Date:Friday September 12 2008
13th September 2008
The Clarets return to their League campaign this Saturday after a two-week break for the International matches. They face a tough challenge away to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, not traditionally a good venue for the Clarets over the years.
Forest, newly promoted from League One last season in the second automatic promotion spot have had a mediocre start to their first season in the Championship since 2004/5.
They are currently in 16th place with one win and one draw plus two losses. Their goal difference was not helped at all in their last match at Molinuex with the side being tonked 5-1 by Wolves.
If Forest have had a mediocre start, then the Clarets have had a poor one and have still to win a League game this season with two heavy defeats and two draws so far. They find themselves second from bottom and will be keen to get something from the game tomorrow.
The positive news is that we have stemmed the flow of goals, with the defence looking much better since we moved Alexander into a holding midfield role just in front of the back four. The arrival of Russell Anderson on loan also appears to have bolstered the defence.
Our recent problems seem to have been at the opposite end, with few options up front plus being reliant too much on Paterson.
The arrival of striker, Steven Thompson from Cardiff on transfer deadline day last week will give the side further options up front and he is expected to make his debut tomorrow having had two weeks training with his new colleagues during the international break.
The Clarets however will be without Chris Eagles, who foolishly got himself red-carded in an off the ball incident against Plymouth Argyle at Turf Moor in our last match. He will now sit out the first of his three-match ban tomorrow.
Left back, Christian Kalvenes also limped off in that game after 74 minutes with a groin problem and despite intensive treatment during the break is still doubtful for this match. Jordan could therefore return.
One Forest player familiar to Clarets fans, who could feature in this game, is our loan of last season 36 year old Andrew Cole. He has actually been suffering from a niggling calf-injury but played in a behind closed doors friendly match against Crewe on Tuesday night and is expected to be named on the bench by Forest manager, Colin Calderwood.
A victory by the Clarets, could kick-start our season, a draw would be acceptable but a defeat could cause a confidence crisis and increase pressure on the team just ahead of the Blackpool derby at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. It`s vitally important we get something from this match.
With Eagles suspended and Kalvenes doubtful we can expect a line-up something like the following on the assumption that new striker, Thompson will make his debut in the starting eleven:
Jensen, Anderson, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Mahon, Paterson, Thompson
Subs: Penny, Blake, Gudjonsson, Akinbiyi, McDonald
Our former loan striker who turned down the offer of a Clarets contract before signing for Forest is expected to be named on the bench after recovering from a niggling calf injury.
Lewis McGugan though has ruptured his thigh muscle adding to his injury woes. The midfielder has already been out for four weeks and now faces being sidelined for a further six.
Kelvin Wilson however has now fully recovered from a back injury and will be fighting for a centre back role.
However left back, Julian Bennett is ruled out with a calf injury
Assuming he comes on from the bench, we will have to be wary of the experienced striker. Always a danger at this level despite his advancing years. We should at least have some tricks up our sleeve on how to contain him.
Eagles suspended, Kalvenes doubtful. Thompson looks set to make his first team debut in the starting eleven
All eyes will be on our new signing and how he links up with Paterson in the attack
You have to go back to the season Forest were relegated from the Championship for the last time we played each other. During the 2004/5 Season, the Clarets enjoyed a 1-0 victory at home in December 2004 but were defeated by the same score at the City Ground in April 2005.
Clive Penton (Sussex)
0-1 Burnley, Come on you Clarets! 1-1 draw will do and is more likely though
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Date:Friday September 12 2008
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