Into the Lions` Den... Snow Permitting!
Saturday 19th January 2013
Burnley are due to play Millwall in the New Den this Saturday with the team hoping to win their third Championship game on the spin. The bad weather and snow though could dictate if the match goes ahead.
The Clarets travel to South Bermondsey to face the Lions in the New Den on Saturday but the game could be dependent on the adverse weather conditions and the extent of the snow. Millwall will hold a pitch inspection at 9am on Saturday morning. The pitch has undersoil heating but more snow is forecast in London so the referee will need to check if the game can still go ahead. If the match does proceed, Burnley will be looking to secure all three points and move closer to the play-offs positions. Currently in 10th spot, they are now just four points behind the sixth placed club, Watford although the Hornets do have a game in hand. It won`t be easy against the Lions though. Kenny Jackett`s men are in 7th place with 41 points from 27 games, just two points more than the Clarets having played the same number of games. Both clubs therefore have designs on promotion and a win would be crucial to both clubs ambitions in that respect. The Clarets are looking for their third consecutive Championship win something not achieved so far this season and they will be keen to nail their inconsistency problem once and for all. The Lions, since September though have won six and lost only one of their last nine league games at home although Burnley`s recent record in South Bermondsey has been quite good having won at the New Den last season whilst drawing the game the previous season.
Millwall Team News:
Millwall have signed Derby striker Nathan Tyson on loan for the rest of the season this week and the former Forest forward could be in line to make his debut for the Lions. Defender Shane Lowry is out with a suspension so Alan Dunne or Jack Smith could step-in. Winger, Scott Malone is also out with a back injury and fellow wideman, Liam Feeney is also out injured.
Player to watch: Andy Keogh
The good news for Clarets fans is that the Lions leading goal scorer, New Zealand international Chris Wood completed his loan spell at the club at the end of last year. The West Brom striker is now at Leicester on another loan having netted 11 times in 19 appearances for the Lions. Burnley though will now have to be wary of Andy Keogh. The 26 year old Republic of Ireland international joined Millwall from Wolves on the final day of the January 2012 transfer window penning a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £500,000. This season so far he has scored seven goals from 27 matches and is their new leading goal scorer at the club. He has just returned from injury too and appears to be back on form already scoring Millwall`s opening goal from the penalty spot in their 1-1 draw at Bolton last weekend.
Burnley Team News:
Brian Stock returns after sitting out a one-match suspension against Palace for a double-yellow in the previous game away to Barnsley in the FA Cup. Charlie Austin though looks set to remain sidelined. Martin Paterson was back in training this week whilst Chris McCann also hopes to return. Defender Kevin Long has picked up an ankle injury and will be out of contention as will Ben Mee who is still not fully fit following his medial knee ligament injury.
Player to watch: Danny Lafferty
Lafferty is growing in stature and confidence with every game and he could be ready to give Ben Mee a run for his money once the left back returns to fitness. It will certainly be another test for him on Saturday so let`s see if the improvements continue.
Team & Tactics:
It looks like a bit of an interesting dilemma for Sean Dyche! Brian Stock is available after a one-match suspension so will he go straight back into the starting eleven or will the gaffer be tempted to stick with the team that went on to beat high-flying Crystal Palace at Turf Moor last Saturday? If McCann and Pato are fit, will they too come back into contention for a place in the starting line-up?
This would be my choice:
Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Stock, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Jensen, O'Neill, Edgar, Bartley or McCann (if fit), Richards, Treacy, Paterson (if fit) or MacDonald. If McCann is fit, not quite sure what to do with him? I suspect we will adopt 4-1-4-1 with Brian Stock doing the job he does best in front of the back four as holding midfielder. Sam Vokes will probably be alone up front with Ings playing just behind him supported by wingmen Wallace and Stanislas.
Oh no Stuart Atwell! The Warwickshire referee was being fast tracked and made a prominent debut in 2008 as the youngest person ever to referee in the Premier League but he was demoted from the Select Group in February 2012, after a series of bizarre decision returning to refereeing in the Football League. He has been quite modest in his card displays this season sending off just two players in 27 appearances also showing another 78 players a yellow card. His last appearance in a game involving the Clarets though might give some cheer! It was our 5-1 thumping of Portsmouth at Fratton Park back in March 2012. Mind you six yellow cards were still shown that day!
This will be one hell of a tough game with so much at stake for both clubs! On our day we can beat anybody but on an off day anybody can beat us such is the nature of the Championship and our lack of consistency! It is some time since we won three Championship games on the trot. In fact as mentioned previously Burnley are yet to register three straight league victories this season so now is the time to make sure we do after beating Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and Palace at home in the last two Championship games! Another match for Burnley to shade so it`s 2-1 Clarets
Well now that both Burnley and Birmingham are out of the FA Cup, the Championship game provisionally scheduled for Saturday 26th January at Turf Moor will now go ahead instead of FA Cup 4th Round ties. (Kick-Off: 3pm)