Reading at the Turf-by TMP
Fans returning from the match against Coventry last Saturday with the Clarets having put in yet another woeful performance would find it hard to imagine that there would be any chance of getting any points from the runaway League leaders, Reading at the Turf this Saturday. Just maybe though there is a glimmer of hope! Burnley FC have this knack of always rising to the occasion and pulling out a victory when you least expect it.
Some of the omens though are not good, in the last seven games between the two teams, Reading have won three to the Clarets one with three drawn. The Clarets have lost their last three games and have only won one game against Plymouth at home in ten League matches. Over this period they have also only scored 5 goals.
However, Reading have been a little off form away from home recently with only one win and three draws in their last six games on the road with 10 goals for and 11 against!
The key to this game could be whether former Claret, Glen Little plays for the Royals and at the moment this could be in doubt.
Little has not been on a losing Reading side in the league since the opening day of the season.
He does however have a groin strain which has forced him to sit out the last two games against Luton and Preston.
Little said 'I'd love to play on Saturday but I'll see how I train between now and the game.
'I thought I'd be back for the Preston game last weekend but I aggravated it so I must be careful.
'I don't want to be out for another three or four weeks when there's promotion at stake.'
Another former Claret may also be on show with John Oster possibly making an appearance for Reading
What about the Clarets though? I would expect Steve Cotterill to play a more defensive 4:5:1 in this match bolstered by the return of both John McGreal and Wayne Thomas after their two match suspension. The Clarets do have some injury worries though with both Garreth O' Connor and Graham Branch being touch and go at the moment.
I expect Michael Ricketts to be the lone stiker up front and would hope a recent ticking off from the manager may have had some effect and that he can find the back of the net again and look a little sharper than he did against Coventry. I would expect Kyle Lafferty to be on the bench again but it would be a tough call for him to feature in this match. The big question in my mind is whether we will see Gifton Noel-Williams feature in this match. I am afraid I have seen nothing from this lad in ages and he is rapidly becoming one of the boo-boys favourite targets. He really does have to get on the score sheet and string together some decent performances and justify the faith that Steve Cotterill seems to continually have in him.
Well its been 13 games since we last had a home draw and maybe we are due one and this is the best we can hope for! However we are Burnley FC and I said previously, we always seem to start winning when you least expect it against quality opposition. Its difficult to see how but you never know!