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Burnley vs. Portsmouth

Turf Moor

Saturday 27th February 2010

3pm

Burnley better not Pompey the Price!

Our opponents this Saturday at Turf Moor, Portsmouth have today become the first Premier League club to enter into administration. The club will be docked nine points as a result and face almost certain relegation to the Championship. They were in bottom place, seven points behind the Clarets still within a fighting chance of staying up but now their task is virtually impossible although still mathematically feasible if they win all their remaining games. With Burnley second from bottom this was a vital six pointer but after today`s news it has now become a vital three-pointer for the Clarets although Pompey may have other ideas.

It is difficult to know how the news confirmed today will affect the Pompey players. They could be demoralised but they could also be just as determined to come out, prove a point and play for pride cheered on by an expected large following of battered and bruised Pompey fans. The Clarets will have to be on their guard and this might not be a simple three points in the bag that some are predicting. We have to treat this game with respect and at the same time put all thoughts of Pompey`s circumstances and likely psychological effect on their players out of our heads. There is no room for sympathy though just as there is no room for over-confidence; we have to do a job on Saturday and do it well if we are to start to really believe we can avoid the drop. A defeat or even a draw would be unthinkable, our heads would drop, our confidence would plummet and the chances of survival would be made a hundred times more difficult. It is so, so important to win tomorrow!

Come on you Clarets!

Predicted Team Sheet

David Nugent on loan from Pompey is ineligible to play this Saturday

If Laws decides to play with two up front then Martin Paterson could be about to make his first start since last September following his recovery from injury (see Player to Watch). Alternatively Robbie Blake might make a return and play just behind Fletcher.

Graham Alexander could also be in contention for a return if he is considered fit enough following a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since the Bolton game last month at the Reebok.

McCann and Caldwell are still sidelined with injuries so I will go with the eighteen below although I am torn between Alexander and Bikey in midfield. Laws will surely play just one or the other and couldn`t possibly drop Jack Cork who was man of the match by some distance in our last game against Villa. The only other alternative might be to drop McDonald and play Alexander, Bikey and Cork in midfield. Supermac it has to be said has been less than impressive in recent games with both he and Bikey having problems chasing back to defend after going on the rampage.

Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Alexander or Bikey, Cork, McDonald, Eagles, Paterson, Fletcher.

Subs: Weaver, Edgar, Duff, Blake, Bikey or Alexander, Elliott, Thompson.

Burnley Team News:

Our on loan striker from Portsmouth, David Nugent is of course not eligible for this game and he must now be wondering what fate lies ahead for him in the summer with Portsmouth now almost certainly relegated. Martin Paterson could be given his first start since last September (see Player to Watch)

This is a game too soon for Chris McCann (knee) and Steven Caldwell (persistent groin injury) but both could be close to a return.

Graham Alexander though looks to be available for selection after recovering from a calf-injury that had kept him sidelined since the Bolton game at the Reebok last month.

If Alexander does return, he will no doubt also take over the deputy captain`s armband from Clarke Carlisle.

Player to watch: Martin Paterson

Paterson has of course just recently returned following a long lay-off from injury but his confidence will have been boosted after coming on from the bench and getting his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa last Sunday. Yes, the goal may have been a late consolation for the Clarets after being scored deep into added time to make the final score 5-2 to Villa but it could be a crucial goal if our fate is decided on goal difference come May. It will certainly have been a tonic for Pato though who now has a chance to shine again if he is selected with David Nugent not being eligible for this game. This could be his first start since tearing his cartilage against Barnsley at Oakwell in the Carling Cup defeat back in September.

Portsmouth Team News:

Frederic Piquionne is not expected to feature after picking up a hamstring problem in Pompey`s home defeat to Stoke last Saturday. This could mean either John Utaka or Kanu could make a start upfront alongside Aruna Dindane.

Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng will be out for weeks yet with a torn ankle ligament and has been pretty dismissive of the standard of medical care at Portsmouth.

'At my club Portsmouth my foot pains were diagnosed as a strain of the syndesmotic ligament,' Boateng said in the Sport Bild magazine.

'Now doctors in Cologne have confirmed that the ligament is torn and I will be out for weeks.' he continued.

'I am mad. At Portsmouth we don't have the level of medical care like there is at Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund.' (Boateng's former German clubs)

Defenders Marc Wilson, Anthony Vanden Borre and Tal Ben-Haim are also injury doubts.

Ricardo Rocha could therefore be selected to play at the back with the club`s only other recognised defender, Hermann Hreidarsson. It looks like keeper David James could be in for a busy time in front of goal with Pompey having no option but to put out a makeshift defence.

Midfielder, Aaron Mokoena is also unlikely to play despite the former Blackburn Rovers player now having returned to training following a knee injury. Michael Brown however could be selected in midfield after recovering from a back injury.

Player to watch: Aruna Dindane

29 year old striker, Aruna Dindane is an Ivory Coast international currently on loan from French Ligue 1 club, Lens. In August 2009 he signed a one-year loan deal, with the option of a permanent deal at the end of his loan spell. That looks somewhat remote now with Pompey almost certainly playing Championship football next season.

Dindane though is currently Pompey`s top scorer in the league this season albeit with just five goals; one of which he scored against us at Fratton Park in the 84th minute last December to make the final score 2-0 to Portsmouth . He will need to be watched carefully along with the combination of Nadir Belhadj and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie down the left wing. Spurs loan Jamie O`Hara has also been in impressive form in recent weeks.

Back to the Future

The last game we played against Portsmouth was of course earlier in the season at Fratton Park at the beginning of December. It was a frustrating match where we couldn`t make any of the pressure count against a nervous Portsmouth fighting for their lives. In the end we lost 2-0. That game was actually the first time we had met in the top flight since the 1958-59 season over 50 years ago!

In 1975-76, the last time we were in the top flight before this season, Portsmouth were a struggling second division side and indeed they finished bottom and were relegated to the third tier. Our slide had begun too though and in just another four years we would be playing them again in the Third Division and losing both home and away!

Ominously for the Clarets, Portsmouth are unbeaten against us in the last 10 meetings in all competitions so it is time to bring that record to an end. The last time we beat Pompey was 28 years ago to the day. Our gaffer, Brian Laws might just recall that 3-0 victory, he was playing for the Clarets that day!

Ref Watch:

County Durham referee, Mark Clattenburg is in charge of this one. He was appointed to Select Group Referees list in 2004 and to FIFA International Referees list in 2006. Clattenburg has been in charge of two of our games this season and we have lost both against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and away to Barnsley at Oakwell in the Carling Cup! We shall have to hope that is not a bad omen and it`s just indicative of the referee having 'homer` tendencies!

Match Prediction:

Portsmouth as we all know have more problems off the pitch than on it but even on it the bottom club have faced an uphill struggle all season. At times they play attractive football and have been unlucky on a number of occasions not to come away with more points but the facts speak for themselves. Pompey have won just one of their last 26 away games in the Premier League, and they have failed to score in their last four matches on the road. It is difficult to know how the Pompey players will react to the almost certain news that they will be relegated after being forced into administration and having nine-points deducted. Their heads could drop and they could throw in the towel but then they might decide to play for pride or decide their future is no longer going to be at Fratton Park and start show-boating their skills in front of the cameras trying to attract other clubs for next season. We just have to focus on our game and raise it to the highest level possible as though we were playing Manchester United. Three points are no use to Pompey, they are vital for us! If we go ahead, Pompey really could give up the ghost and it might then be easier to put the game beyond their reach. Providing we don`t revert to playing like a load of duffers, I can see this game finishing 3-0 or 4-0 to the Clarets. 4-0 what the hell!

Next Match

I guess it further emphasises the importance of getting three points against Portsmouth in our predicament when the next game up is at the Emirates against high-flying Arsenal on Saturday 6th March (3pm Kick-Off)




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 26 2010

Time: 12:08PM

Your Comments

I can't believe I feel so nervous about this one! I think i would have been more relaxed had they not gone into administration! Bizarre get a grip man!
turfmanphil
Nothing to play for but pride and we have enough players willing to do that. I predict a close game but think your home form will probably see you through.
UKTony
I think Pompey will come out strong to begin with. However we will score around 20-30 mins in and their heads will drop. We will pick up a second in the second half and finish quite comfortably 2-0.
ClaretClaude
Feel free to add that to the vital prediction league.
ClaretClaude
Hermann Hreidarsson is also suffering from an uncomfortable Achilles but will still play. Their defence really does look shot to pieces.Pompey have also conceded eight penalties this season, more than any other team in the top flight.so maybe it is time for Grezza to return!
turfmanphil
Will the teams faced by Bolton, Wolves, Wigan and Hull in coming weeks be anything like as strong as the one being faced by us tomorrow? Sunderland have played them twice. Don't think anyone else in the dropfight has. Could be the youth team put out by Pompey within a month, or even next week. How fair would that be? Lawyers should do well!
Couch Potato
You`ve got to feel sorry for the Pompey fans,not the Chairman,Board or Management.Puts things into perspective--at least we`ll go down on merit!!
Roberto Bettega
I am pretty sure it won't be easy for you people. We have nothing to lose anymore, and we have to start building confidence for our FA Cup match. Probably, we'll beat you!
Pompey Malta
Roberto Bettega - you didn't clarify if we should feel sorry for the players. Presumably not, as they have been paid salaries well over their market value for some time; so even if their contracts are now torn up, they've still done well. And should Burnley FC take pity on Pompey? Well, all I can say, Pompey Malta, is that if you do win, don't expect us to vote for you being allowed to sell players outside the transfer window, or be advanced any TV or parachute money!!! About 6, maybe 8, definitely 10 gift goals in the first half should just about secure our vote to keep you out of liquidation. Just don't tell anyone about this little arrangement though, okay? You've had lots of practice at keeping naughty secrets, I gather. :)
Couch Potato
I'm also worried about this one. As we know these things have a habit of galvanising a team but really hope it goes the other way and their heads are down. I feel for the Pompey fans and I won't be one of those waving £20 notes tomorrow. On the pitch, it's O'Hara who seems to make them tick in the little I've seen of them - adds tackling bite and a heartbeat to their midfield. I wish we had a player in the middle to match him.
MicahHyde'sLaces
Shame about Nugent , but a perfect opportunity for Pato to continue where he left off at Villa. Don't think this is going to be a walk over by any means, but if we play with our usual home form there shouldn't be a problem. We need an early goal followed by a few more . Agree about Cork , should definitely play .
WelshClaret
It's a shame when this happens to a club but I think the fans are not blameless - they are only too happy to welcome patently sleazy, criminal types if they think they have money to 'back' their team and then appear surprised when the *****e hits the fan - literally! Fans need to be more questoning about potential owners and fans groups, especially Trusts, need to take more responsibility for this. I just saw on the tv that the team used to fly to all their games by private jet and their wage bill was 52 million a year and it's still 1.8 million a month - ridiculous.
ozjean
I think we will win 3-1. Now Pompey are flying Easyjet they won't be so relaxed! This is the time of year when the Clarets always start to pick up their game so I expect us to go on a run which will see us rise up the table. Unlike Coyle, Laws knows what's wrong away - rushing upfield too far and getting caught by fast counter attacks - and as soon as he calms them down we will get our first away win and then another will follow. I expect us to finish 15th with Pompey, Bolton and Hull relegated and Wolves and Wigan below us. Up the Clarets!!
ozjean
Trusts could have more say in the matter if fans during the good times would be prepared to join up and give us more clout. It's a fact of life once a club is in peril, the membership goes sky high when its often too late to do anything about it. Clarets Trust now have regular monthly meetings with the club to raise any issues that concern fans but we could do with far more joining up to give us an even bigger voice and greater shareholding in the club.
turfmanphil
I agree with turfman on this, and am a proud life member who is grateful for all the work done by folk who run the Trust such as Peter Pike, Barnsey, Turfman, Timbers and others. Hope to be able to do more myself one day.
Couch Potato
Blake starts Nugent not eligible for this game Team line-ups then:Burnley: Jensen, Fox, Cort, Carlisle, Mears, Elliott, McDonald, Bikey, Blake, Paterson, Fletcher. Subs: Eagles, Cork, Weaver, Thompson, Jordan, Edgar, Duff Portsmouth: James, Wilson, Belhadj, Hreidarsson, Finnan, Rocha, Yebda, O'Hara, Webber, Piquionne, Owusu-Abeye. Subs: Ashdown, Mullins, Brown, Kanu, Dindane, Diop, Utaka
8clarets8
Why is Cork not starting?
JT_daniel
Portsmouth score off-side phew!!! come on Burnley not sure JT I would of had him in?
8clarets8
Portsmouth 1-0 Burnley damn!!!
8clarets8
Great goal by Paterson Burnley 1-1 Portsmouth
8clarets8
Half-time stale mate Burnley 1-1 Portsmouth, Come on the Clarets we can do this
8clarets8
Portsmouth get a penalty Beast saves Fletcher misses a sitter
8clarets8
Elliott Bikey off Cork and Eagles on
8clarets8
Portsmouth get another penalty!! this time they score Burnley 1-2 Portsmouth
8clarets8
Thompson on for Blake
8clarets8
Full-time Burnley 1-2 Portsmouth one word (rubbish) we are in trouble!!!!
8clarets8
i can see us playing you again next year, altho you might be favourites after we offload the only senior players we have left. didnt think we would do the single let alone the double, over anyone this year!
Super Bock 1898
Sad, but it has to be said. We are just not good enough to stay up.
cornwallclaret
Absolute rubbish. Laws needs a kick up the arse - drop[s Cork after a brilliant game last week and persists with the awful Bikey. Fletcher is useless unless nit's just a tap-in - you can't afford to m,iss easy headers like he did in the second half. As for Carlisle - he shouldn't play again this year after that pathetic showing. Rubbish.
ozjean
Think you're probably right Cornwall. Disappointing but the side who are bottom of the league have beaten us twice this year and that just about sums it up I'm afraid.
RickersTwickers
See, I told you you should've started Cork!
JT_daniel
The difference for pompey, is that they have Avram Grant and you don't. I can't see any other manager in the league, that can drive a collapsed team like pompey, to an outside win, except of Avram Grant. No wonder that he is the only one ever, who took chelsea to the champ's final, a one thing that even the famous mourinho couldn't do in his 3 years in chelsea.
alonrose
I am going to stick my neck out & maybe ile get a slamming. I did my prelim footballing coaching badge 15 years ago so when i watch a football match i know what i am saying. Iwas horrified to se Cork and eagles on the bench, Bikey is not good enough, Carlisle goes walkibouts and is horribly out of position at times leaving Cort to mark 2 players. to be fair on fletcher he is learning at this level. but we can not afford this we are not good enough for the premiership neither are wolves wigan hull Portsmouth, Bolton, look at how far down the pecking order Nugent is at Portsmouth & he is our first choice striiker. lets get real we may survive if we get the rub of the green against the relegation teams, bur what the heck are we going to do next season.
Albmaleaf claret
some good, points there Albmaleaf claret I would play Cork and Eagles. Thought Robbie Blake played well flashes of the old magic and Pattos goal was brilliant. But make no mistake we are in big trouble
Grimsby Claret
Well next season we'd have a larger budget for a start Albaleaf...but that of course is dependent on staying up, which looks doubtful after today. My worst fears surfaced today. Team selection, body language of players, defensive woes - it was like a Burnley display from years ago. I don't think we can play McDonald and Bikey as a midfield two. We are missing Graham Alexander like Hull are missing Jimmy Bullard - which says something of the quality of or squad against our rivals. That said, today's outcome did not relegate us. The fans were crap today too and could have done much more, although I do think we were all a bit startled by the kamikaze nature of our performance. Don't get me started on Clarke Carlisle. Surely an instant dropping on that display.
cubanclaret
I am sorry, the performance of Carlisle was as embarrassing as it gets. Don't care if he is "out of position" or any other excuse, Cuban I am with you, leave hin on the bench for the rest of the season and only use him in case of emergency. How different a game it would have been if Fletcher had not missed the easiest header I have seen for a while, they would have dropped their heads and we probably would have scored again. No excuse for that at this level. On the positive side, I though Blake and Patterson were good, it is a shame some of the others don't have the love of the jumper, if they did we might be a chance to stay up.
AussieClaret
And to top it off for a crap night here in Melbourne, bloody Judas gets a win as well. Hey Ozjean, are you in Perth?
AussieClaret
With you some of the way ozjean, but you drop the out of form players and then it seems someone else goes out of form, we just can't seem to string it together. Then, the manager, he is not going to go away. Sticks quality players like Eagles and Cort on the bench, plays an attacking 4 4 2, then it seems tells attacking backs Fox and Mears not to go forward. Makes no sense to me. Sorry, but I stick by what I said, overall we are not good enough, we could be lucky and get some decisions going our way and other results could help. I really, really hope so.
cornwallclaret
Still hurting this morning. It really was a big defeat in our fight against relegation. I desperately do not want us to go down but my head says we probably will. Some of the players let us down yesterday.
Grimsby Claret
Not sure why folk are unhappy that Mears and Fox stayed back, after we were so cruelly exposed at Villa when they got forward.
Couch Potato
Definitely not the result we wanted, but there was always that uneasy feeling of a backlash/nothing to loose from the Pompey players. Clark Carlisle had a nightmare and looked drained after his Countdown appearances and Fletch missed a sitter that 9 times out of ten would have gone in and changed the game completely. But it didnít and we lost . Pato is back though, and although Iím tired of saying it , these players can still do this and Iíve got faith in them. We now go to the Emirates where anything less than a 3-0 loss will be a good result , so Iím looking to the next match for any points. If we end up in 17th position , then thatís a real result as far as Iím concerned . What do we do next season? We spend some of the premiership money of course, what else? Letís get behind them for the rest of the season . Címon the Clarets
WelshClaret
One word 'pathetic'! Match Report to follow
turfmanphil
Hi AussieClaret - yes I am in Perth, have been here 32 years after coming out on a working holiday. Was a season ticket holder with my dad since I was a small kid. Still go over frequently to watch the Clarets with my Aussie husband who is completely indoctrinated. There are lots of Burnley fans here and a few of us meet once a month for a drink or two and a moan. Let us know if you are ever over here. At least the weekend games are on at a reasonable time here (kick-off 11pm normally) and even better when the clocks go on in the UK later this month. Very disappointed on Saturday, especially as you say with Bolton winning. We aren't down yet as those around us keep losing too but we have to get a run going very soon. Laws please drop Bikey - he is slow, doesn't mark and gives away stupid free kicks all the time. He's rubbish and has been for weeks.
ozjean
Well Ozjean, I will be relocating to Perth for work in about 5-6 weeks time. Seeing as I won't know a soul over there and also due to our mutual love of the Clarets I will definately be taking you up on your offer. Will shoot you my email details as the time comes a bit closer. Thank you for the offer!!!! UTC
AussieClaret
If you want to know the time, ask a policeman? Those were the days... But if you want to know when the clocks go on, ask an ozzie!
Couch Potato
 

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