Date:Friday March 1 2013
Saturday 2nd March 2013
The Clarets travel to South London this Saturday to play Charlton Athletic in 'The Valley` desperate to score their first goal in over 300 minutes and notch up their first win in seven games.
Burnley`s form of late has been simply depressing culminating in our worst performance of the season at home to Huddersfield on Tuesday night. That 1-0 defeat against a side leaking goals away from home has set the alarm bells ringing! Burnley are now bottom of the Championship's form table, with just two points out of a possible 18.The Huddersfield defeat has probably killed off our already slim hopes of reaching the play-offs with the club now 13th already eight points behind the sixth-placed club, Brighton and having played a game more. It looks like another mid-table finish is on the cards but with no win now in six games and not even a goal in over 300 minutes, things are looking a little bleak . We need to quickly stop the rot or we could be looking over our shoulders at a possible relegation battle with confidence low the longer this poor form continues. Next up this Saturday is a trip to 'The Valley` to play Charlton Athletic. Our last two games against Brighton at the Amex and Huddersfield at home have ended in defeat and given the opposing team a double for the season over the Clarets! God forbid we make it three in a row, with the Addicks having won at Turf Moor earlier in the season.
Chris Powell 's men won 1-0 at Turf Moor in November in some controversy after Kieran Trippier`s dodgy dismissal left the Clarets with ten men after just fifteen minutes but their run of form of late has not been that impressive. They have managed just one win in six games although that was a pretty impressive 2-1 away win against high-flying Leicester City last month. Charlton are currently in 15th spot with 43 points from 34 games, just one point behind the Clarets who have played the same number of games. The game should be evenly matched with both sides it seems struggling with relatively poor recent form. Burnley have just twelve games left to try and finish on a high. That high may have to be a Top 10 finish, beating Blackburn away later this month and finishing above them! The Play-Offs now sadly seem a very distant dream but never say never when there is always a mathematical chance!
The Addicks will be without striker and their leading goal scorer, Yann Kermorgant who begins a three-game ban after being sent off last Saturday in the 2-0 home defeat by Forest.
Strikers Ricardo Fuller and Danny Haynes are looking for a place in the starting eleven along with Jon Obika who is looking for his first start after arriving on loan from Spurs.
We all know about this character! The veteran striker could earn a start in place of the suspended Yann Kermorgant. He has not played that much for the Addicks but he has still managed to score four goals this season and is always a threat! The former Preston and Stoke forward, now 33 joined Charlton Athletic in August 2012 signing a one-year contract, with the option of a further year extension.
A number of our players remain sidelined including it would appear Michael Duff (calf), Ben Mee (medial ligament) and Ross Wallace (knee). To that list we can now add two more doubtfuls with both central midfielders, Dean Marney and Chris McCann picking up knocks and limping off the pitch on Tuesday night against Huddersfield. Sean Dyche made his first signing for the Clarets on Friday bringing in loan Fulham midfielder Alexander Kačaniklić and with our midfield injury problems; he looks set to go straight into the starting eleven.
Well all eyes will be on the new boy if as expected he gets to make his debut for the Clarets. The 21 year old Sweden international will stay at Turf Moor until the end of the season after signing a loan deal from Fulham on Friday so let`s hope he gets off to a flying start!
Basically we have to assume that Duff, Mee, Wallace, McCann and Marney will be sidelined with injury and you then also wonder bearing in mind the awful performance against Huddersfield on Tuesday night, whether Dyche might be tempted to make even more changes. Quite frankly playing Austin alone up front and not bringing Vokes on until late is a bad tactic if recent results are anything to go by, so let`s start 4-4-2 with Austin and Vokes up front! It looks like the central midfield will be Marvin Bartley and new boy, Alexander Kačaniklić in the absence of McCann and Marney but can we accommodate Brian Stock somehow in the same team? I don`t think we can unless we play 4-1-4-1 and keep Stock as holding midfielder. I would go 4-4-2 and be more bullish and suggest a line-up as follows may well work and give us plenty of options on the bench:
Grant, Trippier, Long, Shackell, Lafferty, Ings, Bartley, Kačaniklić, Treacy, Vokes, Austin
Subs: Jensen, O`Neill (or Mills), Edgar, Stock, Stanislas, Richards ,Paterson
Wiltshire referee, Simon Hooper gets this one, only his second game in charge featuring the Clarets! The first was back in October 2011 when Burnley played Millwall in the New Den. That ground is only five miles away from Charlton`s and we beat the Lions 1-0 that day so if you believe in omens, get in! If you believe in clutching at straws, then we are! Five yellow cards were shown that day but this season this referee has been quite modest in his card-wielding with just four players sent off in 28 games and another 75 shown yellow.
The Clarets always get a win under the belt when you least expect it! I aint expecting one on Saturday so I will go with a 2-0 Burnley win just to confuse the pundits! Mind you Charlton have only won four games at home all season, the worst record in the Championship and have not kept a clean sheet now in 15 league and cup games.
Games are running out thick-and-fast! Next up Barnsley at Turf Moor on the night of Tuesday 5th March (Kick-Off 7:45pm) and, after that thanks to Sky Sports a rearranged game at home to Hull City which will now be covered live on Monday 11th March (Kick-Off 7:45pm) denying Clarets fans of yet another home game on the Saturday!
Date:Friday March 1 2013
Will there be Trouble at Mills? (Saturday May 25 2013)
Free Transfer for McCann and Others Leave! (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Tranmere is Fifth Summer Friendly! (Monday May 20 2013)
Rumour Mill-Jara to Reyes His Game at Turf Moor? (Saturday May 18 2013)
Heaton Rifles In To Sign Burnley Deal! (Friday May 17 2013)
Going North West for Two Further Friendlies! (Monday May 13 2013)
McCartan Goes-Why Don't the Club Shay Why? (Sunday May 12 2013)
Keeping the Heaton with Liversedge! (Saturday May 11 2013)
Clean Out or Wash Out? (Wednesday May 8 2013)
Burnley X-Files: Caldwell Out, Elliott In at Brum! (Wednesday May 8 2013)
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