Pre-season Pressing on at Preston!
The Clarets' pre-season campaign is going well so far after two friendly games. They squashed part-timers, FC Großklein 8-0 during their Austrian tour a week last Sunday and followed that up with a 1-0 away win against League 2 Accrington Stanley on Saturday. The opposition is getting harder now with Burnley travelling to League Preston North End on Tuesday night for their third pre-season game of the summer.
So far Sean Dyche has been giving most of his first team squad and the development squad a run out over the two games although a few have been sidelined with minor knocks. It will be interesting to see what the tactics will be now and whether this time there will be fewer changes with Dyche honing a team ready to face Chelsea at Turf Moor in the opening Premier League game of the season on the night of Monday 18th August. So far we have put effectively two teams out in each half of both friendly games but against Preston it will be interesting to see if we adapt a more regular pattern of 11 starting and a handful of subs coming on.
In terms of the development squad, Tom Anderson, Cameron Dummigan, Jason Gilchrist, Jaden Hall, Cameron Howieson and Nathan Lowe have all featured at some point over the two games and Steven Hewitt a first team squad player with inexperience of playing at league level has also impressed.
It is likely their involvement could now diminish as Dyche begins to think about a starting eleven for the Premier League kick-off.
Sam Vokes of course remains sidelined and will be for sometime following surgery on his knee but there have also been a list of players understood to be suffering minor knocks. New signing, Steven Reid has yet to make an appearance having missed both pre-season friendlies so far with a thigh injury. Tom Heaton (calf) has also missed both games.
Ashley Barnes missed out against Stanley after picking up a groin strain and youngster Cameron Dummigan was also sidelined with a thigh problem. Michael Kightly too was also absent. It will be interesting to see if any of those are fit enough to play against Preston.
If you were to ask me what our strongest starting eleven and eighteen would be based on evidence to date, I would select the following assuming the injured players above remain sidelined:
Gilks, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Taylor, Jutkiewicz, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Lafferty, Long, O`Neill, Hewitt, Wallace, Sordell
It will be an interesting clash at Deepdale and Simon Grayson`s men will certainly want to embarrass their Premier League local rivals. They will still be smarting from last season when having finished in the League 1 play-offs they went down to Rotherham over the two leg semi-final and failed to reach Wembley.
The match kicks-off at 7:45pm