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Marching on to St Mary's!


St Mary's

Saturday 11th February 2012


Burnley go marching on to St Mary`s this Saturday hoping to take advantage of high-flying Southampton`s current lack of form

The Pre-amble:

Burnley`s progress and march up the table stalled a little on Saturday after a disappointing home draw against Peterborough in the snowy and icy conditions of Turf Moor. Previously we had managed eight wins in eleven games but at least a point still keeps us in contention for a play-offs spot. We remain just three points behind the sixth placed club Middlesbrough, although it is getting congested up there now. Burnley are currently 11th and are one of a clutch of clubs now within 3 points of a play offs spot. The four clubs above Burnley, Hull, Reading, Leeds and Brighton are all fighting it out with the Clarets for that elusive sixth spot.

If we are to keep up the momentum, we are going to have to pull out all the stops and come away with yet another remarkable victory against a high flying club this Saturday. This time we face second-placed Southampton at St Marys. Burnley though will be encouraged by their away form this season and some impressive wins on the road including victories over current league leaders, West Ham and play-offs hopefuls, Middlesbrough. They currently have the Championship`s second best record away from home, and have won an unrivalled five away games against top-half clubs.

Southampton will be wary of the Clarets and it is vital we take advantage of Nigel Adkins men current lack of form and recent wobble. At one point they looked to be storming away with the Championship title but have been pegged back in recent weeks and have now been overtaken by West Ham in top spot. They do have eight points more than the Clarets though and on 52 points that`s just four behind the Hammers.

The Saints have not won though now in three league games and also lost a FA Cup replay at home to Millwall in midweek. Indeed at home they have not won any of their last four games so that should give some comfort to the Clarets who have already picked up 8 wins on their travels so far this season in the Championship.

Southampton Team News:

Nigel Adkins has virtually a full squad to choose from.

Former Burnley defender, Danny Fox looks set to return for Southampton after being suspended for the FA Cup game in midweek at home to Millwall. Another former Claret, Richard Chaplow is also chomping at the bit to make a Championship start against his old club. He has not featured in a league game in over two months due to injury but completed a 90 minute run-out against Millwall in the FA Cup match this week.

Billy Sharp, Kelvin Davis, Jack Cork, Morgan Schneiderlin and Iago Falque are also all set to feature after missing the FA Cup game due to being ineligible or being rested. Sharp could make his home debut and first start after recently signing from Doncaster Rovers in the January window.

Midfielder-cum-defender, Danny Butterfield and defender, Dan Seaborne though remain sidelined with injuries.

Player to watch: Rickie Lambert

29 year old striker, Rickie Lambert has scored 20 goals for Southampton in all competitions this season and is easily their top goal scorer (The next is Brazilian attacking midfielder, Guly Do Prado with just eleven) In August 2009 Lambert completed a move from Bristol Rovers to Southampton in a deal worth in excess of 1 million and since that time he has scored at a rate of about one goal in every 1-2 games. All we have to do then is keep Lambert quiet! Simples!!

Burnley Team News:

Junior Stanislas (hamstring) looks likely to remain sidelined but it is thought Martin Paterson could have recovered from his hamstring injury and be in contention for a place.

Eddie Howe otherwise would appear to have a full squad to choose from and we could see the same sixteen that could only manage a 1-1 draw against Posh at Turf Moor last Saturday.

Player to watch: Ben Mee

It will be interesting to see how Ben Mee fares in this game at left back, bearing in mind his predecessor, Danny Fox is now playing for the opposition! There will be inevitable comparisons as the game progresses with many Clarets fans currently thinking Mee, despite being more suited to a centre back role is just as effective if not better than Fox at left back!

Team & Tactics:

With no fresh injuries to concern the gaffer, the most obvious team choice could be to select the same sixteen as the one named last Saturday to face Posh. After a hesitant start and poor performance in the first half against Peterborough, the team rallied in the second half and we looked very much the stronger team in the blizzard conditions that was Turf Moor last Saturday so Howe may be tempted to keep things the same. Martin Paterson though could now be pushing for a place after recovering from a hamstring injury and I would not be surprised to see him named on the bench probably at the expense of Hines.

I will plump for the following sixteen assuming we stick to a basic 4-4-2 formation and Howe is not tempted to be more defensive and go 4-5-1 or variations thereof involving a holding midfielder.

Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, McQuoid, Rodriguez, Austin

Subs: Jensen, Easton, Bartley, Treacy, Hines (or Paterson)

Ref Watch:

The Whistling Kettle? Let`s hope not too much, but referee Trevor Kettle is in charge of this clash. The Berkshire referee has dished out one red card and 24 yellows so far this season, which doesn`t sound too bad until you realise he has only featured in 7 games so far in 2011-12! His last game in charge of a match featuring Burnley was our home game against Ipswich back in April 2011; sadly a match we lost 2-1 with a staggering seven yellow cards shown!

Match Prediction:

You have to be wary of Saints current lack of form, you just sense it will change soon and we all have to hope they don`t find it on Saturday. I feel somewhat nervous of this one despite our good away record this season. There is no doubt we are capable of beating Southampton and they will be wary of the Clarets knowing we have returned from both Upton Park and the Riverside so far this season with maximum points. It would be a massive result if we could win this one, indeed it would be to pick up anything at St Mary`s. I think I will err on the cautious side therefore and predict a 2-2 draw.

Next Match:

It`s Barnsley next at home on the night of Tuesday 14th February (Kick-Off: 7:45pm) so all Clarets fans will be hoping for a St Valentine`s Day Massacre!

Date:Friday February 10 2012
Time: 5:34PM

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Really nervous about this one. Just hope we dont get on the end of a Saints backlash after their poor recent form! We should fear nobody though and we can certainly win this one has indicated in the article
10/02/2012 17:36:00
Did Danny Fox not get suspended in his last game against Birmingham ? Or did he just miss the FA Cup game against Millwall.
10/02/2012 19:59:00
He got a double-yellow card in the Brum game, so one match automatic ban which was the Millwall FA Cup replay
10/02/2012 20:08:00
If Southampton lose this one and results go against them they could slip down to 4th I think. I have to say I have my fingers crossed.
10/02/2012 20:21:00
I think Saints could be nervous about this one too. The gaffer could be cautious and put out a defensive side. We have proved that we can defend so I am going for a scoreless game which I would be well pleased with. This is a crunch game which could show whether we are serious contenders, fingers crossed, UTC.
10/02/2012 20:36:00
I'll be at this one and I'm going to Reading next week too. The law of averages suggests that we must draw an away game at some stage and I wonder whether it will be one of these next two. It would be nice to think we could win both and beat Barnsley on Tuesday but five points or more from these next three games would be a decent return.
10/02/2012 20:41:00
&.30am. Just checked for news of icy weather postponements. Some games are off, including some in London area. But no news of any problems at St Mary's. Bus leaves in just under an hour. Nice big breakfast at Axminster station about 20 mins after that! Now where's my thermals?
Couch Potato
11/02/2012 07:37:00
Sounds like it could be a blizzard of yellow cards TMP! Nervy comments are appropriate after last week but the lads have surprised us a few times this season. Would take a draw, especially as there are so many ex-Clarets lining up to score against their old Club (get those bets on).
Essex Claret
11/02/2012 09:03:00
Well done to the travelling possie big old journey with awful conditions en route Most difficult one of the season, a draw would be a good result, a win would state a real claim on the top 6 slots
11/02/2012 09:38:00
Well said HC! Brave souls trying to get to St Mary's under these weather conditions. I did my bit at the Turf on Sat skidding 8 miles back to Mums after the game and then travelling back to Cambs on the Sunday. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
11/02/2012 09:53:00
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