will be underdogs tonight with all to fight for. Come on lads! Apart from McCann and Mahon who still look doubtful, we can expect the gaffer to be able to choose from the complete squad putting aside the Besart long-term injury.

We can probably expect a similar squad to that selected against Bristol City last Saturday with maybe Gudjonsson making the starting eleven in place of McCann.

Do us proud Clarets!

Steve Says:

‘That’s the one pleasing thing that we are playing at Turf Moor. We wanted to be at home. It could have been a nightmare for us if we’d been at Portsmouth, we may as well have not got off the bus this week!

‘We’re really pleased to have a Premiership side and it’s always a good gauge for you. I’m not surprised Harry is making changes with them playing on Sunday.

‘Whatever eleven he puts out, it will be a great team with Premiership experience.

Harry has been able to benefit this year by bringing in a few new players and that in turn has nudged down a few of the others. We’re up against it and whatever team they put out, it will be a tough game.’

Harry Redknapp is of course a close friend of Steve Cotterill due to their connections with the Bournemouth club. They used to live in the same area and Steve seems to look to Harry as his mentor although Steve has never played for or worked for HR!:

‘I’m looking forward to seeing Harry, we’ll have a cup of tea before the game. He’s a good footballing man, he loves the game and has a real passion for it,’ added Cotterill.

‘His teams always play good football and it’s great to be playing against his team here. Harry has been a good help to me throughout my managerial career and I just hope that nothing silly goes on during the match and we end up falling out!

‘He’s achieved so much in this game and has a wealth of experience. I count myself very lucky to be able to tap into his knowledge. He might even teach me a lesson on the pitch so I’ll have to keep my eyes open tonight!’

Burnley Team News:

Chris McCann is still doubtful because of his hamstring strain.

Alan Mahon (thigh) may also be absent again following a three-match absence However, Andy Gray (foot) should be fit.

Player to watch: Andy Gray

Could be the danger man for the Clarets tonight and should not be underestimated.

Portsmouth Team News:

Vital Portsmouth report that Ashdown will make another appearance in goal, and Pamarot and maybe even Linvoy will get an outing. Redknapp has confessed to a bit of squad rotation in this one, but will have players like Taylor, Mendes, Nugent and Hughes to step in.

Player to watch: Pedro Miguel da Silva Mendes

According to Vital Portsmouth we need to watch our for Mendes!

‘Been ousted from the first team squad of late, and will have more to prove than most, his form was not as high as he would of liked so far, but is a class act.’

Last Time We Met

We wont want to remember this one suffering a League home defeat on 26th October 2002. We went down 3-0 that day and didnt do much better at Fratton Park that season either, losing 1-0. That was the season however that Pompey were promoted to the top flight.

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg is the referee for tonights cup tie. A well respected Premiership referee, Clarets fans will remember that memorable match against Liverpool in the FA Cup match when MC was in charge. That was the match that was originally postponed due to severe rain and a waterlogged side of the pitch. It was eventually played on 19th January 2005 and we came through winners 1-0 thanks to a spectacular own goal by Liverpool defender, Dimi Traore. Now how spooky is that? Dimi could well be in the Portsmouth squad tonight. Field your reserves at your peril Pompey!

Match Prediction:

A tough game this, but I think we might be up for this and there will be one goal in it. 2-1 Clarets victory if it doesnt go into penalties. If it does go into penalties we have so many penalty takers to choose from I would fancy our chances

Next Match

Crystal Palace at home this Saturday in the League 3pm KO