Date:Monday December 8 2008
Tuesday 9th December 2008
Cardiff City are the visitors to Turf Moor this Tuesday night and the Clarets will be keen to keep them at bay and secure another three points to consolidate their 4th place position.
The Bluebirds are just three points behind the Clarets in 5th place so another cracking game is in the offing.
Burnley despatched the previously placed 5th placed club, Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
The 3-2 victory was the first on that ground for 35 years. Can we continue this amazing run of form? The club have scored 8 goals in three matches and have not lost at Turf Moor since that opener against Ipswich back in August. Indeed since that game we have only been defeated three times in away games at Reading, Wolves and Barnsley. The amazing run in the Carling Cup of course has also added to the excitement with the Clarets reaching the semi-final of a cup for the first time in 25 years whilst putting out two of the Big Four Premier League darlings in Chelsea and Arsenal.
Will the Bluebirds be trembling at that thought? Will Eagles be scoffing the little Bluebirds for breakfast?
Cardiff are no slouches and we will need to be on our guard. They beat Preston 2-0 at home on Saturday and in their previous game secured a vital point away to local rivals, Swansea in a match finishing 2-2.
Ross McCormack has been their top scorer this season with 13 goals although he picked up a hamstring injury in the Preston game and could be doubtful for Tuesday. He was replaced by Michael Chopra though and he scored so we might have to watch out for him too.
The Clarets really do need six points from their next two games both at home with Southampton coming to Turf Moor on Saturday. That would really cement the Clarets claim for a play-offs spot and maybe even an automatic promotion with the club pulling away from the chasing pack and hot on the heels of Wolves, Birmingham and Reading.
We need to hear news on the progress of McCann and Duff after they missed the last match.
McCann was laid low with illness and did not travel over the Pennines for the Blades game and there was more bad news for the Clarets when Duff pulled up with an injury in the pre-match warm up at Bramall Lane.
Clarke Carlisle however will be available again after his one match suspension for picking up a fifth yellow.
Christian Kalvenes still appears to be struggling with a leg injury so if Duff doesn`t make it and McCann is still ill, we can expect something like the following and another 4-4-2 line up:
Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Paterson
Subs: Penny, Mahon, Akinbiyi, Thompson, MacDonald or van der Schaaf
Another option might be to replace Gudjonsson with Thompson and have him partner Paterson upfront. The strike pairing although enforced was tried against Sheffield United with some success
News is awaited on Chris McCann`s recovery from illness and Duff`s injury picked up in the pre-match warm up against the Blades.
Clarke Carlisle returns after his one match suspension and van der Schaaf could be in contention after recovering from a virus and being named on the bench at the last minute last Saturday.
Kalvenes though still looks to be sidelined with a leg injury
Star player against Sheffield United and has the knack of scoring spectacular goals at the right time.
Could gobble up the Bluebirds and they won`t relish playing against him.
The Bluebirds suffered an early blow in their last game against Preston when their leading goal scorer Ross McCormack went off with a hamstring injury. News is awaited on the injury but he could be sidelined for the match at Turf Moor.
His replacement was Michael Chopra on loan from Sunderland. He too was not 100% according to Dave Jones
'We patched up 'Chops' as we haven't seen him all week. He was up at Sunderland for treatment and then he phoned up Thursday evening saying he had been sick.
'He was throwing up and we told him to stay away from the place and see how he was before the game.
'But as we have a lot of injuries I wanted to sit him on the bench but we needed him earlier than we would have hoped.'
Well he scored from the spot so looks set to play again if McCormack fails to make it.
A key player in midfield, Welsh International Joe Ledley required surgery and a pin to mend his dislocated finger sustained in Cardiff's win over Crystal Palace on 15 November. He has however made a good recovery quicker than expected to play in Cardiff's last two games.
Who can forget the last game against Cardiff towards the end of last season back in April this year?
Darren Purse was of course sent off for a viscious tackle on Andrew Cole who had a gashed, bleeding leg to prove it. Somehow the Welsh FA overturned the Refs decision. The game finished 3-3
Colin H Webster (Tyne&Wear)
This is going to be yet another tough game but I have every faith in the Clarets to secure another three points and maintain their relentless charge in the Championship. 2-1 to the Clarets
Another home game next, Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday (Dec 13th @3pm KO)
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Date:Monday December 8 2008
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