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Burnley vs. Chelsea

Turf Moor

Saturday 30th January 2010


I guess that`s why they call them The Blues!

Clarets fans are going through their lowest point of the season which is an understatement to say the least after the Bolton defeat at the Reebok in midweek and the realisation we are now in the bottom three. It is difficult to remain positive under these circumstances but somehow we have to keep the faith and hope we can survive despite a number of worrying signs.

It is not helped by the fact that we now face Chelsea at Turf Moor this Saturday; a side in awesome form, scoring for fun and neatly perched at the top of the table with the ambition to become this season`s Premier League Champions. Would it not be ironic if we did a typical Burnley and somehow found the grit and determination to beat The Blues both in terms of the club and our depression? The trouble is nobody can see how that would be possible based on our current form. We have not won a league match now since we beat Hull at Turf Moor back in October. That is a sequence of eleven games without anything to cheer about. What is worse is that we now look low on confidence and our last two games against Reading and Bolton have been shambolic and awful to watch. Our new manager, Brian Laws is desperate for his first win and although we lost 3-0 at Old Trafford in his debut game we played well apart from not taking our chances and the Clarets have to find that form again if they are to have any chance of beating Chelsea.

Come on you Clarets!

Predicted Team Sheet

This once more is going to be a difficult one to predict. We have been busy in the transfer market this week signing goalkeeper, Nicky Weaver and centre back, Leon Cort. That`s three signings so far in this transfer window with striker, Frederic Nimani arriving earlier on loan from AS Monaco and making his debut after coming on from the bench against Bolton in midweek. We also await news concerning on-loan Portsmouth striker, David Nugent and whether we have been successful in extending his loan to the end of the season. Laws told the Official Site this week that he hoped to have him available for the Chelsea game with the impression being given that he was confident of completing the deal.

Andre Bikey will also be available now after returning from Angola following Cameroon`s defeat in the African Nations Cup Quarter Final on Monday.

Michael Duff was injured in the game against Bolton on Tuesday night but bravely carried on although two players were not so fortunate. Chris McCann, playing only his second game after a long spell out with cruciate/medial ligament damage accidentally collided with Kalvenes and had to be substituted with the match just 12 minutes in. Four minutes later and Alexander hobbled off the pitch after picking up a calf injury. We await news on all three injuries. One player who will definitely be sidelined is captain, Steven Caldwell who is still struggling with a persistent groin strain.

Stephen Jordan also missed out on the Bolton game after picking up a hamstring injury in training on the Friday before the FA Cup game at Reading. He could be in contention for a return although Kalvenes might have done enough on Tuesday night to retain his place at left-back. There is however also the possibility that Laws could make another signing before Saturday and there have been links to left backs, Danny Fox at Celtic and Derby`s Jay McEveley.

So what team do I predict? Well it`s almost an impossible task with so many uncertainties regarding injuries, loan extensions and new signings. I will make an assumption based on the worst case scenario that Duff, McCann, Alexander and Jordan are still sidelined with injury and no new signings are in contention.

I will also make a plea to rest Elliott who in the last few games has been the shadow of his former self. Give the lad Guerrero a chance to shine!

Here would be my line-up which is more a hope than a prediction but it does in my opinion offer something fresh

Jensen, Mears, Cort, Carlisle, Kalvenes, Bikey, Guerrero, McDonald, Eagles, Fletcher, Nimani

Subs: Weaver, Edgar, Gudjonsson, Elliott, Blake, Nugent, Paterson.

Burnley Team News:

All discussed in great detail above. The latest news is that Jordan may be fit enough to play but both McCann and Alexander will face late fitness tests. David Nugent`s eligibility to play could also be scuppered by the woeful Portsmouth`s lack of professionalism and desire to communicate in a timely manner.

Player to watch: Leon Cort

Leon Cort is in line to make his debut so all eyes will be on our new player. Hopefully he can shore up our defence and may be help up front too from set-pieces. He has a good record for Stoke scoring from free kicks and corners, something which Laws is keen to exploit and improve upon. The Clarets have not scored once from a corner yet this season!

Chelsea Team News:

Ominously for the Clarets, the Ivory Coast are out of the African Nations Cup after being knocked out at the quarter finals stage by Algeria. Their 3-2 defeat more than likely means that both Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou will be in the Chelsea starting eleven.

Nigeria lost their African Nations Cup semi-final 1-0 to Ghana on Thursday night but that comes too late for Chelsea to consider selecting Jon Obi Mikel.

One player who didn`t play in Ghana`s semi-final victory was Michael Essien. He picked up a knee injury earlier in the competition during training in Angola and has since returned to Chelsea to recuperate. The midfielder`s injury will keep him out of action for between four and six weeks.

Player to watch: Didier Drogba

You could in all honesty with such depth of quality in Chelsea`s squad have picked any of their players as the one to watch. However one of their strikers has already scored 19 goals this season (14 of them in the League) so it is relatively easy to choose Didier Drogba. It is hard to imagine our defence containing him but somehow we have to! It is even more ominous when you also realise that as well as Drogba, Chelsea also have in the table of Top 15 Premier League Scorers, Lampard with 10 goals and Anelka on 7 goals.

Back to the Future

The last time we played Chelsea was in the game at Stamford Bridge back in August last year. It is a match Clarets fans will want to quickly forget with the Blues that day teaching us a lesson in the art of how to play awesome flowing, attacking football. In the end we only lost 3-0 but it was not comfortable viewing for Clarets fans for most of the match.

The last time we were in the top flight back in the 1975-76 season Chelsea were actually a second division team but we would be soon be joining them after being relegated that season. In the following season with both teams slogging it out in the second tier of English football, the Clarets went down 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in November 1976 (Noble getting our goal in the 77th minute) but managed to defeat them at home 1-0 in the return game at Turf Moor (Ingham scored 5 minutes from time). Chelsea would be promoted that season in second place with Burnley struggling and finishing 16th.

Ref Watch:

Staffordshire referee, Phil Dowd will be in charge of this one. Clarets fans will recall he was also in charge of our high-profile game against Manchester United at Turf Moor earlier in the season so maybe that is a good omen. He was however also in charge of our game at Pompey where he came in for some heavy criticism.

Match Prediction:

This really is a heart over mind battle. I just can`t see anything other than a heavy defeat and I fear Fortress Turf Moor could witness only its second defeat all season. We have to hope and pray Chelsea have some sort of off-day and we play like Kings. This really has to be another Manchester United or Arsenal performance if we are to stand any chance of getting something from this game. The first goal will be crucial, if Chelsea get it, we could fold and let in a pot full. I am hoping and praying that against all the odds, Burnley can find something and get the first goal, we might then hold out for a draw. I just can`t see Chelsea not getting an equaliser and I certainly can`t see us keeping a clean sheet. Heart wins as usual and I will go for 1-1.

Next Match

Forget Chelsea the one we really have to win to stand any chance of survival in my opinion is the next match up against West Ham at home on Saturday 6th February (3pm Kick-Off).

This is one of five home matches against struggling teams also in the relegation dogfight that I have targeted as must win games with the others coming up being Portsmouth, Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke. If we get fifteen points from those five games we will have 35 points and have a reasonable chance of staying up. Any other points we pick up home or away will then be a bonus and increase our survival chances.

The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 29 2010

Time: 11:46AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Just to remind those of you that subscribe to ESPN (Is there actually anybody who does?) that this game is featured live on there hence the 5:30pm KO
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29/01/2010 11:50:00
I changed my shift at work for this game. ummmmmmmmm good idea or bad idea, I will tell you after the game.
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29/01/2010 12:15:00
In your next match section Phil, I would add the 3 away games at Wigan, Sunderland and Hull and then say out of these 8 fixtures 6 victories would give us 38 points and Birmingham away last game of the season? What we do not want from this game is a 4 or more tonking, losing by a goal or two would not be the end of the world, scoring would also be a great lift for the lads UTC and as me and minivr say Keep The Faith
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29/01/2010 12:15:00
I have given up predicting away wins VR but I take your point
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29/01/2010 12:25:00
Hooray some good news-It is a measure of Carlo Ancelotti's confidence that he is prepared to travel to Burnley on Saturday without star strikers Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou. The Ivory Coast pair have returned from African Nations Cup duty but will not be considered for the Barclays Premier League game at Turf Moor.
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29/01/2010 14:28:00
Update from Laws on McCann injury-"The injury itself has settled down pretty quickly so I'm not ruling him out for the weekend. I think it frightened him more than anything else being out for so long and getting a tweak on it. "It's nothing to serious. It's the same knee but a different injury. "He's done some light training.
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29/01/2010 14:31:00
Some breaking news tonight surrounding John Terry. Better be careful here but what is it about this lad that means trouble just follows him around ? King Chav imo.
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29/01/2010 17:21:00
"King Chav?" I bet you wouldn't say that to his face, RickersTwickers.
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29/01/2010 19:21:00
Be quite happy to Jokkers ! Don't doubt that he's a good player and has had a successful career but he does behave like a hillock at times.
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29/01/2010 19:34:00
We haven't got hillocks in East Anglia but we have got Delia Smith which is close!
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29/01/2010 20:17:00
This is a game which we can't expect to win going on the current form of both teams . I'm working, so won't see it but I think I'd be watching it through the gap in my fingers. On the other hand, it's fortress Turf Moor and we've got a team that can play , so let's hope they put it together tomorrow. I hope he gives Robbie an outing , and that the ever improving Eagles has a blinder. My brother told me tonight that Coyle is after Mears . Would Moses who is really Joshua do such a thing?
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29/01/2010 23:18:00
When we were promoted I was determined to enjoy this season come what may. We are in a bad run but that was always to be expected in the Prem. We have still got the same players that did so well early on, fortified by some good new signings (i'm not sure why everyone loves McCann so much - he is too lightweight and a bit of a mard arse - too much like Chaplow for me) so lets keep the faith, get behind the lads and who knows what will happen. Whatever happens this season we are lucky not to be a Portsmoth or Crystal Palace. We will be up here in Perth, at 1.30am, to cheer the lads on. Up the Clarets! PS we flew over to the UK for the play-off final and then again at the start of the season to watch the games against Man U, Everton and Sunderland to we have 100% record in the Prem!!
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30/01/2010 00:18:00
Great post ozjean! Hoping McCann makes you eat just a few of your words. But great post. Maybe we can all chip in to fly you over every game for the rest of the season? Meanwhile I need to be deported. Every game (sadly only 7) I have seen us play live this season, including 2 on telly, we have lost. So I am NOT going to watch ESPN, but will be on the couch listening to ClaretsPlayer.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 10:28:00
I think we need to concentrate all attacks straight down the middle today. word has it that Terry is sh****d out . Is it a case of 'a Bridge too far' ?
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30/01/2010 12:52:00
With the recent weather you've had, I'd say the couch is a good place to follow the game Couch Potato! In Oz all the English Premier games are on Foxtel (Sky) so we don't have to subscribe to different providers. We get to see all the prem games live too - if a few are on at the same time you just press the red button and choose which one to watch. In every game we have played much better against the top clubs because we have nothing to lose. It's time to put away our chances, be tighter at the back and then we can give Chelsea a shake. We have just settled ourselves on the couch with a good bottle of Shiraz as part of our normal pre-match warm-up! Up the Clarets!!
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30/01/2010 13:14:00
Right, that's it. I'm emigrating. Keep the Shiraz cold! And fire up the Clarets! Come on!!!!!!!!! Er... ozjean, how many bottles will you get through before the 5.30 KO? Get into 'em, get into 'em!!!
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 16:11:00
Line-ups:Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Kalvenes, Carlisle, Cort, Bikey, McDonald, Eagles, Blake, Fletcher, Elliott. Substitutes: Duff, Gudjonsson, Paterson, Edgar, Nimani, Thompson, Weaver. Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, A Cole, Lampard, J Cole, Ballack, Malouda, Zhirkov, Terry, Alex, Anelka. Substitutes: Turnbull, Carvalho, Ferreira, Deco, Sturridge, Matic, Borini.
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30/01/2010 16:44:00
Please Burnley, please take something off the rugby team!
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30/01/2010 16:52:00
Only on the second bottle so far Couch Potato - its been a cool 31 celsius today after a very hot week so we have been on the beer! Hasn't rained for nearly three months. We have just changed into our lucky Burnley shirts. Just finished watching Coyles crap get beaten easily by Liverpool. Only 2-0 but should have been 4 or 5. Can't bear the sight of him now or Steve Davies. Hardly any Bolton fans there again and Anfield was very quiet. Glad to see Robbie is back today. C'mon you Clarets!!
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30/01/2010 17:25:00
Anelka scores for Chelsea, Burnley not doing to bad up until the goal Burnley 0-1 Chelsea
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30/01/2010 18:02:00
Half-time Burnley 0-1 Chelsea, we have had chances trouble is Chelsea only need one Come on the Clarets!!!
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30/01/2010 18:24:00
Terry still on the pitch despite what sounded like a cynical bodycheck on Robbie, but apparently also on the front pages tomorrow. I'm guessing that may feature continued discussion of his body.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 18:35:00
Get in there Fletcher scores for Burnley who are you!!!!! Burnley 1-1 Chelsea Come on!!!
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30/01/2010 18:42:00
First goal of the new era.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 18:46:00
ClaretsPlayer went off air for a minute and came back on with 'surely offside, yes offside'. Nurse!!! My heart.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 18:47:00
Joe Cole scores off-side haha oh heck you okay Couchy ;-)
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30/01/2010 18:50:00
McDonald off Paterson on!
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30/01/2010 18:51:00
Great to hear the faithful getting right behind the lads.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 19:11:00
John ****ing Terry makes it 1-2. Free header. It's going to take something special now. Come on.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 19:17:00
Terry scores for Chelsea tide on! he is always scoring at the moment in more ways than one damn Burnley 1-2 Chelsea
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30/01/2010 19:18:00
Final whistle. We need to play like that against the Hammers, keep working on the set pieces, and keep taking the positives. Disappointing, but I do feel better after that.
Couch Potato
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30/01/2010 19:28:00
I am feeling better about our back line but we seem to have lost something in the middle. Without Alexander there was only the "hoof it" option on offer when it came to feeding the front line. Was this just because we were up against Chelsea or is it an issue?
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31/01/2010 02:00:00
Thought we gave them too much room in the first half - didn't harrass them enough and gave the ball away too much. Better in the second half. Fletcher has always shown great skills and just needed to improve his finishing - if he carries on like that he will score lots of goals. I know I keep banging on about Blake but he is the one of the few who can provide that incisive pass for the forwards and he is nearly always involved in our goals. Cort played well and I'm sure our new left back will go straight in the side as that is a problem area. We have to remember that Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions and that the despicable Terry earns more than the whole Burnley side. We gave our all and that's all you can ask for - lets hammer the Hammers and start a little run of points. The other results at the bottom were good for us.
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31/01/2010 03:08:00
Watched the match and you gave it a good shot. Shame about the free header for King Cheat. But you pulled them back to being 2-1 luck merchants that's for sure. Good luck against West Ham.
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31/01/2010 09:26:00

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