From Tapas to Pizzas at Turf Moor!
The Clarets will complete their pre-season friendly schedule today (Saturday 9th August) when they will play hosts to Italian Serie A side, Hellas Verona (Kick-Off:3pm). Can they do any better against the Italians than they did against the Spaniards on Tuesday night? Spanish La Liga side, Celta Vigo were the visitors in midweek and despite a brace of goals from Jutkiewicz, the Clarets had to be content with a 2-2 draw in the end.
Celta Vigo Match Report
The big talking point ahead of the Tuesday night game was the absence of Danny Ings! Had he picked up a serious injury, was he having a medical with Newcastle (ha ha)?? Well hopefully fans will have been reassured by Sean Dyche`s post-match comments when talking about his missing striker said:
'[There is a] minor injury to Ingsy,' the Clarets boss told reporters.
'We wanted to make sure he was well so that's why he didn't play.
'Ings has a couple of bumps and bruises - he's got a minor thigh [problem], it hasn't gone and we've got to be really careful.
'It was my decision, I said 'no, no, no'. We haven't got a massive squad, [so] it's really important.'
It would appear that Ings is simply suffering from a minor calf strain.
There was some good news though in the line-up with both Tom Heaton and Michael Kightly returning to the eighteen after missing all the previous pre-season friendlies due to injury. Heaton now fully recovered from a calf problem in fact started in goal with Michael Kightly on the bench.
Our line up in summary was as follows perhaps suggesting Dyche`s thinking for a starting eleven against the Premier League Chelsea opener at Turf Moor on Monday 18th August (Ings excepted):
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, Marney (Taylor 67), Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Jutkiewicz.
Subs: Cisak, Long, O`Neill, Reid, Anderson, Lafferty, O`Neill, Taylor, Kightly, Hewitt, Gilchrist.
In contrast, Celta head coach Eduardo Berizzo named as many as nine club youth Academy graduates in his starting line-up so perhaps we need to take our performance with a pinch of salt but you can only do your best against the team facing you. We certainly started off well with the Clarets taking the lead as early as the second minute. Jutkiewicz was put through clear on goal by Wallace and despite being on his weaker foot he calmly lifted the ball over Celta goalkeeper Rubén to put the Clarets 1-0 up. The Spanish side though now began to come into their own having a lot of the possession and putting the Clarets under some pressure. Burnley were content to now try and catch them out on the break. In the 13th minute, Jordan headed a left-wing cross by Samuel but the ball fell comfortably into Heaton`s gloves.
Gradually though it was the Clarets who seemed to be creating the more chances. The woodwork came to the visitor`s rescue after Jutkiewicz chested the ball down to unleash another right-footed shot from just outside the box. This time though the ball hit the foot of the post and the score remained 1-0 to Burnley. An outswinging corner from Wallace found the head of Ben Mee after just 18 minutes but the ball flew wide of target. Jutkiewicz then found himself one-on-one with Rubén after picking up a pass from Marney before unleashing a left footed shot from a somewhat tight angle. The Celta goalkeeper though denied the Juke his brace.
Italian tempers then flared up a bit despite the so called 'friendly` nature of the game. Santi Mina earned himself a booking after clashing with Marney following an incident in the centre of the pitch which to be honest looked pretty innocuous. By now though the game had settled down and the visitors were finding it hard to break down our solid defence.
The best chance for Celta came eight minutes before half time when Joaquín Larrivey was put through on goal. Heaton though made himself big to deny the Argentine centre forward following his attempted shot from a tight angle.
Dyche made no changes for the start of the second half unlike his counterpart, Eduardo Berizzo. Berizzo in fact made ten changes and introduced some of his more senior players including stars like Michael Krohn-Dehli, Nolito and Fabian Orellana. It seemed to have the desired effect. The Spanish side now stepped up a gear and began to somewhat dominate the early stages of the second-half. This time the woodwork went in the Clarets favour when Orellana cut inside onto his left foot and unleashed a curling shot against the crossbar seconds into the second half. Despite the pressure though, the visitors seemed unable to find that elusive equaliser. Orellana`s right-wing cross was headed over by Charles in the 64th minute and just a few moments later Heaton saved a shot from Nolito in some style. Burnley were holding on now and they finally succumbed in the 68th minute. Orellana cut inside once again before finding Álex López . He controlled the ball inside the Clarets penalty area to shoot past Heaton with the ball flying into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.
The Clarets though began to show some spirit and immediately hit back. Barnes holding up the ball well on the left side of the box then let rip across the face of goal to find Jutkiewicz who had the simple job of tapping home to score his brace and his fifth goal of the summer. It was now tit for tat and the Clarets now suffered a similar fate as Celta hit back again to draw level for a second time. This time Heaton had no chance after the impressive Orellana pulled the ball back to Nolito who controlled the ball well before unleashing a goal-ward bound shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Burnley once more tried to get their noses in front and Arfield came close with ten minutes remaining after his header at the far post was just off target. In the end though both teams had to settle for a draw which was probably a fair reflection of how the game panned out.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier (O`Neill 84), Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, Marney (Taylor 67), Jones, Arfield, Barnes (Reid 79), Jutkiewicz (Sordell 79).
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Long, Anderson, Lafferty, O`Neill, Kightly, Hewitt, Gilchrist.
Celta Vigo: Rubén - Hugo Mallo (Jonny 46), Sergi Gómez (Cabral 46), Costas (Fontàs 46), Samuel (Planas 46) - Madinda (Krohn-Dehli 46), Goldar (Borja Fernández 46), Yelko (Álex López 46) - Santi Mina (Orellana 46), Larrivey (Charles 46), Jordan (Nolito 46).
Bookings: Santi Mina
Referee: Mike Jones
Hellas Verona Match Preview
Well that was Celta Vigo, how well we fare against Hellas Verona? Well Dyche will have a full squad to pick from following news that Danny Ings is also available again. Only Sam Vokes now remains on the treatment table and of course it will be some time before he will be able to feature following his knee surgery.
Kightly although he didn`t feature in the Celta game played 63 minutes in the Development squad`s 3-0 victory over Fleetwood Town on Wednesday and continues to make good progress after undergoing minor knee surgery over the summer. He could be involved again against Verona.
The thought is that Dyche once more could rotate his squad and give his players some valuable match time ahead of the Chelsea fixture.
It is anybody`s guess what the starting eleven and eighteen will be given so many options so perhaps the best way of doing this is to name what we think is the strongest eighteen and see how close we are to reality on the day.
My eighteen would be as follows although of course there could be quite a few more subs on the bench:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Jutkiewicz, Ings
Subs: Gilks, Lafferty, Long, Reid, Taylor (or Kightly), Barnes, Sordell
Hellas Verona managed a 10th place finish in their first season back in Serie A last season so should be a good test this afternoon. In their pre-season preparations so far they played out a 1-1 draw against Russian side Rubin Kazan before beating Lega Pro Prima Divisione A side F.C. Südtirol 6-0. In their last match Verona beat Khor Sports Club of Qatar 4-0 so Andrea Mandorlini`s men will be hoping to keep their unbeaten run going.
Bring it on!