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Norwich City vs. Burnley

Carrow Road

Saturday 6th November 2010

3pm

Knocking Canaries Off Their Perch?

Burnley continue their little spell of games on the road this Saturday and following visits to Villa Park in the Carling Cup and Loftus Road in the Championship now travel to Carrow Road to play high-flying Norwich City.

The Preamble

The Clarets still await that elusive first away win on the road in the league this season and they now have another chance to break their duck on Saturday with Norwich City the hosts at Carrow Road. You just sense at the moment that the automatic promotion places could be slipping away with league leaders Cardiff City already eleven points clear and second place QPR nine points ahead of 8th placed Burnley. Unless we start winning a few games away and avoid slipping up at home a la Reading, we might have to be content with a fight for one of the play-offs positions and there are certainly a host of clubs in the mix for that at the moment with just three points separating Doncaster Rovers in 15th spot and Reading in 6th place.

Our away form has certainly been pretty good of late but we just can`t seem to take our chances and kill games off. We lost a two goal advantage at Bramall Lane against the Blades recently, went ahead again late on but then conceded a late equaliser in added time to draw 3-3. We held our own against Premier League Aston Villa in the Carling Cup clash at Villa Park and there was certainly no disgrace in losing that match 2-1 with again quite a few chances to take the game to penalties. Only last Saturday, the then league leaders, QPR took on the Clarets at Loftus Road and we came away with a well-earned valuable point which so easily could have been three had just one of Jay Rodriguez`s umpteen chances gone in!

Newly promoted from League 1 last season, Norwich City have been pretty impressive this season and are currently in 5th spot two points ahead of the Clarets. They at least go into this game on the back of a defeat having been comprehensively beaten 3-1 by Cardiff City away last Saturday.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert`s side has however shown indifferent form at home. In the seven games played so far at Carrow Road they have won 4 and lost 3 with curiously no draws yet. Let`s hope we can even that up to 4-4!

Norwich City Team News:

There is no current news of any additional injury problems or suspension concerns for Paul Lambert so it could be a similar team selected for this clash to the one defeated away to Cardiff. The biggest question mark seems to surround Wes Hoolahan. The level of expectancy surrounding midfielder Wes Hoolahan is too high according to Norwich City boss Paul Lambert. The 28-year-old was dropped for the first time in the league this season in the recent game at home to Middlesbrough, a match they won 1-0. He did however return for the Cardiff match last Saturday, a game they lost 3-1? So will he feature against Burnley?

Lambert recently told BBC Radio Norfolk:

'Everyone keeps looking to him to perform week-in, week-out and it's tough. Maybe I do that myself.

'Every time he gets the ball you think he's going to create something which is unfair on him.'

So let`s get this right then. Lambert is dropping Hoolahan because he is too good? Yeah right, he will play against us on Saturday, pound to a penny!

Player to watch: Wes Hoolahan

The big question is whether Wes Hoolahan will play (see Norwich Team News above) but if he does the 28 year old, Republic of Ireland International left winger and attacking midfielder will need to be watched on Saturday. Norwich have played him at the tip of a diamond formation for the last two seasons and he is not averse to scoring himself. There are no Norwich strikers in the top 15 of the Npower Championship Top Scorers but Hoolahan already has four league goals to his name.

Clarets fans will remember Hoolahan from his Blackpool days. He moved to Norwich City in June 2008 signing a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee (believed to be £250,000) in a player-plus-cash deal that also saw Canaries keeper, Matthew Gilks move in the opposite direction.

Burnley Team News:

There is no news of any fresh injury concerns for Brian Laws ahead of this clash and hopefully all the players affected by the mystery stomach bug will have now fully recovered. Apart from our long-term casualty, Chris McCann, Laws appears to have the whole squad available for selection with no suspensions to worry about either.

Player to watch: Jay Rodriguez

JayRod seems to be able to do anything but score these days with countless scoring opportunities in the last two games against Villa and QPR. Woodwork and on-form keepers mainly have so far denied our local-born striker. He badly needs a goal or two to reward his effort and boost his confidence. Hopefully he will be given his chance against the Canaries and come up trumps!

Team & Tactics

A mystery stomach bug felled some of our players ahead of our last game away to QPR so we have to hope they have now all fully recovered. It looks like Lee Grant though is now being given his chance between the sticks after making his league debut for Burnley at Loftus Road last Saturday thus denying Brian Jensen his 100th consecutive league appearance for the Clarets. That decision seems a tadge unfair on Jensen who let`s be honest has not really made any costly blunders of late and has made some impressive saves to keep us in the game. Laws though, this week has hinted at a keeper rotation policy to keep them both on their toes.

There were quite a few changes to the team last Saturday and it is not clear which were tactical and which were enforced due to this stomach bug doing the rounds. Andre Bikey, dropped to the bench against QPR might have a job wresting back his position in the centre of defence from either Michael Duff or Clarke Carlisle. These two were as solid as a rock against the Rs with both candidates for the Man of the Match award.

Graham Alexander also returned to the starting eleven against QPR and of course our captain also got his 'penalty king` title back after getting the equaliser from the spot. Will he keep his holding midfield role against the Canaries and if so will Jack Cork once more be denied a place in midfield having to be content with a place on the bench? I hope if Grezza does play, a position for Cork can be found in the team. He is a playmaker and I don`t think we can afford to keep him sidelined. Laws though will certainly have plenty of options in the engine room with Dean Marney impressive against QPR and Wade Elliott always ready and able to pop up and score.

It is very difficult to know how Laws will play this one with so many options available. Will he revert more to the line-up he selected for the Reading match or will he keep a number of the players tried out last week against QPR? We don`t appear to have any new injury worries and if the stomach bug is now a thing of the past, Brian Laws may have a selection headache trying to keep everybody happy. I suspect he will show more loyalty to the eighteen he selected for the QPR match in light of the good result and performance.

Expect something looking like this:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Alexander (or Cork), Eagles, Marney, Elliott, Rodriguez, Iwelumo

Subs: Jensen, Bikey, Cort, Cork (or Alexander), Wallace, Paterson, Thompson

Ref Watch:

Berkshire referee, Trevor Kettle is in charge of this one. He started refereeing in 1983, reaching the National List of assistant referees in 1998, was a SG assistant for a further four years until his promotion to the National List of Referees in 2003. His card count so far this season includes 3 red cards in just ten games, not to mention 38 yellow cards! Strewth is this a case of Kettle calling Potty?

Match Prediction:

How many times have I said this season that we have to win away sometime? This clash is no different since we still await that first elusive win on the road in the Championship. We just have to keep playing like we did against QPR last Saturday and surely those first three points will be in the bag? We just need a bit more luck but also some clinical finishing to put these games to bed. I will go for a 2-1 Clarets victory but it won`t be easy not that any games are in the Championship.

Next Match

We have two crucial home games coming up after the Canaries match. First Doncaster Rovers are the visitors to Turf Moor on the night of Tuesday 9th November (Kick-Off 7:45pm) and then the following Saturday Watford are in town (13th November Kick-Off: 3pm)




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 4 2010

Time: 7:14AM

Your Comments

Come on you Clarets! Sitting this one out even if it is in East Anglia so its Phil Bird & Co on Clarets Player for me this Saturday
turfmanphil
Agree tmp this away win weight hanging round the teams neck to me is becoming a problem which needs to broken lets hope its Saturday. As for team selection my own personnel view never change a winning team even though we didn't win at QPR it was a good team performance and it could have been three points and being able to change the team with good players is testament of a good squad.
Fedupclaret
When I lived in Norwich I saw lots of games at Carrow Road though that was in the days of Steve Bruce, Keith Bertschin and John Deehan. Not quite the black and white days but certainly well ahead of the formation of the Premier League and, as far as Sky TV is concerned, before football was invented. Got a positive feeling about this one so will be in the fine city from Friday for a bit of a weekend and, hopefully, three points.
RickersTwickers
Now confirmed we have a fully fit squad (bar McCann). The ones suffering from the stomach bug were Cork,Bikey, Fox and Elliott. Paterson also got the bug earlier this week but has since recovered. Selection headache for Laws then!
turfmanphil
Look forward to perhaps seeing RT, tmp etc. Minivr and myself will be making the trip from Lincs. Mini vr is at Gloucester now so bless him he will be home for the weekend! Loud and proud.......
vinrogue
I know it's local to me living in Cambs, VR but sitting this one out, My strategy this year because of the contract situation in Huddersfield and trying to balance my lifestyle is only to go to home games and those on the road at grounds I have not been to before. Been to Carrow Road a couple of times
turfmanphil
Not going to this one - A mates birthday out in Leeds for me this weekend. It will certainly be interesting to see what team Brian picks. I wasnt at the Villa/QPR games but I am led to believe that Duff & Clarke were superb in these games - Will the previous Rock, Andre, have to settle for the bench? I would say probably so.
Claretdale
Norwich City team news update from their Official Site-Skipper Grant Holt recovered from a knock he picked up against Cardiff and Hoolahan also available after minor facial injury in same game. Longer-term injured remain re Adam Drury, Michael Nelson, Andrew Surman and Zak Whitbread. Midfielder, Stephen Hughes also recovering from recent ankle operation
turfmanphil
I will be going to this one. My first match this season. I live in Peterborough so this is really my home fixture - it's a shame tmp didn't think of it that way ;-). I didn't realise we were the only team in the division not to beat a team in the top half - according to the bbc (so must be true). Hopefully we can get rid of that bugbear as well! Up the clarets.
poshclaret
Not strictly true pc. We've beaten ourselves on a couple of occasions in the true Burnley tradition, but I've got this strong feeling that things are about to start getting a lot better , starting on Saturday. Yes, ok, I felt the same before the Reading match but this time . . . . . . . . .
WelshClaret
Pleased you are going to this one Posh, Its not easy to find the money and the commitment to go to most or even half the games TMP does get to more games than most of us, I aim to make double figures of games each season but cannot commit to many more than that as I'm on a low wage and have to pay for young Grimsby as well, and Grimsby is a long way from Burnley Maybe that's why this is your first match of the season Posh.
Grimsby Claret
I am already feeling guilty about not going to all the away games but the truth is this contract in Huddersfield and all the travelling back-and-forth between Cambs and the North West is wreaking havoc with my social life, not to mention being knackered!
turfmanphil
Clarets Line up: Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Alexander, Elliott, Marney, Eagles, Rodriguez, Paterson Subs: Jensen, Cort, Edgar, Cork, Wallace, Thompson, Iwelumo. There are a few shocks there!!
turfmanphil
Can we afford to keep Cork on bench? Bikey not even in 18?
turfmanphil
Pleased duff starts Pato starts too.
Grimsby Claret
Will we get our first away win today??? we need to, We would love to.
Grimsby Claret
Get in,Pati scores after 25 minutes
turfmanphil
Pato gets a brace after 32 minutes! YES,YES
turfmanphil
PAAAATOOOOOOOOOO! gets 2 GET IN.
Grimsby Claret
2-0 at half-time and we are looking good!
turfmanphil
Half time Norwich 0 -Burnley 2
Grimsby Claret
We should win now but after Sheffield can only hope we do not muck up.
Grimsby Claret
Please let's not do a Bramall Lane now!!
turfmanphil
I think me and thee are on the same wavelength!! lol ;-)
turfmanphil
Keep it going, please no more heartbreaking comeback by the opposition. All my fingers and toes crossed. Biggest shock to me is Bikey left out, late fitness problem? Seems BL mainly keeping faith with the team that played so well against QPR. Pato is always a good choice to me, never stops trying, heart of a lion.
cornwallclaret
Norwich putting us under pressure in first few minutes of second half.Steady lads
turfmanphil
Damn it 2-1. here we go again
turfmanphil
Getting pummeled now, all Norwich. Hit the post just now,for heavens sake get a grip Burnley. Cork coming on for Marney
turfmanphil
FFS added time 2-2! Bloody crap
turfmanphil
Bloody sickener, 2-2 at Full time
turfmanphil
The daughter turned up at half time with the grandkids just got back on the pc to find we have mucked it up yet again cant believe it.
Grimsby Claret
Heartbreak again, what do we have to do, is it nerves? surely we should be good enough to defend a two goal lead.
cornwallclaret
Went out to the fields to work on chainsawing logs and we were 2-0 up. It can't happen again I thought . . . . . . .
WelshClaret
We were terrible in second half, we were under the cosh for 45 minutes. Don't think we had an attack worth mentioning
turfmanphil
This is like defeat Again Brian Laws is a defender yet his team cannot defend how many times are we going throw away a 2 goal lead.?????????
Grimsby Claret
The bottom line is we haven't got what it takes and we look to be one of a number of 'hopeful but not quite' teams this season. We should be taking this league by storm and the truth is we are not because we keep woefully chucking away valuable points on the road
turfmanphil
We must win our home games we were thrashed 0-4 last time we played at home, It is going to be very very difficult to finish in the top two now.
Grimsby Claret
A draw today would of been an ok result not brill but just ok before kick off that was, but the way we threw it away so late again, We need to learn how to kill off games when we are 2-0 up. and the fact QPR pulled further away from us, Its taken the shine of the Ruby wedding party we are going to tonight.
Grimsby Claret
Two home games coming up again now- Doncaster & Watford-Only six points will do!
turfmanphil
Back in Lincs, met Rickers and will now vent my spleen in the forum bit....if you name is Alexander or JayRod...dont read it.
vinrogue
To be so in control and then let everything slip is a massive issue. Having said that it works in reverse as well (e,g, Preston). Some of the more experienced players must be held to blame. I don't think that this is Laws fault - he's got a team that can compete but they don't seem to want to,
AndyHo
Such a frustrating time! Down to 9th,at least Derby won and not Pompey to go above us! It's like we never had a season in the Prem. Back to being an also-ran. Pretty angry actually, but for the sake of board harmony I wont go on a Board (Burnley board that is) rant again
turfmanphil
Have a rant tmp, but at the players who were excellent in the first half and looked like promotion chasing players. Those same players then looked like chickens without heads for 45 minutes and got what they deserved. The board and manager did not make them into chickens without heads! They did that all by themselves!
vinrogue
Maybe if we had spent some of the Prem cash on high-profile players we would have brought in a few who knew how to play 90 minutes of friggin football then! Mind you had we done that, we probably wouldn't be playing Doncaster on Tuesday night but Man U!! ;-) [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
 

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