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Burnley vs. Leeds United

Turf Moor

Saturday 11th December 2010

3pm

Clarets Hoping to Dog Leeds!

The Clarets fresh from a break after their game at Portsmouth was postponed last Saturday due to the inclement weather now face Yorkshire rivals, Leeds United at Turf Moor.

Hopefully this time the weather will have improved enough to allow the game to go ahead but if there are still dangerous icy conditions around the ground, safety-first may again come into play. Let`s hope the game is not postponed and the 'Red (otherwise known as Claret) Rose` secures victory!

The Preamble

Burnley were just one of many clubs last week in the Championship affected by the bad weather with a lot of the fixtures being cancelled due to the ice and snow. It looks like the cold spell could be with us until the New Year so there is every chance that more of our games could be postponed in the run up to Christmas. If the fixture goes ahead, Burnley face Leeds United in a 'Wars of the Roses. Clash at Turf Moor this Saturday and they will be keen to keep their home form going and maintain their momentum for promotion.

The Clarets are currently 9th in the table but crucially are just three points off the play-offs spots with a game in hand over all the clubs above us except for League leaders QPR. The Rs are still 12 points clear of the Clarets but their game on Saturday against Hull City at the KC Stadium was also postponed. Second-placed Cardiff nearly lost to bottom club, Preston at home on Saturday leaving it late to equalise in injury time to earn just the one point in a 1-1 draw. That result kept them in second place on 37 points. Burnley are now eight points behind them but the Bluebirds look catchable if only we could go on a good run and string a few back-to-back wins together starting with Leeds at home this Saturday. It is a big 'ask` though with our away form so dodgy and the Clarets still looking for their first away win of the season. But nevertheless that is what we will have to do to keep our automatic promotion dreams alive.

Leeds on the other hand are stringing back-to-back results together and having come from behind in the last ten minutes to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday they can now bask in the glory of seven games on the trot without defeat. That last victory saw them jump above Burnley into sixth spot. A victory by the Clarets on Saturday though would see them go above the Yorkshire club on goal difference with a game in hand! Just shows how crucial a win on Saturday will be with virtually every match these days being a six-pointer.

Although it might stick in the throat of all rival fans (We All Hate Leeds..Er Mum and all that!), there is no getting away from the fact that Leeds are on a upward path having gained promotion from League 1 last season. Here is an example of another club where administration and the docking of points leading to relegation has done nothing but punish a club in a lower league for a few seasons before seeing them come back stronger. In their last seven games they have won four and drawn three. Their away record is also impressive putting ours to shame! In the ten matches they have played on the road so far this season, Leeds have only lost two of them having won four and drawn four. The Clarets will certainly need to be on their guard when they come to Turf Moor!

Burnley Team News:

The forced break due to the weather would at least have given longer time for our injured players to recover. Chris Eagles (back problem) and Martin Paterson (thigh strain) were both expected to be fit for the Pompey game in any case but another week`s rest has probably been to their advantage.

Our only injuries at the moment again appear to be Danny Fox (ankle ligament damage) who looks unlikely to return and of course long-term injured, Chris McCann (recovering from cruciate ligament surgery).

Player to watch: Chris Eagles

Believed to have now fully recovered from his back injury, Chris Eagles if selected could be key to our chances of winning this clash. Clarets fans had probably not realised he had been carrying a back injury for sometime before finally being rested against Derby County. He had looked a little off form in recent matches and it now looks like this injury could have been the reason why. He was in impressive form earlier in the season so let`s hope we see the best of Eagles again this Saturday.

Leeds United Team News:

Right back, Paul Connolly returns after sitting out a one-match suspension against Palace. He had picked up a fifth yellow in the previous game away to Reading.

Leeds United captain Richard Naylor though is out for up to six weeks after undergoing a knee operation last month.

The 33-year-old centre back has been sidelined for the last seven games due to the injury and the club decided surgery was the best option to remedy the problem.

Other than that it looks like manager, Simon Grayson has virtually a full squad to choose from and looks set to name a similar eighteen to the one named for the Palace game. We will however bring you any later team news announced by the club below this article.

Player to watch: Luciano Becchio

Becchio is Leeds` leading goal-scorer and he is currently in third spot in the Npower Championship Top Scorers table with ten goals to his credit so far this season. He seems to be scoring for fun and in his last game scored a brace in the last ten minutes to ensure Leeds secured a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Elland Road.

The 26 year old Argentinean striker came to Elland Road on trial in July 2008 with Leeds by then plying their trade in League 1. He impressed then manager, Gary McAllister so much in the pre-season games that he signed the former Boca Juniors youth player on a three-year deal later that month from Spain`s Segunda División B club Mérida UD. Since that time, the hot-shot striker has scored 40 goals in just over 100 appearances for the club, an average strike rate of about one goal in every two-three games.

Our defence will certainly need to keep this lad in check on Saturday!

Team & Tactics

Why don`t I just virtually repeat what I said in the match preview for the game that wasn`t against Portsmouth? OK I will since it is all still relevant!!

It sounds like both Chris Eagles and Martin Paterson will be available for selection and of course the big question also remains on formation. Will Laws now stick with the successful 4-4-2 formation or will he revert back to 4-5-1 at least for the start of this match?

Elliott looked so much more comfortable out on the wing against Derby County in our last match and if Eagles is fit, it would make sense to play him on the opposite flank with Wallace I am afraid drawing the short-straw going back on the bench.

Of the strikers, Jay Rodriguez has been the least impressive in recent games and he should perhaps be dropped back to the bench for a rest. If we are to play 4-4-2, I would select Iwelumo up front with Paterson (if fit). Thompson or the new boy, Guidetti would also be perfectly acceptable options to start this game in partnership with Big Chris but we shall see what Laws has in mind.

It is difficult to know Laws mind and which formation he will go with. He has toyed with 4-4-2 a lot in recent games but has not started that way preferring instead to keep with 4-5-1 using Iwelumo alone up front with Cork or Alexander in holding midfield. The team sheet is therefore quite difficult to predict with Laws having so many options and with virtually the whole squad to choose from (excepting Fox, McCann and the five squad players out on loan)

I will assume that at some point we will play 4-4-2 and if so this is our best 4-4-2 team selection in my opinion:

Grant, Mears, Bikey, Carlisle, Easton, Eagles, Cork, Marney, Elliott, Iwelumo, Paterson

Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Duff, Alexander, Wallace, Thompson, Guidetti

Match Prediction:

Time for the smile to be knocked off Leeds fans faces! 3-0 Clarets!

Next Match

The build up to the dreaded Christmas period continues with a tricky away trip to Wales on Saturday 18th December to play second-placed Cardiff City (Kick-Off 3pm). What a time that would be to get our first away win of the season!




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 5 2010

Time: 11:52AM

Your Comments

Bit early with the Match Preview this week but it all seems relatively clear cut barring any unexpected late injury annoucements. Will bring you those and details of the referee as and when available
turfmanphil
This is the game to make clear our intentions in the Championship - auto promotion - by a good win and then confirmed with a win at Cardiff. We can still do it, instil lots of confidence in the team BL, go with an attacking 4-4-2.
cornwallclaret
Yep,now is the time to make a statement and we haven't yet really this season! Six points from next two games and folk will take notice. Anything less than 4 and we will be in the mix with countless other average teams
turfmanphil
Its that front 6 again! Great to read tmp saying we have so many options (we must be stronger then), for me its Eagles, Cork, Marney, Elliott and Big Chris. As a true dingle I can't put my finger on the 6th digit to this formation lark!...........humour on a Monday morning...have a word.....nurse
vinrogue
Hope you're right cornwall with the formation carnt see it myself but who knows BL might have slipped in the snow and banged his head.
Fedupclaret
Agree with the team selection above and hope Laws plays it 4 4 2. I'm working this weekend otherwise I'd have been up with my brother who is a Leeds fan. Got the ticket for the Cardiff match though and will be hoping for a third consecutive victory, not to mention the first away win.
WelshClaret
3 points from the next 2 games, you'll be miserable come Saturday night.
Tiny T
Notts referee,Russell Booth gets this one. Started refereeing in 1984 in Mansfield and progressed to the National List of assistant Referees in 1998. After only one season promoted to the SG of assistant referees until he reached the National List of referees in 2004. 10 games this season at Championship and lower league level, I red and 20 yellows
turfmanphil
This is as big as Burnley Blackburn for us born and bred west Yorkshire Clarets.
grimsby claret
18,500 at the moment according to official site, including 4,000 away fans. Not sure I would have given them the whole of the CFS. Lets play Pato and Big Chris, thats what my heart is telling me!
vinrogue
Pato fit and Eagles fit they both need to play I think. I'm really looking forward to this game, but I need a Burnley win. Theres money on it and life won't be worth living at work if we lose.
skutter169
The acoustics in that stand always give advantage to the away crowd when its full. Seems to drown out the Longside
turfmanphil
Here we go then, time to step up to the plate fellas, and I hope we really put them away. As I said, really wanted to be at this one but work interferes again. I'll be getting my football fix at the Liberty tonight though as the Swans take on Millwall. Hope the crowd control is up to it :-) F Troop here we come.
WelshClaret
Will be testing my voice out in the bath later! I have to say I am really looking forward to this game, so much so I am having an early start in the morning. Pato and Big Chris to start.....please......
vinrogue
Laws out. End of.
pmh200111
Even when we go 2-0 up you worry and as usual we give one goal back soon after half time - what's the bet we give up more?
ozjean
Yep, as I thought 2-2. We really need to get rid of Laws.
ozjean
2-3 now - have we got a defence? Crap, there is no other word for it.
ozjean
losers, get rid, show some ambition or just xxxx off!!!!
pmh200111
Unbelievable.
WelshClaret
nah, feck off burnley, won't be bothering. In these times clbs have to justify to their fans why support them and BFC has done xxxx all since coming down. Byeeee have a nice wallow in mediocrity.
pmh200111
It is time to kick out Brian Laws. I am sorry to say he not the man for the job to get Burnley back to premier league. he is the the man for Burnley to get to the league one. He is useless. If Burnley have get a ordinary manager last year they would have played premier league football this year. He dosen´t have the tacits skills at this level. He dosn´t know how to play. When he play 4 4 2 the team is winning but he insist to play in an other way. That is stupid in my opinon. Sack him today an get a manager whoknows what is all about.
swedishclaret
Beer in Burnley getting weaker due to floods of tears after Leeds romp home
tINY T
This was our big chance for auto promotion, we blew it, WHY, big question for BL.
cornwallclaret
Pmh200111 you are a sado. We will support Burnley whatever. Its clear who ever you support must have a sad message board because you prefer to be on ours.
Grimsby Claret
That's the third time this year that we've thrown away a 2 goal lead. Is it the fact that the defence is guilty of massive complacency or just bad tatics? If it's the defence at fault then Laws should be making changes and soon.
CanadaClaret
Laws is a defender yet we cannot defend a 2 goal lead at home. WHY????????
Grimsby Claret
He might have been a good defender but when will it be realised that he's a very average manager. He doesn't seem able to see what's going wrong before it happens if you know what I mean. He changes things too late and seems poor tactically. Mind you that does not excuse the players, we need a couple of decent defenders and quick. However I wouldn't trust Laws to do the choosing - he let Caldwell and Jordan and they were much better than what we have got now.
ozjean
It is attackers who can't score, defenders who can't defend, bad refs, bad luck, dare I say it bad manager, or are we just not good enough. I feel sick, there we were, two up, a game in hand, playing Cardiff next week with a real chance of being well placed for an auto promotion place and in 45 mins my dreams dashed. All I have now is a not very confident hope of a play off place.
cornwallclaret
Dreadful and Laws has to go now for me! Match Report to follow and it was painful to write
turfmanphil
 

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