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Birmingham City vs. Burnley

St Andrews

Tuesday 22nd November 2011


Brum, Brum or Bum, Bum?

The Clarets travel to St Andrews to play Birmingham City on Tuesday night hoping to bring to an end a dismal run of three successive defeats.

The Pre-amble:

These are desperate times for the club. Burnley have suffered from inconsistency all season and after a run of three successive defeats are now facing a relegation battle with the club precariously placed fourth from bottom. They are also worryingly just two points clear of third-from-bottom club, Bristol City albeit with a game in hand. That game in hand however will be played on Tuesday night away to Birmingham City in a rearranged fixture postponed from last August. At least, we won`t be in the bottom three places come Saturday morning no matter what the result at St Andrews. The Robins do not have a midweek game but it would be nice to widen the gap between the two clubs before the Saturday fixtures in order to relieve the pressure. It is crucial therefore we get something from the Brum game and that certainly won`t be easy against a side that have yet to lose at home this season.

Chris Hughton`s men have won four and drawn three of their seven home league games so far this season. They are currently in 13th spot with 22 points, four more than the Clarets. Crucially though, their Europa Cup campaign has meant a number of their midweek Championship games including the Burnley fixture have had to be postponed and at the moment they have played just 14 league games, 2-3 fewer than most clubs in the league. They will be keen to take advantage now and advance towards the play-offs spots. Had they played and won all their games in hand so far, they would now be in third spot on the same number of points as Middlesbrough. Brum have lost just one of their last six league games although will have been disappointed to only pick up a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Peterborough on Saturday.

The Clarets will really have to pull something special out of the bag to come away with something from St Andrews and the relative form book suggests it will be a uphill struggle. We would however not really want to go into Saturday`s game at the KC Stadium facing 6th placed Hull City on the back of yet another defeat, a fourth in succession. Come on you Clarets, surprise a few and give Brum a shock.

Birmingham City Team News:

Birmingham are without midfielders Morgaro Gomis (groin) and Jordon Mutch (ankle). Gomis is back in training but it is too soon for him to be in contention for the Clarets clash.

Defender, Liam Ridgewell missed the Blues' 1-1 draw with Peterborough at the weekend after picking up a thigh injury and looks set to miss out again. Stephen Carr and David Murphy are the most likely full backs to line up against us.

Clarets fans hoping to see Wembley hero, Wade Elliott in action against his former club may have to be content with him coming on from the bench. He was only a substitute in their last game against Posh although he did come on to play in the 84th minute.

Player to watch: Steven Caldwell

With Clarets fans bemoaning our woeful defence at the moment, it will be interesting to see how our former captain and central defender, Steven Caldwell performs against us on Tuesday night.

Caldwell was released by Brian Laws at the end of his contract following our ill-fated Premier League campaign and relegation at the end of the 2009-10 season. In August 2010, he signed a one-year deal with Premier League, Wigan Athletic joining up with his brother, Gary but was released when his contract expired at the end of the 2010-11 season.

The Scotland international joined newly relegated, Birmingham City in July 2011 penning a two-year deal and the defender, now 31 has been virtually an ever-present for the Blues this season also playing for them in the Europa Cup. One of his new teammates this season of course is another former Clarets player, Wade Elliott so let`s hope we can prevent both of them getting any satisfaction against us on Tuesday night.

Burnley Team News:

The Clarets certainly have a few injury concerns at the moment. Leading goal-scorer, Charlie Austin saw a specialist today (Monday) after falling heavily in the game at home to Leeds on Saturday and dislocating his shoulder again. This is clearly a weak spot for the former Swindon striker after now suffering three shoulder dislocations in 14 months. X-rays carried out straight after the first-half incident at least confirmed there was no fracture. We await news on how long he is expected to be sidelined this time round but it is thought he will be not be out for as long as first feared after seeing the specialist today. He faces another scan this Friday with the club hopeful of more good news.

New loan striker, Sam Vokes however still looks set for an extended run in the side probably partnering Jay Rodriguez up front. Vokes made his debut last Saturday coming on from the bench after 30 minutes to replace the injured Austin.

Clarets fans also await news on Ross Wallace. He faces a late fitness test ahead of the trip to Birmingham. The Scotland winger missed the game against Leeds after suffering a hamstring injury.

Danny Ings (cartilage), Martin Paterson (thigh) and Brian Jensen (groin) are also all still sidelined

Player to watch: Sam Vokes

Vokes will be keen to open his account for the Clarets after making a solid debut against Leeds at the weekend. It was quite an impressive performance considering he had only been at the club for one day following his loan transfer from Wolves last Friday.

Team & Tactics:

We have to assume for the moment that Wallace is not fit enough to play. Even if he has recovered from his hamstring injury in time, he could find it difficult to automatically return to the starting eleven with Keith Treacy having put in a reasonable shift against Leeds last Saturday. If Wallace is fit enough to play, Howe might be tempted to play him in the hole and play Treacy and Stanislas out on the flanks. I am not sure though that a 4-4-1-1 formation suits the Clarets based on recent performances and the more familiar 4-4-2 looks the better bet

Sam Vokes looks set to make his full debut for the Clarets with Charlie Austin now sidelined with a shoulder injury.

The line-up on Saturday then could look something like this probably in 4-4-2 formation:

Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Duff, Easton, Treacy, McCann, Bartley, Stanislas, Rodriguez, Vokes

Subs: Stewart, Amougou, Mee (or Wallace if fit), Marney, Hines

Ref Watch:

West Yorkshire referee, Robert Madley is in charge of this clash at St Andrews. In his 13 games so far this season, he has not been too prolific dishing out the cards; just the one red and 28 yellow so far (i.e. just over 2 cards/game)

Match Prediction:

It is very difficult to see anything other than defeat on Tuesday night. Birmingham have been strong at home all season and will be keen to step up a gear now and start to win their games in hand in order to push for a play-offs spot. The Clarets will need to pull something extra out of the bag but with no clear indication of any improvement in consistency, luck deserting them and confidence low after three straight defeats things look ominous. The fear of dropping closer to the drop zone could have an adverse effect on our chances and my fear is we could suffer a tonking. I so hope we don`t come away bruised and battered. 4-0 Birmingham though is my prediction but I am hoping I look a complete chump come the final whistle after the Clarets shade it 2-1!

Next Match:

Our second consecutive away game sees the Clarets travel to the KC Stadium on Saturday 26th November (Kick-Off: 3pm) to face a resurgent Hull City. The Tigers are currently in 6th place having also played the same number of games as Burnley. We are certainly being tested to the limit at the moment.

The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 21 2011

Time: 8:08PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Boy do we all need a lift! What are the chances of getting a shock result at St Andrews? Well we have to latch on to this concept that the form-book can be chucked out the window with anybody capable of beating anybody else in this league! But this really is a heart over mind hope! :-(
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21/11/2011 20:12:00
Our game in hand, just shows how frail we are with a couple of injurys but some how we had a cyrstal ball and brought in cover through Vokes not sure how Hines and McDonald took it? Hoping Austin makes a speedy recovery. You going to the game tmp?
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21/11/2011 20:44:00
We have the ability to beat most teams in the Championship, all we need is confidence and to eliminate those disastrous elimentary schoolboy defensive errors. I still think Duffy and Andre could do the job until we sign that sorely needed forceful experienced defender.
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21/11/2011 20:45:00
I really fancy a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Although we lost ( and I was gutted at that final whistle) I saw a lot on Saturday which has given me encouragement. Come on boys - It would be a big win!
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21/11/2011 21:06:00
Saturday? Do you mean Tuesday night re Brum or Hull?
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22/11/2011 07:08:00
I understand the encouraging signs you saw on Saturday but imo we are two defeats away from imploding on all levels, players, maagement, board, staff and last but not least supporters. I think defeat tonight could be the first nail.
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22/11/2011 08:12:00
Exactly my fear too VR! Some good news on the Beast front for those having Grant doubts! Brian Jensen is close to a return after suffering a groin problem in September. Tindall said: “Beasty is back in training, so he’s on his way back, and it will be good to get as many of our players back as possible, as we’re thin on the ground.” Why are we thin on the ground is the question, it's not rocket science to have contingencies in place with such a cut-backed squad unless of course all the excuses about not getting defenders in has more to do with our financial plight rather than players available
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22/11/2011 09:57:00
Just read this stat on BBCwww's match preview: "The Clarets have produced more goal attempts than any other club in Championship matches this season; 230, of which 120 were on target."
Couch Potato
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22/11/2011 10:05:00
No use unless you can convert them especially if you are leaking goals at the other end and havent kept a clean sheet in 7 games and only one in well over 30
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22/11/2011 10:19:00
I meant Tuesday TMP
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22/11/2011 12:25:00
Tend to agree with Cornwall regarding Duff , who made a difference on Saturday, playing with Amougou. What is that crucial element that makes them play like they did on Saturday, as opposed to they way they played at Bristol ? Whatever it is , let's hope it's with us tonight and the next game and the next.
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22/11/2011 13:50:00
I look at Duff and think although he is not the best defender in the world, he can shout his way to success and stir up those players around him. If you like,if he not going to be made team captain, he is a sort of 'back four' captain which is why our defence is probably better with him than without him. Amougou too seems to be able to help the younger guys in defence, so a central back pairing of the two seems the way forward until re-inforcements can be brought in. Trouble is Howe seems to have a downer on Amougou so I can't see that happening until we have a back-four injury or suspension
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22/11/2011 14:26:00
I'm genuinely shocked by the 230 shots stat. I wonder how the 120 on target compares to other clubs. Much better performance with Duff in the back four, but I'd still like to see at least one new face in there - preferably left back.
marjory blenkinsop
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22/11/2011 14:57:00
Still reckon Mee at left back would be a better option with Duff/Amougou in the middle and Trippier ar R/B.. Think we should also experiemnt with Edgar as holding midfielder in front of above back four Do we not need right back cover too? Trippier has not exactly excelled in recent games
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22/11/2011 15:21:00
Latest news on Brum's Ridgewell is that he might make it after all and now faces a late fitness test. For the Clarets, Wallace, according to the Official Website is 'touch & go'
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22/11/2011 18:15:00
Wallace back and replaces Stanislas who drops to bench. Vokes as expected makes full debut. So team is: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Easton, Wallace, Bartley, McCann, Treacy, Rodriguez, Vokes Subs: Stewart, Amougou, Marney, Stanislas, Hines,
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22/11/2011 19:06:00
Caldwell starts, Elliott on bench for Blues. Ridgewell does not make it
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22/11/2011 19:16:00
Dreadful-1-0 down after just two minutes
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22/11/2011 19:48:00
Just cant seem to get a foothold in this game, being pulled apart by the wingers. No decent chance in 25 minutes. Coming back into it a bit but Brum look comfortable and in control
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22/11/2011 20:16:00
1-0 at half-time and to be honest we could easily be 2-3 nil down! Shocking defence. Marlon King misses a sitter from 8 yards
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22/11/2011 20:32:00
come on clarets
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22/11/2011 20:51:00
you people toldx me to have faith in this team it is not getting me anywhere, the team is failing me; as well as other supporters. pick it up eddie
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22/11/2011 20:52:00
Superb, Burnley equalise within 2 minutes of start of second half. Bartley deflected shot from a corner
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22/11/2011 20:54:00
Brum respond well to equaliser putting us under pressure again. Marney comes on for McCann, looks tactical rather than injury! Duff gets armband
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22/11/2011 21:05:00
Are we giving as good as we are getting TMP?
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22/11/2011 21:20:00
Gone off the boil again really, still hanging in there! Need to bring on Hines or Stanislas, Vokes not impressing. Marney could be carrying an injury too picked up in first minute or so after coming on
Report Abuse
22/11/2011 21:23:00
Flaming hell, 2-1 Brum in added time. Defensive crap again
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22/11/2011 21:36:00
We are in big,big trouble! 2-1 defeat and nowt going for us!
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22/11/2011 21:38:00
This is just heartbreaking, the club seem to be in denial! We are not good enough, accept that and do something about it FFS before we start losing at home to Rochdale next season!
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22/11/2011 21:45:00
If Eddie doesn't bring in a defender or 2 via loan or January then I'll have lost complete faith in him...
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22/11/2011 21:46:00
It's time somebody stood up and made themselves accountable Board, manager, players...you decide? we are wrong on so many levels..how did we get to this stage...gawd help us UTC
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22/11/2011 21:49:00
Defensive crap again tmp. Who picked the team? Who is leaving Mee and Amougou out of the side? Who thinks Edgar is better than Mee or Amougou, its not the board. Who brought Amougou on to play 3 minutes at what position? Midfield or defence? Even I thought that was a strange change as it would confuse rather than galvanise. I believe the manager and coaching staff are not getting their messages over to the players. The situation we are in is so depressing. W38
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23/11/2011 08:32:00

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