Date: 20th December 2008 at 9:03am
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The Clarets face a tricky match at Ashton Gate today hoping to continue their run of form with a win against Bristol City. In their last five games the Clarets have been undefeated with four wins and one draw and the team have consolidated their position in 4th place.

Bristol City on the other hand are maybe experiencing the harsh reality of this division this season as they find themselves languishing in mid-table in 15th place. They have just 28 points, 12 points behind the high-flying Clarets. A far cry then from last season when the then newly promoted side finished 4th to reach the play-offs final.

Clarets fans travelling to this match might be looking to also carry out some last minute shopping in the city before Christmas but the best present they could get would be three points.

The Burnley faithful by now are used to the traditional Christmas slump based on the last few seasons and it is time to ditch another taboo and consign it to history. We have a good chance to start that process today against an average side.

Come on you Clarets!

Predicted Team Sheet

Kevin McDonald missed the last match and still looks doubtful after picking up an injury.

Kalvenes too still seems to be sidelined with a persistent leg injury.

The good news though is that Chris Eagles has recovered after shaking off a slight knock picked up in our last match against Southampton at Turf Moor last Saturday. So let`s hope that Eagles will be preying on the Robins! (Sorry!)

Owen Coyle will also have more options in defence with the news that Michael Duff has now fully recovered from his leg injury. The news could give Coyle more options in defence and we could see a return to the 4-1-4-1 formation with Alexander in the holding midfield role just in front of the back four. However I suspect Owen Coyle may well keep faith with the same side that started against Southampton at Turf Moor last Saturday lining up 4-4-2 as follows:

Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Paterson

Subs: Penny, Duff, Mahon, MacDonald, Thompson

Bristol City Team News:

Louis Carey and Ivan Sproule are both suspended.

Three players will also be given late fitness tests before Gary Johnson names his squad. Brian Wilson has an illness, Colo Skuse a knee injury and Dele Adebola is suffering from a dead-leg.

Clarets fans are also unlikely to see former Clarets loan player, Bradley Orr . The full back has recently turned down an offer of a new contract and won`t be in the manager`s plans after Bristol City decided to place Orr on the transfer list back in November.

Player to watch: Lee Trundle

Used to be the butt of Clarets fans jokes when the striker was often rumoured to be coming to Turf Moor during Steve Cotterill`s reign.

The former Swansea favourite agreed to sign for Bristol City on July 2007 for £1 million but has only managed to score 7 goals in 49 games for the Robins so far and has struggled to get into the side this season.

He seems to be used as a bench warmer these days although does always seem to make an appearance at some point in the Robins matches.

Burnley Team News:

Kalvenes looks to be still sidelined with a leg injury but Michael Duff returns after picking up a calf strain. Kevin McDonald will miss out though.

Player to watch: Clarke Carlisle

We will be looking to Carlisle to be solid in defence as usual but he might have eyes on scoring again on this ground after getting on the score sheet in last season`s 2-2 battle at Ashton Gate with a dramatic late overhead kick that secured the point.

Last Time We Met

Almost a year ago last Christmas, Bristol City were the visitors to Turf Moor and managed to pick up all three points in a 1-0 controversial victory.

Earlier in the season though with Steve Cotterill in charge the Clarets got a well earned point in a 2-2 draw. Andy Gray had put the Clarets ahead before the Robins turned the game round to lead 2-1 with just ten minutes of the game remaining. Darren Byfield getting a brace.

However deep into stoppage time, Ade Akinbiyi in the box won a header to find Carlisle who with a spectacular overhead kick scored the equaliser.

Ref Watch:

A late change sees Nottinghamshire referee, Russell Booth replace Keith Hill

Match Prediction:

I do hope we can nick this one by the odd goal but a draw looks the most realistic. The Robins have had seven draws at home this season so far, two of them finishing 0-0.,three matches ending up 1-1 and two 2-2.

Next Match

A Boxing Day War of the Roses thriller at Turf Moor against Barnsley. We will be looking to avenge the 3-2 defeat suffered at Oakwell in front of the Sky cameras back in November, our last defeat in fact.