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Burnley vs. Blackpool

Turf Moor

Saturday 29th October 2011


On Sky

The Battle of the Similar B-Teams

The Clarets return to Championship duty this Saturday with a juicy local derby at home against Blackpool. This will also be a Sky live televised game with a later kick-off at 5:20pm.

The Pre-amble:

The Clarets will be hoping to maintain their new found form in the Championship on Saturday after picking up three valuable points away from home against Coventry City in their league game last Saturday. They have had a bit of a setback in midweek after being knocked out of the Carling Cup following a 1-0 away defeat to Cardiff but hopefully then can put that behind them and now focus again on their Championship campaign.

Their next challenge will be to defeat local rivals Blackpool on their home soil this Saturday. It will certainly be high-profile as far as the fans are concerned and we will be on show to a wider football audience as well with the game being televised live by Sky (Kick-Off-5:20pm).

Burnley and Blackpool not only share the same town initial but also have a remarkably similar recent history. Burnley like Blackpool both enjoyed a recent promotion to the top flight. Both had a pretty impressive start to Premier League life, both led by charismatic characters in Owen Coyle and Ian Holloway. Both clubs however decided to plead poverty and did not invest in their Premier League survival with one predictable consequence! Both were relegated after just one season in the Premier League! There was only one major difference in that Blackpool did not suffer the upheaval of losing a high-profile manager half-way through the season. At the moment, Blackpool look like continuing to follow the Clarets by becoming quickly established as a mid-table club in the Championship again, something which is clearly disappointing to both sets of fans.

The Clarets are in no man`s land at the moment with` inconsistent` being the word used most often to describe their recent performances. They are currently in 17th spot with 15 points from 12 games and how you review that situation depends on whether you are a 'glass half-full` or 'glass half-empty` type of fan! We do actually have a game in hand over most of our rivals with that match away to Birmingham coming up later in November. You need to bear that in mind but at the moment we are six points away from the play-offs spots but equally just five points off the drop-zone, so things could go either way. We simply have to start winning at home convincingly though if we are to progress in the right direction and begin to challenge for promotion.

Three points against Ian Holloway`s men on Saturday though would be a great boost for every Clarets fan especially with a very busy November schedule coming up in which we play six games. We have a Saturday and Tuesday night game every week in November except for yet another International break so the month could really make or break our season.

Burnley are currently just four points behind Blackpool with that game in hand so a victory against last season`s Premier League boys could be just the tonic we need to begin to believe again. Blackpool, currently in 12th spot may have been expecting to be higher at this stage although they are currently only two points off the play- offs spots. The Tangerines too have been suffering from inconsistency though and in their last six league games have only picked up two wins and one draw having lost three. In terms of their form on the road, they got tonked 4-0 by high-flying West Ham in their last away match and have only won one of the remaining five although they have drawn three games. The scene is set for a closely fought battle. Up the Clarets!

Burnley Team News:

There is no news of any fresh injury concerns following the Carling Cup game against Cardiff on Tuesday night and we have not picked up any suspensions. Eddie Howe mentioned in his post-match interview after the Cardiff defeat that Marvin Bartley had been carrying a back injury and Ross Wallace had been suffering a tight hamstring which is why they were dropped to the bench. Although they both came on the gaffer didn`t feel they were able to play 90 minutes. Hopefully they will have time to have recovered by Saturday`s game.

It is still too soon though for Martin Paterson (thigh) and Michael Duff (knee). Danny Ings (cartilage) and Brian Jensen (groin) are also still sidelined.

Player to watch: Ben Mee

The on-loan Manchester City defender, Ben Mee looks to be back in favour after making an appearance from the bench in our last league game away to Coventry and making a start against Cardiff in the Carling Cup clash on Tuesday night. He had been sidelined since being knocked unconscious in the match against Peterborough at London Road last month. Following his recovery, he found himself on the bench having lost his place to Andre Amougou. Amougou, rather than Edgar is the one that has since lost out to Mee in the last two games so perhaps we can expect a Mee/Edgar centre pairing to start on Saturday. With centre back Michael Duff also expected to have made a complete recovery in the next two weeks or so, there could be a lot of competition soon for the centre back positions. All eyes for the moment though could be on Ben Mee with a view to deciding who he should partner!

Blackpool Team News:

Ian Holloway`s team has not played in midweek unlike the Clarets so any minor niggles will have had time to probably heal and they could have the advantage of being more rested and refreshed. There is no news of any new injuries so Holloway would appear to have a full squad to choose from.

Player to watch: Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips may be getting long-in-the-tooth now at the age of 38 but the former Birmingham City striker is still finding the back of the net. Phillips left Brum when his contract expired at the end of last season and signed for newly-relegated, Blackpool in July 2009 agreeing a one year deal. He is now currently, Blackpool`s leading goal scorer having put away six goals in 13 appearances for the club this season.

Team & Tactics:

With no suspensions and no news of any fresh injuries following the Cardiff game on Tuesday night, Eddie Howe looks to have the same pool of players to choose from. Howe changed things around for the Carling Cup game with mixed results. Dean Marney, Alex MacDonald, Ben Mee and Zavon Hines, all made the starting eleven against the Bluebirds although the substitutions in the second half gave the team more shape and we can probably expect Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley and Charlie Austin to return to the starting eleven against Blackpool. Ben Mee though could be in line to start again probably at the expense of Amougou who seems to be out of favour once more. He was on the bench on Tuesday night and failed to make an appearance. The centre back pairing of Edgar and Mee looks the most likely selection but I am not sure this is our best combination. Amougou may be inconsistent and be prone to momentary lapses of reason but the truth still remains he is the best defender we currently have in the back four and is the one most likely to help our attack and score goals from set-pieces. I would try Mee and Amougou together to be honest but I don`t think Howe will see it that way.

Junior Stanislas will also be available after being cup-tied against Cardiff but will he be named in the starting eleven? He has been less than impressive in recent games so he could be a casualty on Saturday and find himself back on the bench unless Howe has another experimental tactic in mind involving playing him out of position in a centre midfield role or playing him in the hole behind a striker. I think to be honest Stanislas will be on the bench with Treacy and Wallace being named as our orthodox wingers.

My predicted sixteen as opposed to my preferred sixteen therefore is as follows:

Grant, Trippier, Mee, Edgar, Easton, Wallace, McCann, Bartley, Treacy, Rodriguez, Austin

Subs: Stewart, Amougou, Marney, Stanislas, Hines

Ref Watch:

Premier League referee, Michael Oliver (Northumberland) gets this local derby. He has only been in charge of eight games so far this season handing out 28 yellows but just one red card! That red card along with another seven yellows came in a Premier League game recently between QPR and Aston Villa at Loftus Road. Oliver was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2010. Later that year he became the youngest-ever referee to take charge of a Premier League game.

Match Prediction:

I don`t think the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff in midweek which ended our Carling Cup campaign will have much bearing in terms of the team confidence against Blackpool on Saturday. Hopefully they will be more buoyed up by their last league game when they beat Coventry City 2-1 at the Ricoh the Saturday before and be determined to progress up the league table and start to more away from the bottom half of the table and nearer the play-offs spots. If the team that beat Forest at home and Millwall and Coventry away turn up, we could give the Blackpool fans a bit of a shock and turn their team over. Let`s plump for a 3-1 Clarets victory!

Next Match:

The busy November schedule begins for the Clarets with a home game on the night of Tuesday 1st November against the now Sven-less Leicester City (Kick-Off-7:45pm)

The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 27 2011

Time: 8:10AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A convincing win in this one would really lift spirits. This really is a good test to gauge how our season is likely to pan out. We have to impress in this derby and show commitment, passion and determination.
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27/10/2011 08:15:00
Got a bad feeling about this one think a stuffing is on the cards in front of the skyboys and i'll be watching this one in Scotland on the tele. Hope you are right phil and i'm wrong on this one, and to make it worse i'm away for the weekend with friends who are ******** rovers fans. So come on boys don't let me down.
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27/10/2011 09:18:00
On paper we beat Forest 5-1 and Forest beat Blackpool 2-1 so on paper we should stuff em...if only eh!! I am with Fedup got a bad feeling, so come the Clarets prove us wrong.
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27/10/2011 11:27:00
Some more Blackpool team news courtesy of Vital Blackpool-' It's always extremely difficult to read Ian Holloway's mind, but expect Ian Evatt to be reintroduced to the centre of defence for no other reason than it's a derby fixture. That could see Alex Baptiste move to right back and Neal Eardley drop to the bench. Tom Ince should start again after being inexplicably dragged off during the defeat to Forest on Saturday. '
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28/10/2011 07:35:00
Blacpool have got a defence like botomless bucket. if we hit them hard right from the word go we could sink them in the first 30 mins. Blacpool are ok going forward, but they are hoplesley square @ the back worse than we are. We have better strickers so come on lets batter them 4 - 1
Albmaleaf claret
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28/10/2011 12:45:00
Blackpool's Lomana Lua-Lua featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly this week but is not yet match fit so looks unlikely to be included in the squad.
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28/10/2011 15:09:00
When will Hines get 90 minutes, didn't we buy him because he is good or did we buy him to give him 5 minutes to prove himself now and then ffs we are playing Easton and Edgar surely Hines deserves a 90 minute start?
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28/10/2011 23:30:00
Two bad defences could mean a goal feast, hope we have the bigger appetite.
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29/10/2011 07:42:00
Hoping the glass is more than half full after this one but share concerns expressed - not surprising given some of the dross that the lads have served up at home so far this campaign. The Amougou saga raising its head again is a negative - I have a feeling we secured recent clean sheets with Andre at the back? Agree with VR that we should see more of Hines - at least a chance for the lad to show what he can do.
Essex Claret
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29/10/2011 08:25:00
Just read in the Daily Mail that Eddie Howe has been talking to Pompey!!!! Bad news if that is true. Anyone else heard anything about this?
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29/10/2011 10:47:00
From Suzanne Geldart on LET Sat 29 Oct: EDDIE Howe has moved to end speculation linking him with the Portsmouth job by insisting: “I’m 100 per cent committed to Burnley!” The Clarets boss emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite, at 8/11 on, to succeed Steve Cotterill, who left for Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago. Pompey have already begun the interview process and have, so far, not made an approach to Burnley for Howe, who is just nine months into the three-and-a-half year contract he signed after leaving Bournemouth. As such he would command a significant compensation package. Nevertheless, rumours suggesting the 33-year-old former defender could return to the club he spent two-and-a-half seasons, between 2002 and 2004, refused to go away, particularly as the job would mean returning to his south coast roots. But Howe was keen to end any uncertainty among both players and supporters ahead of tonight’s Turf Moor derby with Blackpool (kick-off 5.20pm). “It’s an honour and a privilege to be Burnley manager and I’m 100 per cent committed to the club,” he told Lancashire Telegraph Sport. Howe has overhauled the squad to develop a younger, fresher team since taking charge in January following Brian Laws’ sacking on December 29, 2010. He has been reunited with former Bournemouth players Marvin Bartley and Danny Ings, who is sidelined with a long-term knee problem, and spent £1.2million to make Charlie Austin his first signing, from Swindon Town. Howe has also fast-tracked youth team product Steve Hewitt, signing the 17-year-old midfielder on a two-and-a-half year professional deal this month. “I feel like I’m only just beginning the job,” he said. “We are very keen to build plans here for the long term and bring success to the club long term.”
Couch Potato
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29/10/2011 14:59:00
If you're at the game, but can find a way to watch the SKY broadcast, look for Ross telling Andre to **** off before burying it. Priceless.
Couch Potato
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29/10/2011 17:54:00
SKY reckon Bpool are lucky to still have Shelve and Crainey on the pitch, after a last man handball and a nasty studs to shin challenge on Mee. Nervy first 10, during which Shelve missed a golden chance. But Burnley's press in all parts of the pitch has led to a dominant share of first half possession and goals from Austin and Wallace. Mee looking fairly solid at LB in place of injured Easton. 2-0. Olly (who revealed pre-match that he lives amongst Clarets) has been presented a Communicator of the Year award this week by Ali C, and is going to need to say something to the men in tangerine. Paul Ince looking glum watching his son, and the Burnley Express looking cheerful in a pre KO interview, after England walk the 20/20, talking about his times in and behind the Cricket Field stand.
Couch Potato
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29/10/2011 18:15:00
Bartley's first for Burnley, some smart saves by Grant, some great saving touches from Edgar, the miss of the season by Charlie, a lot of Bpool possession causing a few edgy moments and Burnley to play the second half largely on the break... but all in all very comfortable viewing from the couch. (Wasn't raining here either!) Well, at least until the traditional sloppy defensive moment surrenders the shutout in injury time. But hey ho. A win in a Lancs derby is a win in a Lancs derby. UTC.
Couch Potato
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29/10/2011 19:13:00
Edger gives Blackpool a sloppy consolation goal when will he ever learn it spoils his good performance. Otherwise great great win.
Grimsby Claret
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29/10/2011 19:15:00
Yeah, shame about the sloppy goal, why didn't he launch it into the stands? But a good performance by him and he'll get better and better. Come on you Young Guns , we could still take this championship by storm. UTC
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29/10/2011 19:35:00
Still a bit soggy. Youth is great and I love the way they play. BUT also a bit fragile (Hence our ups and downs?) The Austin/Jayrod pairing is starting to mature a bit especially with the likes of JS and RW gaining strength. Still thinking relegation TMP?
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29/10/2011 22:33:00
Showing signs of being at least mid table and am glad Howe is staying. Just need old scratch-card skinflint to open his bulging wallet now so we can move upwards and actually keep players.
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30/10/2011 03:01:00
Significant and true to me is EH saying the job is just beginning. Long term success is the aim. An adequate performance against Blackpool, keep it up and a comfortable mid table position should result and provide the opportunity to build up to long term success. At the moment the team is not in the same class as when we won promotion but is showing considerable promise for such a young side. The long suffering fans have to be patient, seemingly the Board will not pay the money to buy experience, I only hope they do not just cash in when the home grown quality emerges.
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30/10/2011 07:44:00
Interesting that one of the SKYguys introducing the game was talking about players who have left and said that both the Eagles and Elliott departures were 'manager's choices'. Which probably just means that you shouldn't believe what you hear or read!
Couch Potato
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30/10/2011 07:59:00
Agree Couch. Gut feeling is we dumped a few (more than 2) malcontents.
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30/10/2011 09:54:00
Was thinking while out walking the dog that, in his book, BF talks about wanting every player in the squad to have been a leader at some level. Have recent squad moves been an indication that he has changed his mind?
Couch Potato
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30/10/2011 12:10:00
Excellent three points this! Could not really fault them after this good team performance. Onwards and upwards! Match report now up on front page
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30/10/2011 17:34:00

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