Date:Friday July 20 2007
It`s the first pre-season friendly of the close season at Turf Moor for the Clarets this Saturday against Premiership side Middlesbrough.
Tickets are available priced at £10 for adults and £5 concessions. The club have also advised that the James Hargreaves Upper and Jimmy McIlroy Lower will be closed for both Saturday's game with Middlesbrough and next weekend's clash with Leeds United.
This will be a tough call against Gareth Southgate`s men and they will be keen to show off their new summer signings, Turkish star Sanli Tuncay and former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere. The Clarets fans might also see England international Stewart Downing play for Boro if he`s recovered from a muscle strain.
However they have lost, striker Mark Viduka on a free transfer to Newcastle this summer. Stuart Parnaby, a target for the Clarets at one time has also left the club together with Abel Xavier both on free transfers. Strikers, Malcolm Christie and David Graham were also released.
Middlesbrough are looking for their first win of pre season, having returned from a training session in Austria mustering one draw against Hertha Berlin following a 3-0 defeat by Schalke. The Clarets have a slightly better record albeit against lowly opposition and drew with Accrington last Saturday before following this with an emphatic 5-2 trouncing of Wrexham. This however will be a better test in which to gauge their pre-season fitness and see how well the new signings are fitting in.
All four new faces are expected to play again at some point in the match-Kiraly, Berisha, Blake and Jordan. The Clarets will also have Wade Elliot available again. Kyle Lafferty stretchered off as a precaution in the match against Wrexham plus Chris McCann injured in the first match against Accrington will be hoping to shake off their injuries and play in the match.That leaves Wayne Thomas the only player in the squad not yet selected to play in the pre-season friendlies so far. He too is believed to be nursing an injury but might have recovered in time.
So it will be nice to get in the groove again at the Turf and let`s hope for some encouraging signs of good things to come even if we don`t actually win.
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Date:Friday July 20 2007
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