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At last the season begins!

Sheffield Wednesday


Saturday 9th August 2008


It has been a long time coming but the 2008-9 season is upon us so today the Clarets kick off the new campaign with a trip over the Pennines to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

It has been a long pre-season for the Clarets.

Six new signings have so far arrived at the club and nine friendlies have been played.

The club have travelled to the US, Scotland and Ireland and played in games more closer to home against Accrington Stanley and Bradford City with just the one solitary friendly against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Turf Moor last Saturday.

The results in these friendlies have augered well for the season ahead. In one of our most successful pre-season campaigns of recent years we won seven of the nine games, drew one and only lost one match. The match we lost too was our first game against Caly U-21 on our US tour which now seems ages ago!

That game was really a 'cobweb remover' with the Clarets only in their first few weeks of training.

The 2-1 defeat of Caley last week was the Clarets sixth win on the trot

The six new faces all appear to now be settling in well and building up an understanding with their new team mates.

It will be interesting to see today which of the new signings will feature against the Owls and the formation that Owen Coyle will choose.

Predicted Team Sheet

We have a squad of 24 players at the moment but there are some players we can discount for possible selection today:

Bes Berisha is now on loan at Rosenborg

Clarke Carlisle is suspended

Gabor Kiraly is clearly out of favour and has not featured in any of the pre-season friendlies

Jay Rodriguez, Adam Kay and Alex MacDonald, our three young guns will probably miss out

That leaves 18 players to choose from for our starting eleven and bench.

We can probably get a clue from the starting eleven that faced Inverness Caledonian Thistle

The possible line up therefore could be:

Penny, Alexander, Duff, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Van Der Schaaf, McCann, Eagles, Blake, Paterson

In terms of the bench, apart from Jensen and assuming no injuries, it is difficult to predict who else will be selected

Coyle will probably pick from Jordan, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Mahon, Jones and Akinbiyi.

The good news for the Clarets, even though it might be a selection headache for Coyle (especially in midfield) is that all the players seem to be showing good form at the moment.

However there remains a worry in defence with Alexander and Caldwell having a few indifferent games. With Clarke Carlisle suspended, we cant afford any of the defensive errors that plagued us last season
and which on occasion has also resurfaced during the pre-season friendlies;the latest one being the Caldwell blunder that led to Caley's goal last Saturday!

The formation is also up for debate. All that can be said at the moment is that we appear to have ditched 4-4-2 and 4-5-1. We seem to operate somewhere between 4:3:3 and other more obscure formations
such as 4:2:3:1 or 4:1:2:3 in a side that seems top heavy in the midfield department. Remco Van der Schaaf though appears to have a key role as a defensive holding midfielder playing just in front of the back four.

Chris Eagles of course is no stranger to Hillsborough having played for the Owls on loan a few seasons back so he will be up for this match.

A number of Owls fans are fearful of Eagles returning and this could be our ace card.

Of course though, Sheffield Wednesday also have a midfielder familiar to the Clarets, with James O'Connor having signed for them in the close season after failing to agree a contract with Burnley FC.

The game is set up nicely therefore, so let's hope we get off to a good start and secure our first three points of the new season in our openning game.

Sheffield Wednesday Team News:

James O'Connor will make his Owls debut against his former club.

Wade Small and Frankie Simek are however ruled out. Simek has not played since December

Akpo Sodje and Deon Burton are however fit again and favourites to start up front while Francis Jeffers is unlikely to play although could be named on the bench.

Player to watch: James O'Connor

All Clarets eyes will be on our former midfielder. He probably has a point to prove and it will be up to the Clarets to stop him.

Burnley Team News:

No injuries have been reported so far, so Coyle appears to have virtually a full squad to choose from with the exception of Carlisle who is suspended and Berisha who has been loaned out to Rosenborg this week

Player to watch: Chris Eagles

Eagles is no stranger to Hillsborough having played for the Owls on one of his loan spells from Manchester United. He will hopefully put the fear of god into them with most Owls fans already quaking in their boots!

Last Time We Met

In this corresponding fixture last season back in September 2007, the Clarets beat the Owls 2-0 thanks to goals by Blake and McCann.

At Turf Moor though in December, the Owls picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Akinbiyi scoring our goal

Ref Watch:

CW Oliver (Northumberland)

Match Prediction:

Let's start as we mean to go on! 1-2 Clarets

Next Match:

Bury at Gigg Lane in Carling Cup First Round on Tuesday 12th August @ 7:45 pm KO

Date:Saturday August 9 2008
Time: 9:40AM


I cant believe it's a new season now! Here we go again chaps! Could this be our season? Let's hope so and let's get off to a good start
09/08/2008 09:52:00
09/08/2008 10:50:00
Sheff Wed v Burnley: The Teams : Christian Kalvenes starts on the bench for Burnley as they kick off at Hillsborough. Stephen Jordan is preferred at left back as the Clarets look to start with a victory. Burnley: Penny, Jordan, Caldwell, Duff, Alexander, van der Schaaf, McCann, Elliott, Eagles, Blake, Paterson. Subs: Kalvenes, Jensen, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, Mahon Sheff Wed: Grant, Spurr, Hinds, Tudgay, McAllister, Burton, Beevers, Wood, O'Connor, Johnson, Sodje. Subs: Esajas, Watson, Smith, Clarke, O'Donne
09/08/2008 14:27:00
3-1 to them at Half Time. If only we can get one back, I fancy a point but they look dangerous on the break and our defence is not looking confident.
09/08/2008 15:47:00
A very,very disappointing result against poor opposition. Going down to the Owls 4-1, will need a rethink by Coyle and we have to bounce back quickly in the next two games, Bury in CC on Tuesday night at Gigg Lane and Ipswich at home on Saturday. Defence remains a worry and we need some more power up front with Paterson out wide once too often. Sort it Coyle! Full match report to follow
09/08/2008 16:51:00
not that poor opposition phil, clearly, and you need to sort your defence out because its shocking ( sorry to say! ) you also need a big fella up front, eagles looked ok and so did patterson, but for me eagles should be in midfield, patterson doing the running in the channels and a target man to get on the end of things, all of which you couldnt do. Burton, Tudgay, Sodje and Johnson put the fear of god into your defence which to be fair they do to most teams, Our defence is superior to yours and our attacking play on the break again superior, O Connor and Mcallister were scurrying around the midfield and didn't let much go past them so all in all you can take heart that Akpo had to go off because he would have had 5 or 6 today easy. Maybe your players just need to bed in anyway I'm sure we'll find out the next time you play poor oppostion, lol. well done to your fans aswell a good turn out.
09/08/2008 20:23:00
The thing is Tony, are you not the same side that finished 16th and 3 points off relegation last season? I think you have brought in just two new players and one of them is JOC! You finished 16th and we have completely changed the side with six new faces! Therefore by definition, you are a poor side and we have been beaten by a poor side? We were crap, especially in defence and that's worrying to be tonked by a side that finished 16th last season ! We beat you at Hillsborough last season under Cotterill, all I can say is we seem to have regressed and badly!
09/08/2008 21:16:00
then how would you judge yourselves? judging by your teams performance today there was only one poor side out there, I always argue with people about this league, if anything look at the points total needed to survive in this league last season and the total gap between in points from bottom to top, last year was a bad year for us I agree but we were sat in the bottom three for a large portion of last season and finished 16th on the last day we drew far too many games about 7 in a row I think and had they been wins we would have been right up there, our defensive record I think was one of the most competitive and I think our defence is much better than most of the teams in this league and no offence but I include your team when you consider 5 of our first team have come through our youth policy Wood, Beevers, Spurr, Hinds and Mcallister I think our team should be applauded, anyway before I ramble on Maybe like I said coyle needs to sort his best formation out and allow players to bed in, its alright splashing the cash, but sometimes hunger, determination and hard work will do, Laws is an excellent motivator he cares passionately about the team and the fans and I think our team responds to this, how often did you hear our fans chanting laws name today, does coyle do the same for you? and you all for him? I think sometimes the players hear our respect for him and they share the respect and work there socks off, I think a few people might be surprised with us this year
09/08/2008 21:59:00
Just at the moment, I wish Laws rather than Coyle had joined us as manager. There is something I cant put my finger on about Coyle. I hope he proves me totally wrong but in his desire to provide 'entertaining' football, he seems to have neglected defence to an extent we now seem to have the worst of both worlds
09/08/2008 22:10:00
you will never get a wendy fan to admit they are crap and going nowhere but down turfmanphil. they think there are real madrid and when they win god does everyone know about it!! the poor relations have to have something to shout about though i suppose. lol
10/08/2008 19:02:00
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