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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Portsmouth vs. Burnley

Fratton Park

Tuesday 25th January 2011

3pm

Up Pompey...The Prologue at the 2nd Attempt

Ooh er missus! The Clarets travel to Fratton Park on Tuesday night to play Portsmouth in the rearranged fixture following the postponement of the match last month due to snow and ice.

The Preamble

Burnley go into this game at Fratton Park knowing they have only managed to win just one on the road all season. Quite simply we have to start winning a few games away from home and string together a run starting with victory over Steve Cotterill`s Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

Eddie Howe will be keen to get his first win on the board after becoming our new manager and getting a point away to Scunthorpe in his first game in charge last Saturday.

It is vital we start picking up points away from home with the club currently 11th in the league with 37 points from 26 games. We are already drifting away from the play-offs slots and are now six points behind the club in 6th place, Nottingham Forest having also played the same number of games. We do though currently have games in hand over all the top five clubs but automatic promotion is now looking a forlorn hope.

After league leader`s QPR`s victory over Coventry today (Sunday), they are now 15 points clear of the Clarets albeit having played a game more. Cardiff are currently second on goal difference sharing the same number of points as both Norwich and Swansea with all three clubs ten points clear of Burnley although the Clarets do have games in hand over them.

Portsmouth and their financial problems have been a hot topic for months but under our former manager, Steve Cotterill despite all the concerns off the pitch, Pompey have perhaps surprised a few pundits this season on the pitch. Relegated of course last season from the Premier League along with the Clarets but in a far more serious financial situation with threats of administration and even worse, they had to sell a number of key players.

Despite their perilous situation they are currently in 18th spot just six points behind the Clarets. So they will be keen to narrow that to just three and start to move away from the drop-zone. They are currently five points clear of a relegation place which is a bit too close for comfort.

Their recent form has somewhat slipped a bit though since they were mid-table at the time this fixture was originally intended to be played despite making a poor start to the season. Pompey have not won now in six games although have picked up three draws. Their home form too is somewhat inconsistent; they have only won one but have drawn three of their last six home games.

Portsmouth Team News:

Portsmouth's already threadbare squad has been weakened further by the absence of skipper Aaron Mokoena.

The South African defender started a two-game ban after collecting his 10th yellow card of the season at Nottingham Forest two weeks ago. He has already missed the Leeds game and will complete his ban by sitting out the Burnley clash.

Pompey are also still without striker Dave Kitson who is also banned after picking up a red card in their recent 3-1 FA Cup defeat away to Brighton. He will be available after the Burnley game.

Defender Ricardo Rocha has been on the bench recently despite hamstring trouble and could be called upon to start.

Danny Webber (cruciate) is still sidelined and both Richard Hughes and Michael Brown are unable to due to contract issues.

Pompey have struggled to even put out a full eighteen this season and in some cases could only muster four substitutes. This has more to do with the fact that they only have 21 squad players due to their financial predicament rather than injuries and suspensions although obviously they will take their toll even more in such a small squad.

Pompey do not appear to have any fresh injury worries at the moment and managed to put out six substitutes in their last game. If we hear any news we will bring it to you below this article.

Player to watch: David Nugent

Nugent of course is no stranger to Clarets fans and despite his intentions to play in the Premier League it would appear he has now settled down again with Portsmouth in the Championship under Steve Cotterill. He also seems to be hitting the back of the net with some regularity although there is currently no Pompey striker in the top 15 of Npower Championship Top Scorers league table. It would be typical if Nugent scored against us so we will need to try and snuff out the threat.

He currently shares being Pompey`s top scorer with Republic of Ireland international winger, Liam Lawrence. Both have scored 8 goals this season including seven in the League.

Burnley Team News:

There was some potential good news this week concerning Chris McCann. The midfielder has been recovering from corrective surgery to fix his cruciate ligament problem for some months now. His last game was just under a year ago away to Bolton in the Premier League fixture last January. McCann has been training for some time now but has not been allowed to train competitively avoiding contact with other players. He is to see a specialist on the 1st February with the hope he can now step up his training schedule. He is not expected to return though for another one-two months.

Martin Paterson is another player who has struggled with injury this season. He has been out of action with a niggling thigh problem since being brought off at half-time in our home against Doncaster Rovers back in November. We are continually being told he is a week away from returning but it never seems to happen for him. It is thought he might now be ready and match fit in time for our FA Cup clash on Saturday against Burton Albion.

Clarke Carlisle is now another worry after injuring his knee in the first half against Scunthorpe on Saturday. He soldiered on but the injury tightened up in the dressing room at half-time and he was substituted by Bikey. We await news on his injury from the club.

The club also announced over the weekend that Steven Thompson would be seeing a specialist this week concerning a niggling groin injury.

Player to watch: Jay Rodriguez

Jay has seemed a little off-form of late and needs to get back on the goal sheet. A goal could do him a power of good!

Team & Tactics

There is no doubt in my mind that Howe should start with the same tactics and formation that we adopted eventually in the second half against Scunthorpe. That would mean 4-4-2 with Eagles and Elliott on the flanks supporting Iwelumo and Rodriguez up front. Carlisle might not make it if his knee injury keeps him sidelined but this will be another ideal opportunity for Andre Bikey to impress the new gaffer in the centre of defence after coming on to replace Carlisle in the second-half against the Iron.

I feel a little bit sorry too that Easton appears to have lost his place to Fox but suspect the Scot will have to be content with a place on the bench again.

I also wonder if Howe has made any progress in trying to get Brian Jensen to reconsider his transfer request. I have to say Grant at times looks a liability. He was flapping and parrying at the wrong time again on occasions at Glanford Park. I suspect though after suddenly keeping two clean sheets on the trot despite failing to do so prior to that since replacing The Beast back in October , Grant will once again start the match.

If we play 4-4-2 expect something like the following line-up:

Grant, Mears, Bikey (or Carlisle if fit), Duff, Fox, Eagles, Cort, Marney, Elliott, Iwelumo, Rodriguez

Subs: Jensen, Easton, Edgar, Bikey or Carlisle (if fit), Alexander, Wallace, Thompson

Ref Watch:

Warwickshire referee, Stuart Attwell takes charge of this clash. Attwell has been fast-tracked through the refereeing system, having started in 1998 and promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007. He became the youngest person to referee in the Premier League in August 2008, at 25-years-old, and was confirmed as England`s youngest international Referee when he was named on the FIFA list in December 2008. There is a feeling though in games in which the Clarets have been involved that he still looks naive but that aside so far this season he has featured in 14 games, six of them in the Premier League and has handed out two red cards and a massive 49 yellows. That is an average of about 4 per match! In one game between Wolves and Newcastle earlier this season twelve yellow cards were dished out by Attwell!

Match Prediction:

We simply have to string a run together if we are to keep in touch of the play-off positions and that means winning away. Could Pompey become our second victims of the season? Let`s hope so. 2-1 Clarets!

Next Match

We take a break from the Championship this Saturday ( 29th January) to focus on the FA Cup 4th Round with struggling League 2 side, Burton Albion the visitors to Turf Moor (Kick-Off 3pm).

Three days later on the night of Tuesday 1st February we continue our hectic schedule with a league game away to Doncaster Rovers (7:45pm Kick-Off)




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 23 2011

Time: 4:08PM

Your Comments

You just can't see us reaching the play-offs if we dont get three points here! Come on you Clarets, prove that 'we went down stronger' than Pompey!
turfmanphil
It a shocker that a 550 mile round trip has been rearranged for a Tuesday night along with Cardiff game as well
hollinsclaret
Yep, wont be going to any of them although it would have been debatable for me even if played on a Saturday
turfmanphil
Club saying Thommo will be available for Pompey game but that Carlisle now facing late fitness test but has a chance of recovering in time. Howe says injury not as serious as first thought
turfmanphil
I knew we wouldnt beat Scunthorpe as soon as I heard they had lost 6 on the bounce at home. So I'm now worried that Portsmouth haven't won in 7 games
boltonclaret
Know what you mean bolton. On the other hand I wonder what Pompey might be thinking when they look at our away record :-) This one's ours.
WelshClaret
Going to this one and, to continue TMP's carry on references, I reckon it might be a bit nippy down south. Looking forward to seeing Stevie Cott even though it sounds like he might be getting a bit of a one man welcome from the Claret fans as I haven't heard of anyone else who is mad enough to be attending the game yet ! Not a massive surprise - a tricky journey there and back on a Tuesday night in January.
RickersTwickers
Too far for me on a Tuesday night sadly, although I did enjoy last season when me and minivr picked Couch up from Poole train station en route. Didn't enjoy the result last year, a game we should have won.
VinRogue
Rickers I salute you ! Up the clarets have a safe trip
hollinsclaret
'Carry On' RT? Title refers to Frankie Howard's 70's TV sitcom,'Up Pompeii'. Think they had common writers though
turfmanphil
I'm not confident about this one at all - which probably means we will win!! Pompey still have a premier League side and still on Prem wages too most of them. I don't think we will get promotion this year, as with Coyle I think it will take Eddie until next season to get us going, so I'm looking at improvement in our play and getting in a couple of new players. Keep Bikey in the side - he's a very good player who just needs a manager who will keep him focussed and Eddie will do that.
ozjean
I see Coyle's Bolton lost to Chelsea last night and have now taken only one point from their last 5 games after a decent start. Isn't this where he jumps ship to a 'bigger club'? His post match comments were again identical to what he said at Burnley after a defeat. It was at this stage of his Burnley stint that he started to get on my nerves with his repetetive comments and self promotion- it's downhill from now on at Bolton. Much prefer Eddie - and he's better looking!!
ozjean
I enjoyed the day last year too, Vin... that is everything except the result. I have secured a refund on my ticket this time around, as it's too far for me for an evening fixture. I am nowadays thinking that I may be moving to somewhere a bit more sensible for a Burnley fan sometime in 2012-2014. But it won't be anywhere closer to Portsmouth.
Couch Potato
We must win tonight or its looking like we will miss the play offs.
grimsby claret
Just the one change for the team that drew at Scunthorpe, Thompson comes in for Wallace. Team line-ups:Burnley: Grant, Fox, Carlisle, Duff, Mears, Cork, Elliott, Marney, Rodriguez, Thompson, Eagles Subs: Jensen, Edgar, Bikey, Alexander, Iwelumo, Wallace, Easton Pompey:Ashdown, Halford, De Laet, Lawrence, Mullins, Nugent, Hogg, Utaka, Ward, Sonko, Kanu. Subs: Dickinson, Hreidarsson, Ciftci, Rocha, Kilbey, Flahavan
8clarets8
I think were going 4-4-2. I think Eddie saw how we played better with iwelumo and Jay up front at scunny and has changed it. Although Thommo is better at holding up the ball, than jay or Iwelumo. Anyway Come on you clarets!!
skutter169
Portsmouth 0-1 Burnley, Jay Rod, Utaka equalises 1-1
8clarets8
GOAL!!! MARNEY who are you... Portsmouth 1-2 Burnley
8clarets8
Half-time: Portsmouth 1-2 Burnley, lets keep the lead
8clarets8
Nervy half coming up I sense. Marney scored with an overhead kick!
skutter169
Iwelumo on for Thompson
8clarets8
Full-time: Portsmouth 1-2 Burnley, gritty performance... :-)
8clarets8
Cant wait for RT's summary. Great away win and what a confidence booster for everyone. Woopwoop de woop
VinRogue
Sounds like a very close game, from some of the text commentary's. But a very good away win. If we could just put a run together of say 5 wins we would be right back up there.
skutter169
GREAT result. Can we make it two wins in a row in the cup, though?!
whentheballmoves
Last time we won 2-1 at Portsmouth we went on a 20 match undefeated run and ended up winning the title. Name the year ! PS: Well done TMP, your prediction came true, is this a first ? ;)
cubanclaret
Just back from the game. What a great win and delighted to see that Eddie and his team seem to have instilled a bit of get up and go. We even saw our first post-match team huddle - tremendous stuff. Overall thoughts are that we were hanging on a touch towards the end but deserved our three points thanks to a scissors finish from Marneyinho. More to come tomorrow when I've calmed down a bit (and decided what to do with the 10 I have won on the BFC lottery). Makes up for getting my Carry Ons mixed up with my Up Pompeiis - sorry TMP.
RickersTwickers
Been out on a burns night so excuse any spelling mistakes 1.28 AM ... told ya eddies god !!! we need to build the confidence, we as fans need to believe..... in turn the players will believe... the clarets are going up under eddie jason and stu...... TOGETHER ! COME ON BURNLEY
hollinsclaret
rickers .... glad the journey paid off .. your the nominated good luck mascot .... don't miss an away game from now on please lol glad your journey was rewarded well done have a beer in me
hollinsclaret
hope the boys get hammered tonight..... do the team bonding bit.... and put a team out on Saturday that welcomes the chance of playing..... than go on to smash Norwich and Lamberts lot next Saturday ... go enjoy ya self boys you deserve it UP THE CLARETS Delia and Lambert in for a torrid time
hollinsclaret
 

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