Date:Friday November 9 2012
Saturday 10th November 2012
The Clarets travel to bottom club, Ipswich this Saturday looking for third successive win and clean sheet under new manager, Sean Dyche.
New Burnley gaffer, Sean Dyche has got off to a flying start since joining the Clarets picking up maximum points and two clean sheets from the two home games against Wolves and Leeds United so far. He now takes his team to struggling Ipswich Town hoping to continue the form at Portman Road and return with another three points and hopefully a third successive clean sheet. The Clarets appear to be playing with new found confidence at the moment particularly in defence and all Burnley fans will be hoping that the consistency is maintained in Dyche`s first test away from home. Burnley in 10th spot are now just one point away from the play-offs so a victory at Portman Road could well-and-truly get our promotion hopes back on track and could also conceivably put the club above sixth-placed Blackburn Rovers should they not win at home to Birmingham on Saturday.
Not only do Burnley have a new manager trying to impress but so now do Ipswich Town. The Suffolk club have had a miserable season so far and currently prop up the Championship in bottom place with just ten points from fifteen games. Their poor form recently led to Paul Jewell leaving the club by mutual consent last October with Mick McCarthy being announced as his successor at the beginning of the month. McCarthy also linked with the Burnley job at one point got off to a good start with his team beating Birmingham 1-0 at St Andrews in his first game in charge but he came down to earth with a bump in the second match! The Tractor Boys got hammered 5-0 at high-flying Crystal Palace on Tuesday night. The former Wolves gaffer now faces the home crowd at Portman Road on Saturday for the first time since his appointment and they will certainly be looking for something to shout about! The Tractor Boys have lost their last five games on home soil and have yet to celebrate a victory at Portman Road this season. That statistic sounds a bit ominous for the Clarets but somehow they have to hope they can inflict yet another defeat on the struggling club and plough on up the table towards the play-offs positions.
Winger, Lee Martin is suspended for this clash after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Selhurst Park in midweek leading to a one-match ban. Striker, Paul Taylor is likely to miss the rest of the season after injuring his foot and undergoing surgery. Guirane N'Daw will be looking to make a return to the starting eleven. The midfielder was rested in the Palace game after suffering cramp in both legs in the previous match away to Birmingham. Meanwhile midfielder Massimo Luongo has had his season-long loan from Tottenham cut short by agreement of both clubs. Mick McCarthy has also revealed that summer signing, 18-year-old right-back Elliott Hewitt who has yet to make his debut will also be in the squad to face Burnley after recovering from a number of injury setbacks
The 30 year old striker joined Ipswich on loan from QPR last month and will be at the club for three months. He is already the club`s leading goal scorer although with only three goals on the board so far one can see the problems that Ipswich have had this season in terms of hitting the back of the net!
Burnley will assess the fitness of defender Ben Mee ahead of the game. The defender hobbled off with a foot injury in the match against Leeds at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. Should Mee not make it, Dyche has the luxury of choosing either Daniel Lafferty or Joseph Mills to replace him at left back. There are no other injury concerns for the Clarets so it looks like Dyche has virtually the whole squad at his disposal.
Everybody is watching Charlie Austin, including unfortunately a number of Premier League clubs, the latest being Arsenal! He is currently not just the Championship`s highest goal scorer with 20 goals so far but also Europe`s highest goal scorer so no wonders he is grabbing the limelight! He is scoring for fun at the moment and his late winner against Leeds United at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, his 20th of the season set-up a new club record! Austin is now officially the quickest Burnley player to score 20 goals in a season. Ipswich will hopefully be quaking in their Tractors!!
The only possible concern for Sean Dyche could be the left-back position, should Ben Mee fail a late fitness test. He would still have options though with both Daniel Lafferty and Joseph Mills available to play in that position. Lafferty got the nod after Mee came off in the Leeds game with a foot injury with Mills not even in the eighteen but he seemed to struggle at times. I suspect Mills could return at left back in the absence of Mee. With no other injury concerns, we can probably expect a similar starting eleven and eighteen to Tuesday night with Austin alone up front supported by widemen Wallace and Paterson in a five man midfield. The line-up could look something like this :
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mills (or Mee if fit), Stock, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Paterson, Austin
Subs: Jensen, Lafferty or Mills (if Mee fit), Edgar, Bartley (or Stewart), Stanislas, Ings, Vokes
East Yorkshire referee, Mark Brown will be in charge down in Suffolk and Burnley fans will want to forget the last time this referee took part in a game involving the Clarets. That game was against Leeds United at Elland Road last season when we went down 2-1. We also suffered the loss of Kieran Trippier who was red-carded by the referee for two bookable offences in the 29th minute in a match which also saw five yellow cards in total handed out. Ten men Burnley looked to be holding out too until a goal seven minutes into injury time from Ross McCormack denied the Clarets a point. The referee finished that season handing out a total of 6 reds and 99 yellows in his 34 games in charge. So far this season he has featured in 11 games and has already sent four players off and shown yellow 30 times.
Ipswich have lost just one of their last nine meetings games with Burnley and you have to go back to January 1970 for the last time we won at Portman Road. We are certainly due a win there and after a 5-0 thrashing at Palace in midweek keeping Ipswich firmly rooted to the bottom of the Championship their confidence could be low despite having a new, high-profile manager in Mick McCarthy. Their home form is also poor. The Tractor Boys are the only club without a home win in the Football League this season and if the Clarets come away with all three points on Saturday the Tractor Boys will have suffered six successive league losses at Portman Road, I have a good feeling about this one and think we will win 2-0. A third successive win and clean sheet for new gaffer, Sean Dyche will be a superb tonic for the club and fans alike and further cement our promotion hopes.
Charlton Athletic are the visitors to Turf Moor on Saturday 17th November (Kick-Off:3 pm)
Date:Friday November 9 2012
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