The Clarets continue their Carling Cup campaign in a second round tie on Tuesday night with League 2, Barnet the visitors to Turf Moor.
Burnley will be hoping to despatch League 2 minnows Barnet without too much fuss on Tuesday night and in so doing progress to the third round of the Carling Cup. This would certainly be the wrong time for any slip ups on the dreaded banana skin with the club having had a pretty mediocre start to their Championship season and Clarets fans getting somewhat edgy. A good thumping win would restore confidence ahead of a very tricky Championship game away to High-flying Derby County on Saturday.
We put paid of course to Burton Albion in the first round tie at Turf Moor but needed extra time to do it after the Brewers clawed their way back from 3-1 down to level it 3-3 after 90 minutes. We at least then blew them away in extra time eventually winning 6-3. It would be nice this time to inflict a comprehensive defeat over the lower league opposition and perhaps even keep a clean sheet for the first time this season.
So what do we know about Barnet? They were fortunate last season producing a great escape on the last day of their 2010-11 campaign. Having struggled for most of the season with relegation to the Blue Square Bet Premier staring them in the face, Barnet beat Port Vale in their final match in May 2011 to finish in 22nd spot just one point ahead of relegated Lincoln City and seven points clear of bottom club, Stockport County.
Lawrie Sanchez had joined Barnet as a football consultant, to assist caretaker-manager Giuliano Grazioli with just four matches of the 2010-11 campaign remaining. The partnership clearly worked after securing their League status and in May 2011, Sanchez was appointed manager with Grazioli his assistant.
Barnet have had a somewhat indifferent start to their 2011-12 campaign and after four games have just five points. They are currently in midtable in 15th spot but will have been buoyed by a 2-2 away draw against second placed Rotherham in their last game. The Bees progressed to the second round of the Carling Cup after dumping Championship side Portsmouth out of the competition following an impressive 1-0 win at Fratton Park. We will have to make sure they don`t claim another Championship scalp.
Burnley Team News:
There is no news of any further injuries following the 1-1 draw against Cardiff City at Turf Moor on Saturday. Marvin Bartley is still sidelined and sits out the second game of his three match ban following his straight red card in the 2-0 defeat away to Palace.
Martin Paterson is of course still recovering yet again from a recurrence of the thigh injury that kept him sidelined for most of last season and he now faces another long period out of action. The bad news that trickled down from the club on Saturday was that new signing Danny Ings had damaged his cartilage during training. The 19 year old striker now faces knee surgery and will be out of action at least until early 2012.
Player to watch: Zavon Hines
Our new striker signed from West Ham only last week and made his debut for the Clarets on Saturday after coming on from the bench against Cardiff in the second half. He played well in his short cameo appearance looking sharp and pacy seemingly providing something different up front. Hopefully we will see Hines at some point again against Barnet and be able to form a better opinion of his potential. Howe may even be tempted to start the 22 year old.
Barnet Team News:
There is as yet no team news, we will bring you this below the article should any announcements be made
Player to watch: Mark Hughes
No not THAT Mark Hughes! This Mark Hughes is a 27 year old Northern Ireland international midfielder who has previously been on the books at Tottenham Hotspur, Oldham Athletic, Thurrock, Stevenage Borough and Chester City not to mention some loans spells also during his career at Northampton, Oldham and Chesterfield. Hughes signed for Barnet in November 2009 and has since made over 80 appearances for the club. He doesn`t score many goals in his midfield role but he will have been pleased to get the one that knocked out Pompey at Fratton Park in the Carling Cup first round.
Team & Tactics
Eddie Howe seems different to his recent predecessors in his team selections for the cup competitions. Both Cotterill and Coyle tended to select weakened teams against lower league opposition giving the fringe players and youth a chance to shine. If Howe`s team selection for Burton Albion is anything to go by though, we can expect him to pick one of his strongest team to face Barnet.
He may even be tempted to go with a similar sixteen that faced Cardiff at Turf Moor on Saturday so that could mean that Andre Amougou could once again miss out completely. Brian Jensen must also be wondering if he will ever get a game in goal too and I wouldn`t be surprised if we see him go out on loan at some point if Howe continues to select Lee Grant. That leaves David Edgar who must also be concerned that he continues to be viewed mainly as a bench warmer despite continual problems in defence. He has started a game this season but in midfield and if Shotton arrives from Stoke, it could get even more difficult for him to gain a regular slot. Edgar is such a good utility player it seems that it goes against him. With only five players allowed on the bench these days in the Football League, having a utility player as a potential substitute gives the manager more options. Good for the team but a dilemma for Edgar!
I would hope Howe also starts Zavon Hines up front and it would make sense to perhaps rest Jay Rod and drop him to the bench after a pretty mediocre performance against the Bluebirds. An Austin/Hines partnership up front would be an interesting one to watch! Keith Treacy appears to be struggling to attain full match fitness as well at the moment. He was like the invisible man against Palace at Selhurst Park although did have a very good first half against Cardiff at home on Saturday before again going AWOL in the second half. The message is clear though, he needs to play more matches so putting him in the starting eleven against lower league opposition would be a low risk strategy and could help his fitness for our Championship games coming up in the near future.
Seven substitutes are allowed in the Carling Cup competition but a lot of our development squad have now been sent out on loan including Alex-Ray Harvey, Kevin Long and Wes Fletcher. The eighteen therefore almost picks itself when you take out the loans including Clarke Carlisle and Richard Eckersley at senior level. We currently have 29 listed in the squad. If you take out the loans, that leaves 23. With Ings and Pato out injured plus Leon Cort fast becoming the forgotten man we are left with 20. I will therefore attempt to name a starting eleven and list the rest as potential substitutes so here goes:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Mee, Easton, Treacy, McCann, Marney, Wallace, Hines, Austin
Subs (from): Jensen (or Stewart), Edgar, Amougou, Elliott, Rodriguez, MacDonald, Knowles, McKee
A convincing win would be a boost to the team`s confidence and it would be even better if we could keep a clean sheet. I will go with 3-0 to the Clarets!
Back to the Championship! Burnley travel to Pride Park to play high-flying Derby County on Saturday 27th August and will be hoping to dent the Rams 100% record of wins so far this season. They are currently in 2nd spot in the Championship table on goal difference behind Southampton having achieved a maximum 12 points from four games.